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Try something new everyday – Day 1- Vichy Treatment

I have a quote from the famous depressive Charles Schultz on my wall. It’s not exactly inspirational but I look at it each morning as I wake in order to keep my expectations right sized.

“My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?”  – Charles M. Schulz

Whatever I’ve been doing lately, it’s not been working. So instead of blaming hormones, lack of sleep, the job, my Irish disposition, the state of the economy, I’ve decided I must hunt out a small new thing to try each day.  Today it was a Vichy massage. This cost some money. Hopefully my other experiments will not cost as much but I did have a gift certificate I won for having the best costume in a Halloween Road Race.

 When I think of Vichy, I think of collaboration, and not necessarily in a good way. The word Nazi pops into my head.  I try to put this aside and remember that the  warm bubbly waters of Vichy  helped many ill people, especially soldiers recuperating from WWI, some of whom are pictured below.

When I made my reservation on the phone they didn’t  ask for a credit card, nor did they ask for payment upon my arrival. I guess this is how the 1% flies, and of course McDonald’s.  My face was somewhat aghast when I saw the shower room. The darkness of the place, all the apparatus and then WWII images in my head made me want to run away. I’m not kidding. I got more tense, if that’s humanly possible in my case.  My sisters know I am not good at hiding my emotions. The masseuse had to calm me down. Let me show you some photos from the original Vichy spa in France.

At the Vichy Hopital militaire WWI era photo

At the Vichy Hopital militaire WWI era photo

Vichy douche for men- more like a water cannon

Vichy douche for men- more like a water cannon


I guess there was no point in having windows looking out into downtown Anchorage while I was face down on a massage table.  Being surrounded by so much tile also reminded me also of when I worked in a butcher shop. Tile makes it easier to hose down at the end of the day. Dogs would  follow me home because of the meat stuck on the bottom of my boots, but that’s a different story.

First comes the massage, along with relaxing music with little bird chirps added in. That was okay. Then comes the water. First I got hosed down with water that was hot but not burning hot. I mean hose as in a fire hose, so loud that the music and the birds were drowned out.  I thought a pool might develop in the head cradle around my nose and mouth, drowning me as well but it did not.  Amazingly, they left the sheet on the massage table and the towel on top of me.  The wet towel felt a bit Temple Grandin like. I was calmed by this heavy warm presence. Then the weird ceiling jets came on. First they’re pleasant like a warm Hawaiian rain,  then my masseuse made them more like stinging  laser beams around my spine. I felt I was bleeding but convinced myself that she would probably turn them off if red liquid was spilling onto her sheets and the floor.  Then she pours this cooler water on you that’s kind of scented and it’s almost like having a good dish of food with many different tastes.  I felt tired and dizzy afterwards. I guess you might say I was relaxed as it was nearly impossible to find the energy to get angry.

There was a man younger than me waiting outside when I was done. He was primping before going in. I usually primp afterwards, but to each his own.  I emerged into the dusty Anchorage wind ready to go home and take a nap.  I would recommend you try this once, especially if you like water.

It’s the time of year for beginnings so  we’ll see what tomorrow brings in terms of trying something new.  I’m taking it one day, one shower at a time.


About polarflares

My head is so big because it has so many holes and air gets in.

7 responses »

  1. Egad, horrifying and funny. Went to a hot springs in Washington State along the Columbia River that had me freaked out; dim and creepy and as if going back to the 1940’s. I almost backed out. In the end I was super relaxed. But I only soaked in a bath tub and got wrapped in towels. None of the hose stuff.

  2. As you were ‘relaxed’ and ‘didn’t have the energy to get angry’ I guess this had a positive effect on you.
    Have only had a professional massage once, no water involved. I felt quite floppy afterwards.
    The following sauna was another matter. I overcooked, and my gold cross necklace left a mark on my chest. Put me off to be honest.
    What’s on the agenda for you tomorrow I wonder?

  3. Sounds like it worked!


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