For more than a year, Modern Fit has explored the varied plethora of ways to make healthy habits in the Pine Belt. For our Love issue, I wanted to examine another healthful practice that has popped up in many an Instagram hashtag these days: Self-care.
With both physical and emotional benefits to be found, I enlisted the help of The Lotus Downtown Day Spa and Salon in downtown (duh) Hattiesburg for some hands-on research in the art of unwinding.
A Pine Street staple for several years, The Lotus switched hands a few times before landing under its current management in May of 2018. Offering both a full arsenal of spa treatments (more on those in a minute) and salon services, The Lotus rightfully owns its 2018 Best of the Pine Belt Best Spa designation.
With 2019 only a few weeks in and my stress levels on the rise due to not just one, but two emergency pet surgeries, owner Chris Bryant treated me to a perfectly timed escape: The Mini Lotus Experience.
After stepping beyond the eclectic-cute lobby, I padded down the wooden accented hallway to the first destination of my self-care journey: A deep cleansing Lotus Express facial. Licensed esthetician Amy expertly cleansed, toned and massaged my face with SkinAuthority products (of which The Lotus is one of the exclusive retailers of in this area). Skipping the extraction portion promoted supreme relaxation, as did the mood lighting and my favorite aspect, the heated bed. Whether you have hyperpigmentation, severe acne, or just a need to feel pampered by a trained professional, there are several facial treatment options available.
Feeling particularly bougie, I donned the soft bathrobe left for me and made my way further down the hallway, where my masseuse awaited me. Unlike other spas with clinically bare walls and cold tile floors, the intimate layout made me feel completely immersed in an experience that was slowly wiping away my stress.
Also waiting for me was what turned out to be the best massage of my life. After a quick Q&A regarding areas of tension (aka, everywhere) and level of pressure, Manny, a five-year Lotus veteran, helped ease a kink in my left shoulder that had been plaguing me for months, as dueling wave machines almost lulled me to sleep.
Aside from the obvious enjoyment derived from massage, massage can aid not only in relaxation but in helping reduce activity related muscle inflammation. In the days following the massage, my range of motion in that before-hindered shoulder improved as dramatically as the pain decreased.
After my massage and a quick drool-puddle removal, I was whisked away to the salon room, still clad in my robe, despite given the option to redress. Greeted by stylist Kadie and a glass of wine, I began the final self-care endeavor of the afternoon: a pedicure, complete with lavender foot mask and massage.
With my pedicure still intact a week later, I have aspirations to take advantage of some of the Valentine’s Day specials, like the Couples Escapes (a 60-minute massage for both you and your partner followed by an aromatherapy foot treatment, topped off with a glass of champagne) or the Cupids Choice (a 60-minute Aromatherapy massage and 60-minute facial).
If you’re unsure what might tickle your partner’s fancy in terms of services, you can always purchase a gift card or take advantage of the Create Your Own Package with a-la-carte options.
With three massage therapists, two estheticians and one cosmetician (and hopes to expand their dedicated staff soon), follow The Lotus Downtown Hattiesburg on Facebook at @TheLotusDowntown or call 769.223.6455 for more information on how to get your self-care on.
With Valentine’s Day coming up and deadlines looming, when Whitney isn’t scheduling her next spa day with The Lotus Downtown, which provided promotional consideration for this month’s Modern Fit, you can find her practicing for Hattiesburlesque or mentally preparing for the impending office move.