Body,  Spa

My Polynesian mini break

Last week I went on a mini break to Polynesia, but no visas, airports or flights were required.

I went to Life Day Spa in Cape Town to experience their new Thalgo Polynesian Ritual, a full body exfoliation and massage treatment, which takes you on a journey through the exotic archipelago, stopping at different islands.

The journey started with the welcome ritual called ‘la Ora Na Maeva’ which means ‘hello and welcome’ in Polynesian. My therapist, Heather, then explained each step of the treatment, as well as the significance of the techniques and products to be used in the ritual. I loved this step, as I always like to know what to expect, and can then relax knowing that my therapist isn’t going to talk all the way through the treatment.

The first stop in my journey was at Taha’a, also know as the Vanilla Island. This step was an invigorating body scrub infused with vanilla from an orchid found on the island. The scrub granules are made from Polynesian sand, sea salt and coconut shell to exfoliate and smooth the skin, and plant oils to nourish and soften the skin.

After a quick shower to remove the scrub, I was back on the bed with warm water pillows under my feet and tummy for the next stop over in my journey, Bora Bora. This was the massage section of the treatment. Each area is treated to no less than 5 different Polynesian massage techniques, known as a Mahana massage. The oil used is called the Algo-Monoi Sargassum complex, which is a blend of Polynesian marine, flower and plant extracts that smells like an exotic garden.

The five different methods used are: Oceanic Spirals (rhythmic figure of 8 movements), Polynesian Kneading (wave like, kneading actions), Tahitian Breeze, (feels like rapidly running water hitting your skin) Lomi-Lomi Smoothing (therapist uses her forearm to massage in long, sweeping movements) and Tuiponos (this is done using pouches filled with warm sand to relax the muscles). In between each area, the therapist gently sways your body using a technique called Tamuré, which makes you feel like you’re being rocked by the gentle rhythm of the sea.

My last stop was at the sacred island of Raïatea to have a finishing touch of golden Polynesian sacred oil applied to my arms and décolleté. The oil is a dry oil version of the one used for the massage, but with glistening specks of golden pearl added to give a subtle shimmer to my now silky smooth skin. Heather finished my treatment with warm honey tea to maximise my relaxation.

My two hour treatment left me feeling almost as relaxed as a week on the islands.

There is also a surprise last island that you can visit yourself at home. Manihi is the Lagoon Island, and to experience this island, all you have to do is drop a Lagoon Water Pebble into your bath. The pebble will release hundreds of micro-bubbles and a deep azure hue, turning your bath into a beautiful lagoon. The colour is from the hydrating marine complex and the scent if from white water lily and citrus, both known for their relaxing properties. The Exotic Island Body Scrub and the Polynesian Sacred Dry Oil are also available for home use.

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