At their Essence Spa, Radisson Blu Atria in Bengaluru upholds the spirit of holistic healing. For them, the importance of ‘making time for yourself’ is a fundamental belief system. By Priyanka Chakrabarti

After a hectic travel schedule, I finally arrive in Bengaluru, where Radisson Blu Atria is my home for the weekend. This Sunday morning begins with an hour-long relaxing therapy at their in-house spa called Essence.

As I enter the spa, the swift aroma of burning incense sticks engulfs me in a warm, relaxing embrace. Charcoal and dusty-grey walls, hints of greenery in the form of indoor plants placed in frequent corners, and shiny wooden flooring, make it a relaxing place to unwind. I spot electric blue mood-lighting spilling on to the corridor from the ceiling. Blue, as they say, is a calming colour, and as I walk through the corridor towards my therapy room, I surely begin to feel its peaceful effect on me.

Essence Spa

I opt for a 60-minute relaxing massage called ‘Harmony’. My masseuse, Dorothy, guides me to the therapy room. I change my clothes and lie face-down on the massage bed. I am asked to take three deep breaths. Dorothy sprinkles mild-warm lavender oil on my back, and with soft, long strokes, begins to knead my muscles. I ask her to explain the technique of the massage, to which she says, “Harmony is a relaxing treatment, wherein I will apply light pressure on you, with lavender oil that is great for relaxation and de-stressing. This massage will put you in the holiday mood right away.”

Essence Spa

She moves on to my legs next, and finally, my feet. Dorothy uses her fingers to apply pressure at certain points on my feet, which almost immediately puts me in a deep slumber. After 30 minutes into the treatment, she asks me to turn over. She then starts pressing the centre of my forehead with both index fingers smeared in lavender oil. I can feel a sense of tranquillity wash over me. She uses the same technique behind my ears, neck, chin and jaw. I feel fresh, alert and at the same time, relaxed.

Once the session is complete, Dorothy wakes me up and sets a warm bath for me. She leaves the room for me to unwind and get ready. I sit up, touch my face and hands, and I decide to leave the oil on for a little longer; my skin feels butter-soft and I am not yet ready to let go of this silken touch. I skip the shower and head back to my room for a nap.

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