The Spirit of the Spa
Quite simply: because spa treatments are organised according to definite protocols, every act leading steadily and smoothly to another. Step by step, mind and body thus learn to adapt to a rhythm different from that of the outside world.
And human beings need rituals. In days gone by, life was punctuated by a multitude of small rituals that regulated daily living. Nowadays, the only rituals that remain are those concerned with birth, marriage and death.Not much to support one through a whole life...
With the loss of rituals a certain sense of the sacred has also vanished. Modern society expects individuals to find the meaning of life in themselves. Religion and ideals fade, leaving individuals to face growing old and death on their own.
We live in an age of individual anguish, yet never has the demand for perfection been so insistent. We are expected to fill simultaneously various roles on different levels – professional, social, conjugal and parental.
Is it surprising that our existence is regulated by the logic of fragmentation?
Fragmentation of one's personality, but also of time:
Despite the increase in leisure time, we devote less time exclusively to one task. Even the perception we have of our bodies is fragmented.
Our beauty products are intended for different parts of the body: for making the face oval, outlining the eyes, firming the neck, flattening the tummy... And all these notions are repeated in the beauty salon with treatments for the face, the neck, the bust, etc.
Not least among the merits of spas and other disciplines of the Far East is the way they have reintroduced an approach that views the individual as a whole, enabling us to rediscover the centre of our being, bringing together our disparate parts.
By means of rituals, the spa responds to the demand of appearance, providing aids and experts. In an exceptional setting, one can become whole again, in tune with oneself. For one, two or three hours, one concentrates exclusively on one's own well-being.
The succession of treatments and actions prepares one in an almost hypnotic fashion to be touched, to be caressed in the best sense of the word, without any sexual connotation. In short, faced with individual anguish and solitude, one is allowed to "let go" without fearing the judgment of others. It is not rare for a person, during a treatment session, to feel that she is on the verge of tears, ready to eliminate long accumulated tensions, not only on the physical, but also on the emotional level.
The spa, a place for contemplation, wrapped in the mystery of cultures, is imbued with every promise. It remains to define and nourish in minute detail this promise of response to a quest for total harmony. And in this way the ritual of the spa brings about a gradual and progressive calming effect.
After a spa ritual lasting an hour and a half, one should ideally lie down and rest for half an hour and even fall asleep. This is why a relaxation room is so important. The spa being, by definition, a place where time stands still, nobody must ever hurry you to the door...
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