October 23, 2009

Boulder: Sensorielle Spa is Green-built, Thai Massage, Pay-What-You-Can.

The work of Sensorielle Spa [natural massage therapy based in Boulder, Colorado] aims to “treat body, mind and spirit, uplift people and give you a feeling of wholeness and happiness.” —Jewl Petteway, Owner and Director of Sensorielle.

Walking into this brightly lit, happily enchanted spa was a great escape.  Tucked away in a tiny corner of the ever-busy urban-esque building of One Boulder Plaza in Downtown Boulder, Colorado, the sight of colors (gentle hues of reds, oranges, yellows, greens, browns) and the sounds of chimes and water flowing makes this small spa a huge relief, both mentally and physically. Walking through the entrance, past a sitting room, and down a narrow hallway, the sight of bamboo doors, curtains, ambient light, and plants all around created a wonderfully calm atmosphere.

I was led to what would be my room for the next 90 minutes and changed into traditional Thai pajamas they laid out for me. The treatment Jewl and I decided on was the Thai Massage, both agreeing this type of massage would fit well with elephant and our mission: the mindful life.

My Thai Massage began with a brief introduction from my lovely, wonderful massage therapist Melissa (while I sipped some complimentary local, organic Kombucha), on the history and culture behind the Thai massage. Thai massage is believed to have been developed by Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha,(also known as Shivago Kommarabacca), physician to Buddha, more than 2,500 years ago in India. However Thai massage, like Traditional Thai Medicine more generally, is a combination of influences from Indian, Chinese, Southeast Asian cultural spheres and traditions of medicine. For centuries, Thai massage was performed by monks as one component of Thai medicine.

The Thai Massage works heavily with energy, flow, and movement.  Instead of using oils, the masseuse uses warmth, energy and pressure to work your body. Thai massage is more invigorating and rigorous than more classic forms of massage.

Also known as “lazy man’s yoga,” Thai massage is an ancient art for healing and transformation. This bodywork opens the body on a number of levels, to energize, increase flexibility, improve organ function, decrease pain, and improve overall health. The body is interactively manipulated using stretching and gentle pressure along energy pathways, while comfortably clothed, and laying on a futon. The result is wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating.

In the dimly lit room, Melissa used her hands, knees, legs, and feet to apply varying levels of pressure as she worked up from my toes to my temples, moving my body through a series of yoga-like stretches.  The Thai Massage creates a calm and comfortable, yet energizing atmosphere while also allowing the individual to feel very connected to yourself and the masseuse.  To finish off the 90 minute massage, Melissa used steel bowls as instruments to create a deep, rhythmic drone that bounced off all the walls as I closed my eyes, relaxed and took it all in.

To add insult to injury, I wasn’t even allowed to tip for all Melissa’s hard work.  In addition to Sensorielle being a Pay-What-You-Can Spa—this policy allows for open opportunity  and encourages customers to go by the “honor system” and pay for what they think they should—there is also a “no tipping” policy.  Sensorielle cherishes the customers’ appreciation of the spa, encouraging customers to spread the good word in a hope for growth of the customer base even in such gloomy (economic) times.

So, I’d like to encourage you all to go as I highly recommend Sensorielle Spa! Try out the Thai Massage for something a little different, my experience was absolutely amazing.  I left feeling relaxed, uplifted and with renewed energy. It was a pleasantly interactive experience with Melissa, and really got to focus in on my body’s energy and movement.

Sensorielle is the only green, natural, and organic community day spa located in downtown Boulder, Colorado. Our day spa is a luxurious oasis focused in the complete care and nourishment of the “being” at a price you set. We offer massage therapy, acutonics, ayurveda, detoxifying treatments, prenatal treatments, craniosacral therapy, reiki, reflexology, body treatments, facials, acupuncture (facial renewal, OB/GYN, constitutional treatments), waxing and tinting. We contribute to our community and we care for our earth by using only organic, natural, non-toxic, biodegradable, recycled products. We periodically donate a portion of our proceeds to non-profit organizations in line with our philosophy. We invite you to join us in caring for the environment in your daily living.

Note: elephantjournal.com received this massage for free, in return for a guarantee that we would review said offering.  That said, we say what we want—good and bad, happy and sad.

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