Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team
Baseball season has officially started and you’re getting those pants with the expandable waist ready for Easter brunch this weekend. All of these things are signs that warmer weather and longer days are right around the corner, but considering it snowed last Sunday, days on the beach still seem scheduled for the distant future.
Similar to purging items from your closet or washing off the deck chairs, a trip the Peninsula Spa by ESPA could be considered as a method of personal spring cleaning. The spa recently introduced a collection of “Ceremonies,” which were especially designed for the Peninsula by ESPA. The treatments are considered a fusion of European concepts with Asian and Ayurvedic philosophies and contemporary treatment skills (all the technicians are heavily trained and tested before being able to deliver the services).
There are several options to choose from, but if you’re looking to shake the winter doldrums, then go for the Uplifting Mint Experience (2 hours, $295). Unique to the Peninsula Chicago, beating the blues wasn’t the only reason why mint was chosen for the treatment. The herbaceous plant actually grows naturally in the Midwest (yep, we have more than corn here) and then there’s that cheeky parallel to Wrigley.
Arrive a bit early so you can spend some time hanging out in the relaxation area, complete with fireplace and electrically controlled lounge beds separated by privacy curtains. Just as you are about to doze, a spa attendant brings you hot mint tea and a granola snack. After all, you need a little sustenance for a two-hour treatment.
Your experience begins in the treatment room with a refreshing tea and ceremonial foot ritual using fresh mint. At this time, the therapist walks you through an aromatherapy “scent test,” so that the products used in your treatment are customized to your liking and need. A skin softening mint and apricot kernel body scrub prepares the skin for the massage which is where the magic begins.
Advanced massage techniques are used to tap into the marma points on your body. Stemming from Ayurveda, marma-point massage has been utilized for thousands of years, but has just recently been introduced to the Western World. Marma is a Sanskrit word meaning hidden. A marma point is a juncture on the body where two or more types of tissue meet, such as muscles, veins, ligaments, bones or joints. The idea behind massaging marma points is to cleanse blocked energy (also called chi). The refreshing mint oil that is used is believed to improve headaches, mood and provide stress relief. All good things must come to an end and in this case, the end involves a scalp massage to dispel any remaining tension.
If you’re looking for a traditional Swedish massage, then this is not for you, but if you’re looking to leave the treatment room feeling instantaneously refreshed and centered (and who isn’t), then this unique experience should be added to your checklist as you go out with the old and in with the new this spring.
Call 312.573.6860 to make a reservation for your spa experience