May I first make it clear that I love a good trip to a spa to reboot and perk up. BUT. On a recent trip to a reputable spa with my mother for an ‘Overnight Reviver’ I was suddenly struck by the effects that it started to have on me. Before then I had never spent more than a couple of hours in a spa, but after over 24 hours of whale sounds and jasmine oils it was too much. I was going insane.
Why hadn’t I noticed it before? The white robes, the quiet rooms, the banning of mobile phones or any other contact with the outside world… I was obviously in a mental hospital where the ‘therapists’ prescribe facials instead of Xanax (shame). So why do we sign ourselves up to this experience? To be cut off from the real world in exchange for a commune like vibe where everyone hangs out with strangers with no make up on and dressing gowns and thinks nothing of it? Sure, I’m loving all the back rubs and the goop that’s spread on my face to give it a ‘fresh dewy glow’, but is the pipe music necessary… really? Is it completely mandatory for my ‘therapist’ to use that voice? You know the one I’m talking about, somewhere between air-hostess and child minder. I was musing this mid treatment and found myself massively suppressing the urge to ask ‘Are you taught that? Do you speak to your friends like that? What would I have to do to make you lose your shit?’
It’s not that I don’t buy into the whole spa experience, I felt better for my ‘reviver’ but it’s the fact that nobody thinks its weird, after a spa experience I feel like I have to be acclimatized to normal society to stop myself from having a mental break down – which would ironically land somewhere not dissimilar to the place I left – I wouldn’t be able to cope with the noise, colour, and general sanity of the rest of the public. So are spas good or bad for us? Yes they give our skin that ‘ethereal glow’ but are we willing to sacrifice our sanity for the results?
I’ve come to the conclusion that spas are like really crappy reality tv. A little bit, once in a while makes you feel good, but if you get addicted it will have an effect on your brain. Your brain will turn into a vacuous space, filled with pipe music, and your perception of the real world will become warped.