Whenever my muscles start giving me grief, there’s nothing better than a deep-tissue massage to work out those deeply held patterns of tension. And the most relaxing and therapeutic way to maximize a massage is with the addition of aromatherapy. As the oils are rubbed and released into the skin, the synergy results in a clear mind and a renewed spirit. Of course, it helps to have a great massage therapist. I was lucky enough to encounter both at the Casa Laguna Inn & Spa, a 1920s mission-style inn terraced on a hillside in Laguna Beach, California.
I began with a detoxifying soak in therapeutic Pacific sea salts in a private outdoor spa tub. The ocean views of towering palms framing the blue Pacific began the relaxation. Then I took a short stroll to the cozy, oversized treatment room through lush tropical gardens and flower-splashed patios. During warmer weather, you can choose to have your massage in one of the private spa pavilions at the top of the property.
Essential oils used in aromatherapy can have different effects—some can be relaxing and sedating, others stimulating and uplifting. It’s always best to choose a blend that will address your particular needs and whose fragrance you find appealing. The therapist can help you choose. I opted for the Casa Laguna Herbal Blend, an exotically soothing and relaxing combination of ylang ylang, geranium, sandalwood, patchouli and clary sage. And my therapist? Let’s just say she received a really big tip.
Casa Laguna Inn & Spa
Laguna Beach, California
Kris Wetherbee grows herbs in western Oregon.