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Star Treatment: How one spa is bringing tropical sunshine to rainy Seattle
Verdant, rain-soaked Seattle is almost as far from the tropics as you can get in the States.
At least, that was the case before Stephen Delissio, lead massage therapist at Spa Scotta, developed three popular and intricate treatment rituals to enliven Scotta's service menu:
- Tropical Rejuvenation (60 min./$135), a body and scalp treatment channeling coconut, pineapple and mango to buff and nourish;
- Divine Island Dream (90 min./$185), a lomi lomi massage coupled with a ginseng face mask and mango body extremity treatment;
- and his capstone creation, Island Passion Ritual (2.5 hrs./$300), a leisurely combination including a milk and sugar scrub, pineapple/herb scalp treatment, lomi lomi massage, green tea facial and heated, mango-flavored hand and foot treatment.
Sensing that regulars of Spa Scotta—a chic yet cozy oasis nestled in Seattle's hip University District—would jump at the chance to transport their senses on an exotic journey (even when pocketbooks and busy schedules preclude long-distance travel), Delissio worked closely with educators from Pure Fiji to create this special menu.
"We pooled ideas and combined our favorite spa modalities," he says about working with the company. "We're pleased with how the treatments turned out, and they were really fun to develop." He adds that the softening, detoxifying ritual appeals to (mainly female) clients of all ages, and has been a popular gift item. Here's how Delissio performs his tour de force spa creation:
ISLAND PASSION RITUAL
1. Prior to greeting the client, prepare a body scrub using 1.5 to 2 oz. basic sugar scrub mixed with 3 tbsp. coconut milk emulsion (Delissio recommends Pure Fiji Coconut Milk Bath) and a half-cup of water. Create a separate scalp formula from 2 oz. of pineapple oil mixed with hair loss-inhibiting lavender and dandruff-preventing rosemary.
2. Welcome the guest. (Delissio suggests offering a cup of warming, tropical-esque hot tea such as orange blossom, ginseng, ginger or Rooibos while you discuss any medical issues, muscle soreness, special requests, etc.). Invite her to lie face-down on the treatment table and apply the body scrub in circular motions, using 2 large body towels for draping and 8-10 hot towels to comfort the guest and remove the scrub. After you've fully scrubbed the client, douse her in mango oil, massaging it thoroughly into her skin.
3. Turn the client over, employ an eye mask and breast drape, and repeat the process.
4. Once you've removed all the scrub and sufficiently oiled the guest, perform a 10- to 15-minute scalp massage with the pineapple oil blend. Concentrate on trigger points and distribute the oil thoroughly throughout the guest's hair. (Legend has it that islanders have been using this technique for thousands of years to stave off premature graying!)
5. Wrap her head in warm towels, then have the guest rinse off in the shower (or steam room, if you have one.) Use that time to prepare the green tea face mask and eye pads, and arrange facial towels and the ginseng facial mist. You may also want to ready the hand and foot potion: mango body butter mixed with paprika, hibiscus, peppermint, eucalyptus and jasmine; plus four plastic bags, four booties and some towels (they'll need to be warmed immediately prior to the extremity portion of the ritual!).
6. Have her assume a facedown position on the table again for a 70- to 90-minute lomi lomi oil massage, using long, deep-tissue, heart-directed strokes (Delissio recommends warning clients that they may need to take a restroom break at some point, as these techniques hasten lymphatic flow!) Remember, the lomi lomi rhythm you use depends on each individual's natural body vibrations.
7. After you've turned the guest over and completed the massage, cleanse her face and apply the mask and eye pads. Let the antioxidants and nutrients soak into her skin for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, massage the extremity mixture into her hands and feet, and wrap in warm booties for the duration of the ritual.
8. Spritz the facial mist, remove the booties and wrap hands and feet in warm towels, then have the client get dressed. Prepare to host the next island visitor!
This service primarily features the Pure Fiji product line. —Katie O'Reilly
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