SOMEONE once told me anything is good and useful if it is made of chocolate.
Hot chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate-coated strawberries, chocolate muffins: is there anything that isn't greatly improved by the addition of chocolate?
And yes, even a massage.
Isn't it every chocoholics dream to be smothered in rich Belgian chocolate? Or is that just me?
Throw in a massage as well and it's a decadent, indulgent dream come true.
The hot chocolate massage originated in Belgium and is traditionally performed using melted Belgium dark chocolate.
Doonan masseuse Laurence De Conto fell in love with the decadent and indulgent style of massage when she was in Europe and wanted to implement it in Sunshine Coast spas.
More than just a delicious treat, chocolate has many positive benefits. And you don't even have to eat it to get those benefits.
Laurence explained that chocolate was high in magnesium, vitamin E and vitamin B which helps to moisturise and leave the skin feeling silky smooth.
It can even be as good as any of the anti-aging products on the market.
The aroma of the heated chocolate can also help boost endorphins and increase happy hormones.
"You really have to experience it to understand," Laurence said.
I am given a couple of pieces of dark chocolate as I position myself on the table.
She says this is to satisfy any cravings as it can be torture smelling the chocolate and not eating it.
I can smell the chocolate as soon as she enters the room.
The rich chocolaty aroma is surprisingly soothing.
The chocolate used is a block of real Belgian chocolate, about 200g per massage, which is melted down.
It's warm and gooey on the skin and as Laurence works her hands over my body, more is dribbled on so it never dries and becomes rough.
It's thick and indulgent and velvety.
As she massages me, I drift off into a world of relaxation complete with a few chocolate-filled daydreams.
At the end of the session, things aren't quite as messy as I had imagined.
As I wash the dried chocolate off in the shower, my skin feels silky smooth and rejuvenated.
The sweet scent of chocolate lingers despite all traces of the chocolate being washed off.
It stays throughout the rest of the day and is a delicious reminder of my relaxing experience.
Currently, very few spas on the Sunshine Coast offer the hot chocolate massage but Laurence wants that to change.
Through her business, The Spa Touch, she runs a number of massage and beauty courses for industry professionals.
She has 22 years experience in the industry and recently added the hot chocolate massage to her repertoire. Her passion is to share her knowledge and she hopes other spas on the Coast will pick up the treatment.
Rejuvenating, relaxing, soothing and smoothing with a delicious scent: this is one massage good enough to eat.
For more on The Spa Touch, visit www.thespatouch.com.au.
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