I have been lucky enough to experience a variety of treatments at the Lush Spa Shinjuku since they opened. From 30 minute treatments, created to enjoy in your lunch break, to extensive treatments including a relaxing bath.
Each treatment at Lush Spa Shinjuku is unique and fun but the new “Renaissance Spa Treatment” spoke to the history geek in me so I am happy I got a chance to try it out.
Safety First – Corona Safety Measures
In times of COVID-19, Lush generally takes safety measures very seriously. When I booked the treatment I was asked to refrain from it if I left the country in the last two weeks or if I recently knowingly came in contact with a COVID-19 positive person. I was also asked to take my temperature on the day of the treatment, which the therapist repeated once I arrived. When I accidentally dropped my mask after getting dressed, the therapist immediately offered me a replacement mask.
In general, as soon as you enter the Shinjuku Lush store, you can choose between washing your hands with a slice of their soaps or a shower gel or simply disinfect your hands. You can also do both.
If you want to finish your spa experience with some shopping be assured the store is a very safe place as well. Arrows on the floor ask you to only move into one direction if the store is crowded. It is preferred that you ask the staff to get products for you if you are interested in naked products (products without packaging) instead of getting them yourself.
Based on Humoral Therapie
In the fifteenth and sixteenth century, people believed the body was made up of four humors, which balance affected health and mood. The Greek physician Hippocrates is often credited for developing the theory of the four humors which are blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm.
Although the idea of humors might sound very outdated at the first glance it is actually very similar to today’s standards of well being. While proper hygiene was believed to be important to maintain the balance on the outside, the right food and exercise were strongly advised to keep the humors in balance on the inside. Famously bloodletting was part of the more aggressive humoral therapies as well but don’t worry, you won’t find any of that in this modern treatment.
The influence of fragrances on one’s psychophysiological activities has been known since ancient times, so naturally, it has been part of humoral therapies as well. As suitable for Lush, the Renaissance Spa Treatment took inspiration from the belief that certain scents speak to different humors.
How do you Feel?
The Renaissance Spa Treatment is a bespoke treatment. First, I sat down with the therapist and a glass of lemon water to learn about the inspiration for the treatment and the four humors.
The four humors and their belonging feelings are displayed on an amazing looking knot wrap during this treatment. It is monochrome, mystical perfection. At Lush Spa Shinjuku the knot wrap is available in Japanese as well as English. Unfortunately, it is not for sale.
Each humor has a different background with a different bird surrounded by flowers and fruits. I later learned that each background displays the flower or fruit associated with the correlating humor.
After the explanation, I choose the humor which most closely described my current feelings. As it is all about balance, no humor resembles 100% positive or negative feelings so just take your time to see which one resignates.
Each Humor Represents a Different Scent
The trigger words correlating with the four humors are HOPE, PURPOSE, MASTERY, and BELONGING. Each word stands for a different fragrance.
FRANGIPANI Perfume (HOPE): Creamy floral
SAPPHO Perfume (PURPOSE): Woody Vanilla
NERO Perfume (MASTERY): Dark and Smoky
CONFETTI Perfume (BELONGING) = Sweet Floral
I choose MASTERY which resembles black bile/liver. The opposite of MASTERY is HOPE which represents heart/blood.
I was represented with the scents of MASTERY and HOPE, which were NERO and FRANGIPANI. I could choose the one which spoke to me more.
My choice was FRANGIPANI Perfume, which means I choose HOPE. I am sensitive to certain scents which can trigger migraines so I was very happy I could choose between two fragrances.
The Renaissance Spa Treatment – Fragranced Meditation Massage
The treatment starts with a dusting powder scented with the base note of my chosen scent sprinkled on a massage bed. All I needed to undress is anything below the knees but if you wear a bra, I recommend taking it off as well so the massage therapist has easy access to your shoulders.
The chirping of birds set the mood while I got ready and slipped between the towels. I mentioned before that the treatment knot wrap features different birds. Depending on which humor you choose, the bird singing you into relaxation will be the bird pictured in the background of your choice.
Once I was ready, I rang the bell beside the bed and the treatment began. The massage therapist helped me to get into a state of relaxation and meditation. Her whispering the positive attributes associated with my chosen humor while starting the massage helped to direct my energy in the right direction.
The second part of the fragrance experience was a massage oil scented with the middle note of the chosen fragrance. The solid massage bar was melted beforehand so it embraced me in a warm and fragranced hug. The massage concentrated on the lower arms and legs, feet and shoulders as well as the neck.
The in-room treatment ended with the top note of the fragrance bubbling from a pendulum-like cauldron. The fragrance cloud embraced me while I slowly drifted back into reality.
After getting dressed, I was served a special kind of tea which correlates with the treatment fragrance. The sugar used in the tea is flavored and stamped with the same imprint as the massage bar which relates to the different humors.
As the sugar cube hit the water, the tea started bubbling and steaming. It created a fun and delicious end to this relaxing guided meditation treatment.
Feel More Balanced
As mentioned before, I choose “HOPE” for my treatment and I was surprised to realize that I truly felt more positive leaving the treatment. This might have to do with the relaxing experience as a whole but whatever it was, it worked for me.
In collaboration with Lush Japan