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British ColonisationSome years ago, the spas in Mauritius’ newly built 5-star hotels resembled carefully sculpted sanctuaries, created to satisfy the needs of even the most discerning customer. International labels were widely propagated and each spa was eager to show off the talents of their trained therapists; experts in the arts of applying those outlandish products, brimming with first-hand knowledge from across Europe, and of products, which came in by air-cargo.

Thankfully though, recently, the new trend towards bio quality, organic planting and fresh products transferred to our small island and found its way into the beauty sector. Suddenly hand-picked and untreated tropical ingredients for creams, lotions, body scrubs and wraps were in high demand. Hotels hastily adapted to it; arranging their own spa-gardens and planting for their own use. A host of new and simple spa therapies, including the calming and healing virtues of noni leaves, cooling cucumber or mint cocoons, nourishing virgin oil of coconut packages, deeply soothing aloe vera, softening sugar and skin-smoothing tropical fruit such as papaya or pineapple sprang up like wildfire. Today, some spas even offer vegan treatments with products that are not tested on animals.

Essential oils as well as flower elixirs from native blossoms are celebrating their renaissance. They serve as a base for many new spa rituals. Local providers like NaturEssences or Jardin de Clavet are in high demand. Flower Elixirs are especially well esteemed, as their virtues extend far into the emotional and even into the spiritual field. NaturEssences made from rare and endemic flowers of Baume de l’Ile Plate, Trochetia or Hibiscus Fragilis are provided in the form of drops or sprays to enhance the quality of the treatment and to balance body, mind and soul. On the other hand, essential oils, distilled from island plants, are simply added to the massage oil. These may be precious Ylang Ylang, well known for its deeply relaxing effects, or Calamondin, an uplifting mix between Kumquat and Tangerine, rare Pink Pepper, which brings back stamina and energy, or Lemon Grass, a morale booster and muscle relaxant. Mauritian essential oils and flower essences are not renowned for the quantity in which they are produced, but rather for their unique, pure and rare qualities.

Traditional Indian therapy Ayurveda has always been a natural way to attain holistic health and wellbeing, but has also undergone some recent changes. Some Ayurveda spas are strictly keeping to ancient traditions right down to the menu of their clients. Others offer relaxing Shirodhara and restoring Abhyanga massage with fancy ingredients like island-made Moringa oil, coconut water and flower elixirs.

Spa therapists in Mauritius have worked with many different systems of health and wellness. Furthermore, some of them have taken seminars and courses in traditional and energetic healing methods, like Pranic Healing, Reiki, Acupuncture, Shiatsu or Touch for Health. Clients may tell them about physical problems and the therapists easily adapt and apply the methods needed to bring about holistic bliss, total relaxation and an all-natural tropical holiday experience.