2010 Golfweek for Her: Boulders’ Golden Door Spa - the Turquoise Wrap
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Carefree, Ariz. | Some people become journalists so they can cover the great stories – wars, presidential campaigns, recessions.
Me? I took the gig so that I could get slathered head to toe in blue cornmeal, wrapped in plastic like a leftover burrito, blindfolded, then baked under heat lamps while my therapist-cum-shaman rattled a rainstick above me to ward off evil spirits.
Amid the detritus of my once-promising career, this is what now constitutes investigative journalism. Not that I’m complaining, mind
you. Serious journalists can have Washington or even Iraq; I’ll happily lug my laptop to The Boulders’ Golden Door Spa in aptly named Carefree.
The Turquoise Wrap is The Boulders’ signature treatment, supposedly an adaptation of rituals performed by Native American tribes in these parts centuries ago. Admittedly, I was having trouble imagining an Indian warrior allowing himself to be covered in honey and immobilized in plastic, but I decided to go with it anyway.
“The skin is the largest organ of the body,” my therapist, Aaron Wingert, told me, “and just like the heart or lungs, we often neglect it.”
That wasn’t going to happen on this day. The procedure actually involves two wraps – one in turquoise clay, the other honey. Wingert prepped me with a full-body coating of blue cornmeal to exfoliate my skin.
“So you were a big tamale?” quipped my buddy Jerry as I replayed the treatment on our way to the golf course the next morning.
Wingert brushed off the cornmeal and covered me in turquoise clay.
We debated whether I looked more like a Smurf or a Na’vi from “Avatar.”
No sooner had Wingert straitjacketed me in plastic than my chin began to itch. I tried to scratch it but realized I couldn’t move my arms. I panicked. (Breathe, man, breathe!) I briefly considered asking Wingert if he would mind scratching my chin but thought better of it.
I calmed myself, or perhaps Wingert did that as he massaged my temples. By the time he began shaking the Yucca rainstick above me, I was beginning to nod off.
Wingert unwrapped the plastic and pressure-washed me back into reality, rinsing off the clay, then glazing me in honey like a shank of ham, before rewrapping me and baking me for 10 more minutes. Unwrap, pressure-wash, then a final coating of honey and butter.
“What were they making, a muffin?” Jerry wondered.
There’s no denying that I left the Golden Door Spa feeling more tranquil, more at peace and less hurried, unlike the usual frantic pace when I travel.
And my skin felt fabulous.