"I am going to take you on a virtual vacation," Brooke Claassen of Reverie Beauty and Bodywork told me as I walked in for my appointment at Estes Park's Wellness Cottage.
"We have virtual reality goggles with noise-canceling headphones… you're going to go to the beach at Wineglass Bay while you have your treatment!"
I was flabbergasted. Until that very moment, I had no idea what was to come because this was the Wellness Cottage's "surprise treatment," first revealed at its Fall Fest on September 23.
I need a vacation - don't we all these days? Virtually traveling to the beautiful national park of Wineglass Bay, located in Tasmania, Australia, was paradise.
As soon as I was fitted with the VR goggles and headphones, I could see and hear the waves crashing onto the white sand of the crescent-shaped beach. I could see the seaweed in the shallows, swaying in the blue-green waves. I looked around and saw the surrounding darkly wooded hills. I looked up to see the party-cloudy sky. I could see all the way out to the horizon.
Relaxing music played in the background. In the therapy room, the subtle scents of island vanilla, ylang ylang, and orange contributed to the immersive vacation by engaging another one of my senses.
Brooke's treatment consisted of lower leg scrubs, a seaweed wrap, and a lower leg massage with mango butter, coconut oil, reflexology, and hot towel wraps. After 45 minutes of this heavenly experience, I was relaxed and revitalized. "And now you've had a massage on the beach!" she said.
"Nobody feels safe to get on a plane right now," said Melissa Roberts, who also runs her practice (Estes Park Acupuncture) from the Wellness Cottage located at 1140 Manford Avenue in Estes Park.
"I cancelled a couple of vacations myself," she said. "But it's not really an escape in a negative way. Things like this help you go inward, reconnect with your body through deep relaxation. I think this is where you really heal.
"I'm moving more into incorporating the spa model into the medical model”
Melissa plans to incorporate VR with her treatments as well. Other practitioners who operate out of the Wellness Cottage include massage therapist, Blair Brown, and Logan Morris who is dual licensed (like Brooke) in massage therapy and skincare.
If the beach isn't your thing, Claassen and Roberts have developed two other treatment "vacations" - spend your time on the moon looking down on the earth while getting paraffin dips on your hands and feet … or, visit the Northern Lights and have a warm/cold stone massage.
For those who don't desire touch, you can have essential oils paired with a guided meditation with your virtual vacation.
The VR set obtained by the Wellness Cottage is made specifically for spas and able to be completely disinfected between uses. I felt very safe with the sanitation and precautions taken at the Wellness Cottage for COVID19 mitigation.
At the Fall Fest open house event on September 23, most of the activity occurred outdoors with clients signing up for specific time slots for 15-minute tastes of several services the Wellness Cottage offers. Products and artwork were also for sale in the lot outside the Cottage, and Rations Food Truck was on hand.
Once inside for my appointments I was reassured to see the rigid measures in place to address the pandemic. I signed up for ear acupuncture, a back scrub & massage, another virtual vacation, a B12 shot, and a numerology reading. These are just a few of the services of what the Wellness Cottage offers.
“We are so grateful to Roaming Rations Food Truck for providing great food, the Rent All for supplying and setting up a tent, and to Christine Fitzgerald for helping us to run a safe and successful event. Thank you to everyone that attended and made this a community event.” Said Melissa.
Why do the virtual vacation twice in one week, you ask? All I can say is: these days, if we must have natural disasters, pandemics, and social unrest every day... why not?
Actually, virtual reality can offer quite a few benefits in itself. Non-clinical studies on a particular brand show that using VR for relaxation can reduce pain, anxiety, and the effects of stress. Disclaimer: this is not intended as treatment for a diagnosable medical condition.
It feeds your imagination when you’re too depleted to think of happy, comforting things yourself.
I am beginning to realize that self-care is of utmost importance right now and like most people, my mental health affects my physical well being quite a bit.
For a rejuvenating staycation (and other self-care treatments), I recommend Estes Park Wellness Cottage! You can contact or book appointments with Brooke (Reverie Beauty and Bodywork) by call/text: 402-304-6691 or visit reveriebeautyandbodywork.com. You can contact or book appointments with Melissa (Estes Park Acupuncture) by call/text: 970-577-9725 or visit estesparkacupuncture.com.
Article reposted with permission from Reverie Beauty & Bodywork