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After I’m unwrapped, I lie on a massage table as a long wand with six showerheads gently soaks me with 104-degree water. I feel as pampered as a baby. A therapist then lightly massages a lavender hydrating crème all over me, which smells as unbelievably good as I felt at that moment.
Arrive early at the 20,000-square-foot spa, and you can use facilities like saunas and Stillpoint, a room for reflection with comfy chairs, cucumber water, and excellent selection of teas.
Hilton Sedona 90 Ridge Trail Dr. (928-284-6919; www.hiltonsedonaresort.com/eforea_landing_page/)
Mii Amo A Destination Spa at Enchantment
Remember the movie Splash? If you’ve ever dreamed of turning into a mermaid and swimming off without a care to Atlantis, the watsu massage at Mii amo – rated one of the world’s finest destination spas (three-, four- or seven-night programs), at Enchantment Resort – may be the closest you’ll get to donning a seashell bra and growing fins.
Watsu is “water shiatsu.” Shiatsu is a Japanese form of bodywork using finger pressure and stretching to create a sense of balance and peace. At Mii amo, the unique experience takes place in an outdoor pool of 96-degree water with the majestic red rocks of Boynton Canyon towering above. Your therapist continually supports your body as you stretch and float on your back and occasionally your side. Touch is central, as the therapist uses his or her body in the treatment (you both wear bathing suits). For example, your therapist may stretch your quadriceps by putting his or her shoulder under your knee while supporting your back and neck with his or her hands.
The warm water allows for instant relaxation and the freedom from gravity provides an extraordinary amount of flexibility. For most of the 60-minute session you are immersed except for your face (earplugs are provided), making for an otherworldly experience. After leaving the tranquility of the pool, my body continued to feel feather-light.
Mii Amo 525 Boynton Canyon Rd. (888-749-2137; www.miiamo.com)
Therapy on the Rocks
While it may sound like an excellent name for a cocktail, Therapy on the Rocks promises a healthier form of release. If you are looking for a pampering massage with aromatic lotions, soft candles and Native American flute music, Therapy on the Rocks is not necessarily what you want. Relief from chronic pain, restored freedom of movement, and reduced tension is the goal of clients here.
Therapy on the Rocks specializes in myofascial release, a technique that holds a system of sustained pressure and stretching will relieve chronic pain. It is not about indulgence, it’s about life transformation, says Nancy Hay, patient services coordinator.