by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
On Thursday night, I went to my first Spa Warming Party. What a treat. My classmate, Mariko, just started working at Nurture Thyself Day Spa here in Victoria. She calls this her “dream job” and I can see why she loves this spa so much.
As part of the festivities, each of the invited guests were allowed to sign up for two complimentary spa services. I quickly wrote my name down for a make up application because I was curious to learn more about the Jane Iredale line. I also signed up, without thinking twice, for the chi machine, even though I had never heard of anything like that before.
What’s a chi machine? Is it like a time machine? I didn’t know what to expect. When my turn came for the chi machine, I was taken to a small, dimly lit room that had a bed and an infrared sauna. I remember the scent of lemongrass as I entered the spa. I took my boots off and was told to lay down on my back on the bed and rest my ankles in the cradles. My feet were slightly elevated and once the chi machine was turned on, my feet and legs started rocking from side to side, left to right. I closed my eyes and began to relax.
The jiggling reminded me of a body balancing routine we learned in esthetics school where we rolled the legs from the ankles which caused a slight rippling effect through the hips. Until now, I didn’t know the purpose of this step but this gentle leg rocking motion has some significance. It’s known as the “Goldfish Exercise” or “kingyo undo” in Japanese and is often included in Shiatsu massage. As it turns out, doing the goldfish stimulates your chi, or life force energy.
On top of all of that, (or more accurately, beneath all of that), I was lying on a warm and comfortable Amethyst Healing Crystal mat. Amethyst crystals, which come in shades of purple and mauve, are known for their healing and calming properties. Amethyst can help with insomnia and you can put it under your pillow to encourage pleasant dreams. You can also use amethyst during meditation and to increase your spiritual awareness.
As I was lying in my own little spa world, I was thinking to myself that this is a really soothing and relaxing experience. I could feel the heat from the amethyst on my back. The heat was like sitting with your back to a fire place in a cozy log cabin. It occurred to me that I was heading toward a meditative state and I thought I’d take advantage by saying a few affirmations. That was a good idea.
After 15 minutes or so, the machine stopped by itself. In the next few quiet moments, I felt the sensation of effervescence. I felt as if I was a glass of champagne and bubbles were floating through my body.
After my chi machine treatment, I noticed I felt more relaxed. Somehow, I felt better. There was a slight yet perceptible shift in my mood. I felt a more positive outlook and a more confident vibe and all of a sudden I found myself volunteering to do foot massages to help out at the spa warming. Another good idea.
If you ever get a chance to try a chi machine session, I highly recommend it. Regular naps on the chi machine can help with an arm’s length of health concerns including sleep disorders, skin irritations and stress. And when you combine amethyst crystals with the chi machine, you’ve got a winning prescription for wellness. Give Mariko a call at Nurture Thyself Day Spa when you’re in Victoria and ask for the Purification Ritual which includes Infrared Sauna, Chi Machine on the Amethyst Crystal Mat and Ionic Foot Bath (1.5 hours for $85). Tell her I sent ya.