On these freezing cold winter days as we rug up layer after layer to keep the iciness at bay, there’s something beautiful about taking to the waters to warm up.
You may be wondering what an Aix therapy is – first introduced in Rotorua in 1903, Aix combines a full body exfoliation, with multiple jets of warm water streaming across the entire body, finishing with an oil relaxation massage.
This sounded like perfection to me, so I decided to give the unique treatment a go. Arriving at Polynesian Spa, I slipped into the new acidic mineral pool overlooking Lake Rotorua and Sulphur Point. All spa therapies include a soak in the mineral pools beforehand to warm up the muscles, soften the skin and relax the mind, which is exactly the effect they had on me.
The acidic mineral pool water (40°C) is sourced from the geothermal Priest Spring, and relieves tired muscles, aches and pains. The four alkaline pools from the Rachel Spring (36°C to 42°C) feature the antiseptic action of sodium silicate nourishing the skin. I moved from pool to pool, enjoying the different views and temperatures.
Before long, an hour had passed and I robed myself to meet my therapist Alex, who was wearing a black one piece bathing suit, with a towel wrapped around her waist… it all made sense, the therapist is going to get wet too!
The therapy began lying face down on an Italian Vichy Aix bed, as Alex applied my choice of exfoliating scrub – the Skin Deep Honey Walnut Polish. Made with New Zealand UMF 12 Manuka Honey and Manuka and Kanuka oils, I was looking forward to the healing and antibacterial properties of honey, which according to Alex, creates a triple action that firms, refines and nourishes – sounds fab to me.
The polish glided on easily and the texture of the walnut made my skin feel invigorated, fresh and alive, made more intense by the combo of the beautiful honey smell.
Then came the fun part – the shower jets were turned on and Alex checked to make sure the temperature was perfect. Streams of water covered my entire body and I relished the feeling of enveloping warmth with the water pressure a light massage in itself.
Once the Honey Walnut Polish was cleansed off, it was then time for the Coconut Oil relaxation massage. This massage was on another level because there were not only the masseuse’s hands applying pressure, but also the water jets. My constantly thinking and moving mind, finally at this stage decided to switch off in a way that’s rare for me, and I was on another level of deep relaxation. When the massage finished, it took me a few minutes to pull myself back and then swing my legs over the side of the table. “Wow…” I said to Alex, “that felt like heaven – thank you so much… I really needed it!”
I asked her for details on the Skin Deep Honey Walnut Polish to buy from the Spa Essentials Shop and take home with me after because it felt so incredible and then I went to the relaxation room, poured myself a cup of herbal tea and sat in the lounger overlooking Lake Rotorua. Before I knew it, I had fallen asleep and when I came to, I drank more tea, read a magazine and then finally and reluctantly, decided to re-enter the real world, promising myself I would get a therapy more regularly because this full relaxation of mind and body is so important for the soul.