“To an outside observer, it may look like a dance is happening between the therapist and the guest, which is not far from reality.”
Before I take you on a journey through pure imagination, you need to understand what the LUSH Spa is like. The LUSH Spa was created to feature mind and body treatments based on how they will make you feel, from the inside out. A very unique and innovative take on your classic “spa” treatment, the LUSH Spa is an overall luxury experience.
They take you in as one person, and send you back as another. That is the goal.
Imagine late autumn, New York City. A busy LUSH shop flutters around on the ground floor of a brick building nestled on the corner of Lexington St. We had been patiently awaiting this day for a long time. The LUSH Spa sat atop of this cheerful floor, where you walked up a simple flight of stairs and were somehow taken into another world. Designed as a vintage English cottage type of setting, the main “lobby” of the LUSH Spa featured a table with a few chairs, some lounge chairs to the side, a journal sitting on a wooden nightstand and an L shaped counter accross two of the walls with a sink and some teapots hanging along the side. We sat at the table in the middle before each of our treatments and had a brief consultation with our therapists.
There was a shelf along the wall with enlightened colored bottles that had labels on them of all different feelings or emotions. They seemed to enlighten the room just by sitting there.
I walked into a small, rectangular room with hues of pink and purple spotlights on the ceiling and walls.They illuminated the surrounding four corners and captured you into a sweet, warm place of mind. There were speckles of blue laser lights on the ceilings, making a twilight effect with your eyes. There was a long massage bed draped with white sheets, towels and a comforter. I climbed into a warm, heated cocoon of soft duvets and my body sunk into the sheets. It was like waiting outside in the cold, and waiting for what seems like forever to finally be inside and warm again, and then taking off your coat and shoes and cuddling up next to someone warm. That’s what this sensation brought my mind to. It was such a feeling of relief, being in those warm covers.
The soundtrack to this treatment featured candy shop tunes straight out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The tunes were upbeat, the rhythms very funky, the voices very high and harmonious, and the lyrics could have been written by a Munchkin from The Wizard of Oz. I was surprised at first, and quite thrown off when I heard this music. It was not your typical spa sound system. There was no tranquil ocean waves or forest chirping or storm winds being sent through to your brain. It was actually the opposite. My mind was being loaded with all things sweet, happy and innocent. My thoughts were racing.
From this point on, my story is going to be quite scattered, because my mind went to another place for the majority of this treatment and I cannot remember it all exactly in order, or what exactly I was feeling. But I do know what was happening around me and so did my thoughts.
The therapist named Jay began by creating the chocolate exfoliating scrub that was featured in this treatment. It loaded the air with a sweet and rich aroma of pure cocoa. I felt like I had just walked into a Godiva store, and I was tremendously excited for my entire body to smell like so. With my eyes closed and warm towels around my hairline, I felt Jay begin to scrub my left arm. The chocolate scrub was warm, abrasive and heavy (in all the best ways). I felt my skin absorbing the moisture and the richness as it smoothed and softened down any bumps or dry parts of my body. When Jay had finished scrubbing down my arms and legs, I was then rubbed with a damp exfoliating cloth to remove the scrub and soften my skin even further. I turned on my back and we repeated it all over again.
The next part of this treatment was a deep conditioning rose scented body serum. The product was melted down, just as the chocolate was, and applied on my skin in slow, circular motions. Jay had such consistent pressure and depth within this part of the treatment, I could really feel my body releasing and being in the moment of this experience. This was when I pretty much fell into the place between being asleep and awake. I was aware of my thoughts as they were running, very conscious and loud in my head. I was not necessarily at peace, however this treatment was not meant to do so. This treatment was formulated to bring you to a sweet place of mind. Like that of an innocent child, perhaps. I went into this day knowing that I was going to be reminded of childhood flashbacks and memories, and that it was supposed to make me feel happy and alive.
During this time in my life I was expirencing a tremendous amount of change. I was moving out of my childhood home and out on my own for the very first time ever. I was saying good bye to all of my memories, all of my dreams and all of my innocence. Prior to moving out, I always looked ahead to the day I’d leave and dreaded every second of it. I expected my move to be depressing, that I’d mourn and feel at a loss. I didn’t actually experience any of these feelings until long after moving out. There’s a good chance that when I was younger I created a more dramatic picture of my moving out so that it wouldn’t be so traumatic when it actually happened. I think I did a good job.
When my treatment came to an end, I opened my eyes and came out of my daze. Jay’s voice was not clear to me at first, it kind of faded into my hearing as if someone was waking me up from a nap. I was told to take my time getting dressed and settling into myself, and to meet Jay out in the lobby/kitchen.
For each treatment there is a special drink to finish it off (non alcoholic, unfortunately). I arrived into the kitchen where my mom, my sister and Jay sat. My sister was finishing her cup of tea that followed her treatment and writing a message in the blank journal on the table. It was there for us to leave a few words for our special therapists and reflect on the LUSH Spa. I sat down in front of a miniature martini glass with a puff of cotton candy sitting in it, next to a small glass jar full of a pink liquid that looked like fairy potion. Jay told me it was a sugar and rose flavored syrup, poured it over the cotton candy, and we watched the puff disinegrate into a blush colored cocktail. It seemed like magic. I drank the fairy juice in a few sips, and my treatment was over.
Before leaving, we are allowed to use the bathrooms to shower and freshen up after our enchanting experience. In their bathrooms they place LUSH products and testers for you to use to get clean, refresh, do your makeup and smell delicious all over. I was amazed by this part of the Spa not only as an employee but as a LUSH fan. I admired the company during this time because they took into consideration that their guests will want to wash up and freshen themselves after being sleepy and in a daze from their treatment. It’s just brilliant.
This treatment may have been exactly what I needed. It made me feel at peace with my changing life, my choices and my adventures.
The LUSH Spa is just one of those things for someone like me to enjoy life and to embrace my own idea of luxury (treatin’ myself), and I recommend it to anyone who needs the same.