You don't have to leave Boston to enjoy a little escape. As the new year approaches, it's time to make some solid investments in your well-being, starting with a day at the spa.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental is introducing a new, customized healing crystal treatment that includes a foot ritual, a 20-minute exfoliating scrub and an 80-minute massage — all using the power of gems found in and around New England. It's the first Mandarin Oriental in the U.S. to offer this treatment, and we love that the spa drew from its New England roots to create this unique offering. Here's how it works:
Once your therapist meets you for your treatment, you'll be escorted to a treatment room where a warm foot bath and soothing music awaits. As you soak your feet in the warm bath filled with petals, stones and sand (a typical Asian welcome treatment meant to keep the outside "outside" and release your tension), your therapist will hand you four different stones to toss around in your hands.
Each stone has a different meaning and you're meant to choose the stone that "speaks" to you. Silly as it sounds, you will feel a gravitation toward one particular gemstone. I was hesitant at first, but then surprisingly impressed by how it works. At first glance, I was drawn to the amethyst because of its color and clarity. As soon as I put the stones in my hand, however, the black tourmaline got hot in my hands and I was somehow drawn to it. This was my stone that would be used throughout the treatment.
Each stone holds a specific meaning:
Garnet (found in Maine) is the stone for success in business and the protector of travelers; smoky quartz (mined in New Hampshire) eases joint and back pain, and is meant to help calm the nervous system; black tourmaline (from Maine) promotes creativity and balance; and amethyst (found in Wrentham) is the stone of wisdom, meant to help with meditation and aid in releasing toxins. The stone you pick, according to the spa therapist, is solely related to how you're feeling that day. You might choose a different stone on your next visit, based on where things are in your life balance, or the specific mood you're in. The concept is simply to be in touch with your body.
Once you choose your gemstone, you’ll then pick between two essential oil blends - used for the massage portion of the treatment. Each oil has their own healing properties, focused on relaxation to rejuvenation.
The session then moves to the massage bed, where you'll be scrubbed down with calendula seed and grapseed oil, then moved to an in-room shower to rinse the scrub and reveal a softer layer of skin. Before your 80-minute massage begins, your therapist will hand you the stone you chose, which will be in your possession throughout the massage or strategically placed in its most powerful location (depending on which stone you choose).
The Gemstone Vitality Treatment is available starting Jan. 1, and costs $270 on weekdays and $295 on weekends. If you're really drawn to the gemstone you chose for your treatment, they are available to purchase in the spa shop!
My advice: Get to the spa about 30 minutes early so you can enjoy the benefits of the crystal steam room, therapeutic whirlpool and ultimate relaxation room. It's worth taking an afternoon off to spend the day at the spa!
Readers: What's your favorite spa treatment?
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