Saturday, January 18, 2014

Three thrilling reasons to visit a spa

I went to Olympus Spa in Lynnwood today. It's a bit of a hike from Seattle, but well worth the trek. I had never been, but when my friends were like "it's $35 and you get to enjoy the spa all damn day" I could not get there fast enough.

Photo courtesy of Olympus Spa.

Olympus is an all-woman nude spa. You get a robe and a cap to wear around the facility, but you must be completely buck naked to enjoy the pools.

You can wander through the spa at your leisure and try a bunch of cool, themed "Far-Infrared healing energy" rooms, an herbal dry sauna, a mugwort steam sauna (they're big on mugwort - apparently it's a pretty nifty plant), and of course the pools, all of varying temperatures.

I spent a little more than five hours in the spa, relaxing in the soaking pools, trying all the flavors in the tea room, accidentally falling asleep in the hot, sweat-inducing sand room (they play the sound of crashing waves in there, of course you're going to fall asleep!), and getting a Korean-style scrub. That part was the best. The scrubbing is not gentle, but it feels good - cleansing - and after each round they pour hot, soothing, mugwort-infused water over you. At the end you are massaged and bathed with frothy soap and hot towels, and you feel like the silkiest selkie ever, and beautifully refreshed.

Me right after my scrub. I sneaked my phone out to take a couple of selfies. Look how happy and glowy I am!

If I haven't sold you yet on the amazingness of my spa visit, here are three thrilling reasons to visit a spa close to you:
1. If you go to a nude spa, you will see so many different body types! It always makes me feel much better about my body - yay, I'm totally normal! - when I get to see bodies that aren't always well-represented in traditional media.
2. You spend a lot of time taking care of other people - your family, your partner, your friends, your dog. The word "pampering" can have such weird connotations, but truly - you deserve some pampering.
3. Can't afford a vacation? A spa visit is much cheaper and has almost the same effect. You can visit a spa by yourself or with friends. You're not allowed to have your phone or your computer with you, so it feels like you are cut off from the world in the best way. A spa is a great place to decompress and reflect. Most conversations are held at a whisper so everyone can enjoy their experience in peace. Time slips by surprisingly quickly, but you appreciate every moment. And there are lots of different services and spaces to explore, some probably new to you.
I hope you get the chance to visit a spa in the near future. Spas are such a good mood booster, especially during the winter!

1001 in 101 challenge #63 complete!

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