Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
I didn't get around to using my gift until yesterday when I went in for my package consisting of "Hydrotherapy Treatment" (see photo), a full body massage and a facial.
"Hydrotherapy Treatment" appeared to me to be code for "$45 bath with bubbles" and I wasn't all that interested. I thought of exchanging the bath for a pedicure but then remembered my pledge to keep my toenails polish free for the winter to give the poor little things a break. (My husband once told me that my toenails were the kind that needed polish, but I wear socks most of the winter so he needn't suffer from visual distress by gazing upon my sorry toenails with his delicate eyes. But, I digress.)
I decided to go with the package as advertised and have the expensive bubble bath. Well, don't let the picture fool you into thinking that Hydrotherapy is any kind of relaxing experience. No sir. It is a survival test - a fight against hypothermia and drowning.
Zizi lead me into the hydrotherapy room. There was the tub, filled with water, jets not yet bubbling. Zizi told me to get in and I didn't want to act all modest or anything, so I took off my spa robe and climbed into the tub. There I lay, naked, sort of floating in this completely clear still water, looking, I imagined, like some sort of white pasty dumpling bobbing about in a clear broth. I figured that Zizi would get those jets going right away so at least I would have some bubbles to cover the old birthday suit. No such luck. There was some problem with one of the two jet systems for the tub. While Zizi fiddled with the controls, I lay there in the water, starting to get cold. She assured me that when the jets came on it would get warmer and that she had never had a problem...etc...etc. Then, she handed me a washcloth - I think to cover myself with...but where? Which spot? Top or bottom? I didn't know.
Eventually, Zizi gave up on the broken jets and turned on the working ones (these were NOT the ones connected into the heater). Zizi threw in some bath salts - highly therapeutic ones, of course - and told me she would be back in ten or fifteen minutes.
Well, I am here to tell you that it was a real challenge to relax without going under. And if I went under, nobody would have heard me gurgling for help, so loud was the motor on the so called relaxation tub. The bubbles were so forceful that I had to hang on for dear life. Maybe when all the jets are working there is a better balance of the pressure and one can relax without fear. I won't be trying it again to see if that theory is right, though.
The pillow thingy behind my head sort of floated and slid around, so I couldn't really count on it as a stable place on which to lean. Zizi had told me to place my feet upon this bar toward the end of the tub but with one false move, the bar slipped out of the holder and was gone somewhere beneath the wild bubbles. After that, I had to hold on firmly to the side bars or brace my legs against the sides of the tub to stablize my body. Every time I would get into a stable position, something would slip, making it necessary to start over, or a huge splash of water would hit my face and I would have to find the washcloth to wipe it away. It was anything but relaxing. I would say it was more "Outward Bound" than "Canyon Ranch" and I imagine I burned up many calories fighting for my life.
After what seemed like an age, Zizi came in to rescue me. By that time, the water was below body temperature and I was feeling rather chilly. Sadly, she brought me a glass of fresh cold water (to help the detoxification) instead of the brandy I could have used to warm myself up.
Undaunted, however, I went bravely to my next treatment - the full body massage by Andreas. Some of you long time readers might remember a previous post about Andreas. When I was new in Bloomington, I had a facial at ZiZi and treated myself to a foot reflexology massage at the same time. Andreas did the foot rubbing while Zizi "extracted" the crap from my frightfully clogged pores. The foot rubbing was divine. I can't say the same about the extraction of course.
The massage, I am happy to report, was much more relaxing than the undertow contraption. It was a bit of a waste since I haven't been working out much due to this lingering (and lingering and lingering) coughing thing I have had. But, it was a nice thing to have after the tub torture.
After my massage, Zizi gave me a great facial and threw in a free eyebrow wax to make up for the broken jets. She hates unruly eyebrows and must not know about the trend toward bushy ones.
Before I left for home, I splurged on a pricey new line of facial products because, I am ashamed to say, I liked the way they smelled. For years, I have been a strict devotee of drug store facial products after years of wasting money on expensive overpriced stuff. But, I guess all those bubbles addled my brain and there I was writing a check for fragrant fairy dust in fancy jars.
If I start looking suddenly younger as a result of my investment, you'll be the first to know. More likely, my skin will just smell prettier as it ages...