Nirvana in each stroke

Nirvana in each stroke

Gets de-stressed, detoxed and pampered with luxurious spa treatments.

Nirvana in each stroke

At Seventh Heaven Spa in Clarks Exotica Convention Resort & Spa near the Bengaluru International Airport, nirvana is within easy reach. But it comes with one simple condition: you have to give it your time. And by that, I mean at least an hour or two. After all, the laborious task of relieving you of your bodily stress cannot be rushed, can it? At 2 pm on a sultry afternoon, I decide to devote two hours for the ‘Marma, Body, Mind and Spirit’ massage. My masseuse for the day is a cheerful woman named Elli.

First, I am asked to change into a soft robe and sit in the steam room for 10 minutes. Easier said than done! As soon as I open the door, the steam hits me like a fireball. I detect the strong, medicinal scent of eucalyptus oil as I let my body adjust to the intense heat. “Eucalyptus oil helps relieve your stress and clears all the blockages in your body,” Elli tells me, when she comes to escort me out of the heat room and into the massage room. There’s no wasting time in the path towards nirvana.

The massage room is lit up with soft amber lights and resonates with soothing Tibetan music. Elli starts by telling me that the massage will involve three phases: head, neck, hand and feet massage, long stroke massage (for which she would use her legs), and pressure point massage. After which, I will be given a herbal body mask. A warm shower will end my two-hour massage sojourn. “Is that okay, ma’am?” Elli asks, with a concern that regularly pops up for the next 120 minutes.

She begins by massaging my neck and shoulders, which are the main stress points for most people. I feel something warm being poured on my shoulders. “This is kumkumadi oil. It will help your muscles relax. Always use warm oil as it helps release all your inner energy,” Elli says. This explains why the massage is called ‘marma’ massage. Derived from a Sanskrit word, marma means hidden. It refers to the vital points in your body where the muscles, joints, veins, bones and tissues meet.

With every firm but relaxing stroke, I feel my muscles opening up. Warm oil is then poured into my palms. “Your palms hold all the pressure points of all the organs,” she says, as she individually presses the points for my liver, heart and kidney. She does the same for my feet before concentrating on my head.

What follows is a champi that reminds me of the head massages of my childhood. Elli coats every strand of my hair with oil and massages my scalp till I am giddy with the herbal scent. I am then directed to lie face down on a foam mattress on the floor. Her hands now only pour oil on my body, but her feet work the magic. “In this massage, unlike Balinese and Swedish massages, we don’t just focus on particular points in your body; it’s not like acupressure either. Instead, we use long-sweeping strokes to give you a wholesome experience,” Elli explains. The massage seems endless as Elli, or rather her feet, work on my body. While at times, her feet press my back into the mattress, other times, I feel her feet only graze my skin, sparing me any kind of massage ‘stress’. The heavy scent and the tranquil music lull me to sleep.

Before I can doze off, my smiling masseuse tells me it’s time to climb on top of the wooden bed. By now, my body is dripping with oil and my mind is trying to find a cosy spot in the world of nirvana. This time, Elli’s massage strokes come with more force. Time seems to have slowed down as my body goes through the same grind of healing strokes over and over again. I am told to relax for 10 minutes while Elli can prepare the body wrap.

From the choices of coffee, chocolate, aloe vera, and more, Elli suggests I go in for honey-almond-milk scrub as she feels that’s perfect for my ‘not-so-damaged’ skin. Like a mother scrubbing her child clean, Elli scrubs my body with the delicious smelling paste. “This scrub will soften your skin, make it glow and get rid of all the dirt,” she states. The ayurvedic scent is now replaced by the aroma of honey and milk.
A warm shower helps me get rid of all the greasiness. Walking out, I feel relaxed, with a body so light that I fear I will float. A cup of hot green tea serves as the perfect end to my stimulating experience.