Three weeks later and a subtle scent of exotic flowers still lingers in my clothes I wore that day and the day after that.
A waft of fabric in a gentle breeze is all it takes for the aroma to rise and I once again relive the experience of Jasmin Villa Spa in Sri Lanka. Something inside me aches to return to the quiet soft space and once again be led through the ritual of pampered rejuvenation.
In the space of two short visits, I have become a total Spa Tart. I want more, more, more, more!
Spas and beauty parlors in Asia and India cater for all sections of society, so even those traveling on a budget can easily access all sorts of wonderful and exhilarating not to mention rejuvenating experiences.
Caught between flights on a layover in Asia? Hunt down a beauty parlor and have a complete treatment from massage to facial and all the bits in between for less than thirty quid in Bangkok. The first time I organized a trip to SE Asia for two of my cousins, I included Compulsory Massage Stops into our itinerary. Both women were in need of some pampering in life, one had emerged Amazon-like from a battle with breast cancer and the other had the full time care of a paralyzed husband.
The cousins loved it and begged for more, soon we were going every day getting bits and pieces of our bodies polished or soothed or pampered. It was so cheap and a great way to meet and interact with the local women, a girlfriend getaway within a girlfriend getaway so to speak!
Since then my travels have been solo but I continue in the tradition alone. I call it research and wonder if it is tax deductible but forget about that within second of being led into a darkened room. I have had my feet nibbled by fish in a Kuala Lumpur Fish Spa, my forehead threaded in Ladakh, my body massaged with hot oil in Goa and had warm milk poured on my head in a continuous stream for an hour in Kerala and Sri Lanka.
But it’s not all bliss and pampering, Indian head massages feel like your head has been put in a car wash and village women offering massage will knead and pound you like so many kilos of chapatti flour. These days I am wise in the ways of fabulousness on the road and will head for an Ayurvedic center before anywhere else.
I do all this because it’s actually good for my health, and can back it up with hard facts. The Ayurvedic system and science is all about prolonging life and rejuvenation treatments such as hot oil massage and steam baths are actually designed strip toxins out of the body and to rejuvenate the body naturally.
Even better, because rejuvenation is seen as a companion to good health and long life, spa treatments are available as part of any Ayurvedic clinic and not the reserve of the elite.