Muddy Romance

Spa Solage's private outdoor shower and mud facial
Each Mudslide treatment involves a private outdoor shower (left).

Once alone in the heated tile room, I am left to paint myself with the mud (which makes me laugh). I then lie down on an impossibly thick towel spread out on a raised, heated platform. “Make sure you only apply a thin coat,” Valerie had told me. “The mud has to dry completely to get the full detoxifying benefits.” Later, she explains that it’s when the mud tightens that it draws toxins from within the skin. I spend 20 minutes stretched out, inhaling the soup of stress-relieving scents, then rinse under a thick stream from a waterfall showerhead, throw on my robe and head to The Waters.

Valerie leads me to a high-ceilinged room for one, in the middle of which rests a sleek modern tub. She’s already drawn a bath with my selected essential oils and bath salts. I enjoy 20 minutes of hot, watery bliss. Next is The Rest, which takes place in ananti-gravity chair and is touted as being “like having a two-hour nap in 20 minutes.” The luscious, white padded lounger enfolds me in its leather contours and Valerie tips me slightly backwards. “When your knees are elevated above your heart,” she says, “that’s when you feel the effects of anti-gravity rest.” She then turns the sound therapy system on, and an instrumental music CD gently pulses bass notes and melody up and through the chair’s surface, soothing my limbs and organs.

“Music has physical benefits,” Valerie says, explaining that it brings about emotional healing, muscle stimulation and even pain relief. “The music, in addition to your position in this chair, will lull you into a deeper state of rest—the next 20 minutes should bring you two REM cycles.” The ensuing one-third of an hour is restful, that’s for sure, but it’s also fun. I’m thrilled by the novelty of having drums and flute trills permeate my bones (too thrilled, in fact, to waste the moments on slumber).