My therapist for the Four Seasons Massage of Morocco (75 minutes, £95) at the Four Seasons Resort, Marrakech was Ghizlaine, who took me to my treatment room. Each room is named after a different locally grown plant; mine was Chamomile, known for its calming properties. (I must have looked stressed!)
A foot-bath precedes the massage, so I sat on a chair and placed my feet into a large copper bowl of warm water. Ghizlaine washed my feet with a scrub made from argan oil, essential oil of orange, and sea salt; this smelled amazing and left my feet very smooth and relaxed. As she was massaging in the scrub, Ghizlaine explained that foot-washing is a traditional Moroccan ritual, performed by women of the older generation for their husbands when they returned home each day. The copper bowl is also very much part of the tradition. To close, Ghizlaine squeezed the juice of several cut oranges over my feet, rinsed them one more time, and dried them.
Throughout this ritual, Ghizlaine was very attentive. She checked whether I was comfortable, whether the room was warm enough and whether the music was suitable. She also asked how I wanted to feel after the massage. I asked to be relaxed so Ghizlaine used lavender oil for the massage. She also asked what kind of pressure I liked and I asked for strong.
As I lay face down on the massage bed, I heard a chiming noise. Ghizlaine explained that she was using Tibetan Tingsha, or chimes, and this sound indicated that massage was beginning. When I heard the same sound later, the treatment would be over.
Ghizlaine covered me with towels and blankets then rubbed essential oil of lavender into her hands and held them under my nose. I took three deep slow breaths. The Four Seasons Resort Marrakech produces their own organic lavender oil, and it smelled exquisite. The effect of inhaling it was deeply relaxing and a beautiful way to begin.
Ghizlaine began by massaging my back. Many massages begin with the legs but I preferred this version. It felt much easier to relax once the knots in my back and shoulders had been dealt with. Ghizlaine had taken on board my preference for a strong massage. She really got to work on areas of tightness.
When Ghizlaine asked me to place my hand on my back in order to expose the muscles behind the shoulder blade, she slid my arm much further over than I have experienced before. She was therefore able to work much deeper into the tight muscles around my shoulder blades.
After finishing my back, Ghizlaine used a very hot wet towel to wipe away the excess oil, then worked on my legs. Again, the massage was very deep. After I turned over, Ghislaine worked on the front of my legs then my arms, before covering me up. Finally, she sat on a stool behind my head, once again asked me to inhale the lavender in her palms, and massaged my face and scalp. From that angle, she could also push deeply into my tight neck and shoulder muscles with her thumbs.
I was very deeply relaxed by this stage, so the chiming of the Tibetan Tingsha was a wonderful way to be told that the treatment was finished.
In the relaxation room, I lay on a very comfortable bed and gazed out at the herb garden whilst I gradually floated back to earth.
Try this treatment if: you need to do some floating about of your own.
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Call: +212 524 359 240
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28th April 2014
Length size pools; strong swan pipes; seriously deep tissue massages; beautiful views from outside thermal experiences.
Sniffing therapists; cold treatment rooms; hard sell on products.
Behind the scenes