Kissing Monty wasn’t one of the skin care tips I picked up when I had a facial at the Montage Spa but it probably should be. When I arrived at the Montage, I was introduced to their friendly furry mascot, a Bernese Mountain dog named Monty. When I crouched down to greet him, I was rewarded by sloppy licks to the face. As I plopped right down on the floor, he tickled my neck as I totally lost myself in laughter. What a wonderful way to start my afternoon of relaxation – smart too – because research shows petting a dog actually lowers blood pressure. Monty helped me easily shake off my work day and enter my first stage of relaxation.
The next stage of relaxation was the “art of spa” which I nicknamed “the pre-treatment treatment.” Before my facial, I wanted to let go of the world, so I went early. Secluded in the women’s lounge area, I followed their suggested “hot-cold-rest-repeat” regime. I started with the dry sauna for ten minutes, followed by a cold deluge, then a cozy lounge chair for five minutes.
Since I am a little on the claustrophobic side, I normally can’t stay in the stream room very long. The steam room at the Montage Spa was different, however; one entire wall was glass. After the steam started filling the room, I didn’t have the usual urge to bolt. I felt completely comfortable through the whole steam cycle for the first time in my life. After my second cold deluge, I entered a deeper state of relaxation as I lounged on the chair.
By then, I felt like a human being again but there was more – the actual facial treatment! I was greeted by Janelle, my esthetician who walked me to the treatment room and made me comfortable. We started with the “art of breath” as she led through a relaxation meditation to calm my mind for stage three relaxation. After cleansing and exfoliating my skin, she applied a whole host of healing treatments and vitamins including a local mountain honey bee populous (like super charged royal jelly) unique to Wasatch Mountains. My skin responded by lapping it up.
While my moisturizing mask did its work, and when I thought life couldn’t get any better, she treated me to a scalp massage and then surprisingly a gentle foot massage. With this, I completely relaxed and then I found myself again. I could hear an inner voice that had been attempting to talk to me for a long time but I had so busy with life, I hadn’t been listening.