El Árbol de la Vida

Photo by Marcela Echavarria

When spa developers, Spatality, were contracted to design the new spa at Porta Hotel Antigua they knew they needed to add special elements of Guatemala’s rich heritage and culture. Luxurious, of course, but what makes Ceiba Spa unique is it has incorporated Mayan traditions, beliefs and knowledge into its treatments. It is one of the few places in Antigua where you can discover a traditional Temazcal sauna, which in Mayan tradition, is not just used for relaxation and medical benefits, but is a spiritual ritual – a symbolic rebirth from the womblike chamber. The spa also offers its signature ritual treatment, El Árbol de la Vida (The Tree of Life), for those who wish to incorporate sacred Mayan beliefs and Guatemalan elements into their spa experience.

As you enter your private treatment room, take a seat next to the aged, root-entwined wall, a reminder of Antigua’s past. The Árbol de la Vida Ritual Treatment starts with a footbath. Fresh water is poured into a beautifully carved wooden bowl; your feet rest on smooth river stones. Close your eyes and listen to the sound of rushing water from the nearby fountain and imagine stepping into one of Guatemala’s many cool streams or rivers as your therapist gently washes your feet, first with soap and then with salt, which is believed to clear away unwanted energy.

After your footbath, relax onto the massage table where you will be treated to a full body scrub made from corn and cardamom – two important crops in Guatemala. Your therapist will sprinkle the powered mixture over your body releasing the exotic fragrance of cardamom into the air, smoothing your skin and promoting healthy circulation.

Take a warm shower to rinse away the scrub, and then settle back onto the massage table. The Árbol de la Vida massage concentrates on stimulating energy flow through your chakras as well as your major articulations (ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and your neck) of which there are thirteen, an important number in the Mayan calendar and astrology. Through the use of stones and pressure, your therapist will release blockages held deep within these points. After which, the full body massage will continue, using special techniques to balance energy flow throughout your body.

Filled with exotic fragrances, accented by the essence of Guatemala’s natural beauty and integrating important Mayan beliefs, El Árbol de la Vida is a uniquely Guatemalan indulgence, which will leave you feeling rejuvenated both in body and mind.

For more information, visit Ceiba Spa at Porta Hotel Antigua (Map J4) or call 7931-0600.

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2 Comments on “El Árbol de la Vida”

  • Billye Zugg wrote on 9 February, 2011, 20:19

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