Embrace a sensuous world of holistic rituals that will leave you and your partner feeling rejuvenated in both body and soul, and re-ignite the flames of hot passion. You need not get intimate with each other to experience bliss together. Sharing the same experience can get you there too.
A bath ritual features a series of spa pleasures and the opportunity to float around in the tub with the person you like best in the whole world. Spas usually pull out the stops for this amorous rite and you will find your bath strewn with rose petals, floating candles and sensual music. Soaking together in the tub starts with choosing an essential oil before you immerse yourselves in the tub…and in your relationship! The ritual aims at easing the tension in your bodies.
Chamomile, lavender, basil and bergamot are essential oils that promote relaxation, whereas rosemary and pine warm the muscles and ease aching joints. While the tepid water relaxes muscles, the essential oils do wonders by calming your body and eliminating stress.
Where: All spa resorts offer this ritual. Choose a resort for its majestic ambience, like any of the Jiva spas at the Taj hotels and you are sure to increase your sensual pleasure.
Envision you and your better half soaking in a vat full of sinful milk chocolate. A tender exfoliation with a potion of cocoa bean husks and thick butter follows the soak. You will then be cocooned in a Chocolate Fondue Wrap prepared with balmy moor mud and essence of cocoa. Finally, a delectable chocolate massage ends the ritual. This is not some weird chocoholic’s fantasy, but a treatment available at spas around the world.
Besides the aroma of chocolate eliciting a chemical reaction in the brain that induces feelings of first falling in love, it has barfuls of physical benefits as well. In addition to the endorphins creating an emotion of euphoria, dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants which help reduce wrinkles and keep the skin tight and supple. The caffeine in the cocoa boosts circulation and that is why couples coming out of this treatment feel energised and alive.
Where: The Chocolate Escape Package was first introduced at the Hershey Spa in Pennsylvania, USA. India has a few places where this is available. Frank Provost Spa in Mumbai offers a treatment called the French Kiss [chocolate honey scrub] and Love Choco Ballad [chocolate body scrub followed by a sensuous massage]. The Windflower Spa and Resort in Mysore has a Chocolate Indulgence package.
Earth stone massage
Hot Stone Massage is the ultimate, nurturing healing massage. This profoundly relaxing and balancing treatment can be 75 minutes of unadulterated ecstasy for couples. First, you have to lie down on massage tables covered with linens, steeped in herbs. You are then gently covered. Smooth, heated ‘placement’ stones are positioned tactically on bare body parts, and ‘working’ hot and cold stones are used in a complete rub down that leaves every muscle and tendon soothed. The heat from the stones penetrates, provoking an utterly tranquil state and an almost magical release of muscle tension—giving you a feeling of invigorated elation.
Earth Stone therapy improves posture and circulation. The warmth of the basalt stones will leave you with lingering sensations of comfort and relaxation. In contrast, the cold marble stones help the body to detoxify and heal, lulling you and your partner to the unknown realms of heaven.
Where: Most spas offer this treatment; choose one that is closer to nature to multiply the pleasure.
Ropana body ritual
The Ropana Body Ritual is over two hours of perfect romantic pampering. This ultra-lavish treatment begins with a steam and a soothing flower petal foot soak. An abhyanga massage [a full body massage with long, deep soothing strokes], exfoliation and a deep cleansing herbal mask follow. Your ritual ends with an aromatic flower bath. Two therapists attend to each of you separately, but you can still get intimate with your eyes and mind.
This cleansing and healing ritual that aims at restoring balance between body and mind. Created around the benefits of neem, this ritual blends the therapeutic properties of date seed, green tea and blood orange. More than two hours of this shared private pleasure will bring about a feeling of serenity and maybe much more.
Where: This ritual is tailor-made for couples at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai in your private suite.
Vinotherapy or wine therapy is an indulgence that started in a French winery where the skins and seeds of the grape were used for their healing properties rather than being disposed of. This intoxicating three-step treatment starts with a gentle exfoliating scrub prepared from sticky sugar and plump grape skin extracts massaged onto your bodies. Sugar has wonderful skin tightening and antioxidant elements, and while the scrub is allowed to soak in, you and your partner are snugly wrapped in warm blankets, lying side by side. After an invigorating shower, your skin is smoothed and prepped for a full-body application of nourishing grape seed oil.
Besides leaving your skin delightfully tingling, Chardonnay and Shiraz wraps contain high levels of polyphenols that heal skin damage and detoxify. These chemicals are responsible for preventing coronary heart diseases, combating pollution, sun damage and are 20 times more effective than vitamin C.
Where: The trendiest spas in India have promised to start this sumptuous treatment and the ones to watch out for are the major wine houses in the country. Anushka salon and spa in Chennai does offer a heady grape treatment, it’s only a matter of time until the others catch up.
On the whole
Holistic treatments stimulate all five senses, opening you up completely to the person besides you, garnering a renewed sense of togetherness. Physical touch coupled with correct breathing techniques are powerful therapeutic tools to lift your mood and heal your soul. It increases and improves the energy flow throughout your body allowing the release of negative emotions and memories, thereby reducing the harmful impact they have upon your feeling of wellbeing.
Couple spa treatments not only strip you down to your bare selves, but also break down stress barriers, and offer a unique way to experience romance. After experiencing the rituals together, you and your partner may feel relaxed, aroused or emotionally more exposed—bringing you closer in mind, body and spirit.
This was first published in the Feb 2009 issue of Complete Wellbeing.