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What It’s Like Getting a Clamshell Massage

At the Bar du Fouquet, contained in the foyer of Le Majestic Lodge in Cannes, France, mixologist Emanuele Balestra fingers me a cocktail of gin, champagne, and scented water stuffed with herbs he handpicked from his fragrant backyard. As I sip my edible fragrance drink, my thoughts wanders to the symphony of sensations on the French Riviera. If the salty breeze from the glistening water, the fragile sunshine, and the baked croissants weren’t sufficient distractions from the trials and tribulations of normal life, I used to be about to get one other deal with: my very first clamshell therapeutic massage.

These indulgent remedies, which function clamshells as their major therapeutic massage device, hint their origins again to the idyllic island of St. Barths within the Caribbean. And hundreds of miles away, in France, they’ve begun to achieve recognition.

What’s a clamshell therapeutic massage?

A clamshell therapeutic massage, after all, begins with a clamshell. The shells utilized in France are sustainably sourced from completely different areas of the Pacific Ocean, says Mathilde Fillon, the lead coach on the Spa Diane Barrière.

“We deliberately goal a number of areas of the ocean to keep away from emptying whole areas. Our aim is to verify we’re dealing with them in a accountable and sustainable method and never disrupting the ocean’s surroundings,” says Fillon. “We then clear the shells, smoothen out its exterior and wash them completely in order that we are able to reuse them.”

As soon as the shells are clear and easy, they’re warmed to evoke the identical sensations as a sizzling stone therapeutic massage. Earlier than the remedy, a therapist prepares the shells by placing dry minerals inside them and activating them with salted water for about half-hour. This mixture of elements provokes a pure heating of the clam shells, to which she later provides avocado oil and leaves to soak. Avocado oil is a wonderful moisturizer that improves the pores and skin’s elasticity, reduces irritation, and strengthens the pores and skin’s barrier.

Chemically talking, the shells’ pure calcium carbonate composition permits them to retain warmth, making certain a soothing and therapeutic expertise. The nice and cozy shells launch pressure and knots within the shoulders, again, and decrease physique whereas selling blood circulation and relieving stress. A therapeutic massage therapist rubs them in intentional, rhythmic, and sweeping motions.

“The therapist is skilled to use the correct quantity of strain on the shells to launch pressure in all the best locations and enhance stimulation so the physique feels soothed with out inflicting any abrasion on the pores and skin,” says Fillon. “Once we work on the decrease physique, the warmth on the shells additionally has the identical impact because the lymphatic draining therapeutic massage.”

In contrast to different massages, that are really helpful often, Fillon confirms that the therapeutic massage might be carried out day by day as a result of it is an awesome muscle relaxer. Sadly, there isn’t any approach to replicate this at residence, because the heating and utility strategies require severe coaching to do appropriately. For instance, any overheating of the clam shells may cause slight burns on the pores and skin.

What occurred after I tried a clamshell therapeutic massage

Though the spa had a delicate aroma of lavender, my greatest concern was whether or not the clam shells would scent fishy and, consequently, if that scent would linger on my pores and skin. Nevertheless, the therapist reassured me that the shells had been cleaned a number of occasions to take away any fishy odors after which hand-polished to create a superbly easy end.

As the nice and cozy clams glided throughout my pores and skin, I appreciated how the pure contours of the shells conformed to my physique—even in hard-to-reach locations!

All through the 60-minute remedy, I did not really feel a large bodily profit, however I did really feel psychological ease. The repetitive movement of the clams on my pores and skin, coupled with the rejuvenating sound of the waves within the background and the refined smells of the avocado oil, put me in a meditative state.

Furthermore, the expertise made me really feel linked to nature in an entire new means. The feeling of the shell on my physique made me replicate on the entire methods we have discovered to harness the sources gifted to us by Mom Nature, and the profound leisure that these humble mollusks had been in a position to impart on me was one thing price shell-abrating.

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