Once I was suitably attired (in the the standard Marrakesh spa offering of a robe and paper G-string), my therapist, Hasna, led me to one of the treatment rooms off the central courtyard of the Espace Vitalité Chenot Spa. I lay face down on the bed while she dropped oil onto my back and rubbed it into my skin. This was Chenot oil – a blend of sweet almond, arophira, and other ingredients chosen for their alleged ability to boost collagen and smooth the skin.
Hasna placed two small glass cups next to each other on my back; they were attached to wires which enabled them to rhythmically "suck" the skin. This produced a strange but not unpleasant sensation.
Each time Hasna removed the cups, she massaged the area quite vigorously to ease the toxins away from my heart. Once I got used to this rather strange massage, I drifted off to the background churning of the cupping machine. Having done all of the back of my body including quite a long and almost painful session on my buttocks, Hasna asked me to turn over. She covered my skin with the Chenot oil, then used the same cupping and pushing technique on my front. My stomach felt particularly sensitive, but it was bearable.
After 55 minutes of this, it was time for my Hydro Energetic Cure. Hasna led me to another treatment room across the central courtyard. This room had a large white hydro-bath in the centre, already filled with hot water. I carefully lowered myself into the very hot water, while Hasna switched on the hydro-jets and handed me a large plastic shower-head. She asked me to direct this water jet at my stomach.
Hasna left me alone in the room; submerged lights changed the colour of the water every few seconds, and strong jets directed water at my legs, buttocks, arms and back. It was incredibly hot and I began to feel slightly faint, so I climbed out of the bath after five minutes instead of the prescribed 20. Aurélie Jubé, Le Chenot's wonderful spa manager, helped me to one of the relaxation beds. She brought me the first of many glasses of chilled lemon-infused water and I soon started to feel much better. (Chenot recommends that you drink a minimum of eight glasses a day when having these detoxing treatments.)
I declined the offer of returning to the hot bath, but continued with the rest of the detox. Hasna led me to another room off the courtyard, which had a large dry flotation bed covered with thin sheets of clear plastic. Hasna applied Chenot mud (mud enriched with microalgae and white and green clay) onto every part of my body, using a large paintbrush. Hasna put plastic sheets and a towel across my front, then the flotation bed lowered me down over the hot water below. The aim of dry flotation is to experience the weightlessness of floating in water without getting wet; the effect was very deeply relaxing.
Twenty minutes later, Hasna returned, helped me out of the bed, wrapped a towel around me -- over the plastic sheets and mud -- and led me to a room next door. This room felt very stark. It was long and narrow, tiled, and completely empty.
Hasna took away the towel, peeled off the plastic sheeting, and asked me to stand at the far end of the room. She then directed a very strong hose at each part of my body in turn, front and back. Basically I was being hosed down, naked apart from my G-string. It could have been embarrassing but instead it simply felt clinical. The jets were very strong. Even though Hasna was standing about eight metres away, it was almost painful on my stomach and breasts.
When I was mud-free, towelled dry, Hasna led me back to the relaxation beds in the central courtyard. Snuggled up under my blanket, I fell into a very deep sleep. Even when I woke an hour later, I still felt spaced out. That night I slept extremely deeply.
Try these treatments if: you're looking for serious detoxification and recuperation.