Jackie and I were invited to a wedding in Palm Springs, California. It was a small, intimate wedding with only about 35 people in attendance, including the wedding party, family and friends.
The invitations were sent out via e-mail with a complete itinerary for Friday evening and the majority of the day on Saturday. So this was an event more than just a wedding. The wedding was on Friday night about 4:30 and was held in a beautiful restaurant in Palm Springs called Copley’s On Palm Canyon. The food was amazing and the ceremony was simple and laidback but still had the feel of deep love and emotion. After the ceremony we all sat down to eat together and we had a blast.
Before I move on to Saturday, let me backtrack for a second. When we got the invitation, there were instructions on how to go about booking our activities on Saturday. We were to meet at the 2 Bunch Palms Spa in Dessert Hot Springs California. A spa?? Spas are for chicks. What was I going to do while all the girls went and had facials and massages???
So I called Brian, the groom, and said “ Hey, What about this spa thing? He tells me, “Bro, you’ll love it. Just shut up, pay the money and relax. It will be great.”
Well, I trust Brian like a brother so I told Jackie to go ahead and book us a spa treatment. There were multiple options. You could choose from a Cranial Sacral treatment, a massage, a facial, a mud bath, a Watsu massage or a body polish, just to name a few. The options were almost overwhelming. Jackie and I decided to do a mud bath with an Arnica wrap. I totally trusted Jackie that she would not get me into anything that would make me uncomfortable.
As a guy who is a former college football player and coach, as well as an active participant in the CrossFit community, competing in multiple CrossFit Games regionally and nationally, I feel like I am secure in my masculinity. BUT, I was a little skeptical about a mud bath and what is an Arnica wrap anyway? But in order to try something new and get out of my comfort zone, I gave it a shot. As the owner of MealFit.co, I am all about a healthy lifestyle and making sure my body is taken care of on the inside and out. So I was up for anything that was going to make me feel better or look better.
As we drive up to the property,at the 2 BUNCH PALM which is in the middle of the desert, the front gate is very unassuming. There is a guard on hand to make sure you have an appointment and he politely lets you in after he gives you very specific instructions on where to park and where to go.
Upon leaving your car, you see numerous signs telling you the property is a quiet place and to speak in a whisper. As a former college offensive line coach, speaking in a whisper is a stretch for me. But, when you’re in Rome, you do as the Romans do. So you speak in a whisper.
We are greeted by a wonderfully pleasant receptionist who checks us in, gives us our robes and walks us to the changing room equipped with a locker to keep our stuff. We walk the grounds for a bit and are amazed at the manicured landscape. The place spares no expense when it comes to the appearance and layout of the property. After walking around for 15-20 min, we go back to the check-in desk to get ready for out treatment. Jackie and I decide to do a treatment where we could be together simply because we had no kids and alone time is a premium when you have a 6 year old and a 3 year old.
We are greeted by two ladies who have loads of personality that walk us to what looks like a World War II bomb shelter. She opens up the heavy metal doors and there sit two stone bathtubs that are filled with mud, which is a mixture of peat moss, clay and mineral water. One of the ladies then instructs us on how to properly get in the bath so we do not burn our feet because it is extremely hot on the bottom of the bath.
Jackie and I then go into the adjoining shower room and take off our clothes to get into the mud bath. Yes, you read that right…totally naked. Jackie and I get in the warm bath, inching our way lower and lower into the mud. Once we are covered, the ladies come back in and proceed to open up the front of the “bomb shelter” to a view and a breeze that is breathtaking. When we first get in, it takes a second to get used to. But once you settle in, it feels unexpectedly relaxing. Your body is surrounded by a warm coating that gives you a total sense of relaxation. The mud bath has a variety of benefits aside from detoxification. Because you are suspended, your spine receives a re-alignment and your skin is exfoliated. It’s like a hot tub but better. The ladies tell us they will be back in a min to check on us, but instruct us to relax for the next 15-20 min.
20 min later, about the time I am starting to get hot, the ladies knock on the door and enter with 2 cool towels and drape over our foreheads, which is just enough relief from the warm mud that is now engulfing your from your neck to your ankles. 5 minutes later she instructs us to shower off and get ready for the next step in the treatment. After Jackie and I shower we put our robes back on and head across the sidewalk to another “bomb shelter” where there are 2 massage tables sitting side by side. She gives us instructions to take off our robes and lay face down on the table and place a towel over our butts. As we walked in I noticed a crockpot filled with water. In the water were 4 bottles filled with some kind of liquid or oil. The ladies then return back into the room and proceed to rub the entire surface (all except what the towel is covering) of our body with this amazing smelling, warm Arnica oil. They squeeze the warm oil from the bottle and then immediately rub it into the skin leaving a heavy coating of the warm oil all over the surface of our bodies. After repeating the entire process on the front of our bodies, except the parts covered by the towels, they then take hot towels and place them on our torsos that cover from chest to somewhere around mid thigh. We are then wrapped up in the sheets that we are lying on, along with the extra blankets, much like a burrito so as to keep the warmth of the oil and the towel inside. The wrap rehydrates the skin and the arnica increases circulation. The final step is a mud mask on our faces made of a Chai Soy Green clay that is meant to purify, detoxify and hydrate the skin.
After we are unwrapped and dressed again, Jackie and I take some pictures then head into the dry sauna for a couple of minutes before heading to lunch on the grounds.
Words cannot express how relaxed and rejuvenated I felt at the end of the session. One of the things I realized is that I do not do that enough! Many of the guys out there that are reading this are saying there is no way you would do this. You’re too much of a man for something like that. I totally understand where you are coming from, because I thought the same thing. After doing it, my thought process has changed. I realize this was something that I needed from a relaxation standpoint and also from a relational standpoint with my wife. Doing things like this make her feel special and lets her know how much you love her. Just the fact that she knows you are getting out of your comfort zone for her will mean the world to her. The crew at the 2 BUNCH PALM was amazing. Every staff member was there to serve you at your every beck and call. These people out service number 1 for sure.
Lastly, understand this, a day at the spa is not just for chicks, its an amazing service that will benefit you physically and relationally. Do yourself and your marriage a favor and treat your lady to a day at the spa…..together.