According to Ripple Massage owner Alison Shaw, cowrie shells are often linked to female fertility with the idea that the dome of the shell resembles a pregnant belly.
Which had me a little concerned when the Ripple massage therapist used A LOT of them in my recent in-home massage experience …
Let’s just say, that for someone who already has two teenagers and a preschooler, I’m quite done with the fertility gig.
So far as I can tell, the only side effect from my Ripple experience has been a sense of overwhelming calm – a great tool as we head into one of the busiest times of the year (combining work and early deadlines with Christmas shopping is akin to water torture!).
In one two-hour session, I was transported as far away from a shopping centre and my laptop as you can get without leaving your home.
And that’s the absolute beauty of Ripple. Whether you book in a treatment for in your home or holiday accommodation*, the whole experience leaves you feeling like a princess, or at the very least a Hollywood celeb.
… back to the cowrie shells. They are just one of the shells used in the Ripple Massage exclusive Ripple Shell Treatment (priced from $135 for 1.5 hours).
“Using a mix of reef shells, including speckled cowries, ginger scallops, lions paw fans and elegant sun dial shells, this style of massage taps into the energy of the shells whilst giving a deep and calming massage,” says Alison.
“The shells are used in a mix of ways. Some like the cowries are heated, and aromatherapy oils are poured into the crevasse to warm before being trickled onto the body,” she says.
”The smooth domed surface is also used with hands-on massage to release muscles. The shells are used both to de stress and for deeper tissue work. The domes are used to work deep into the trapezius muscles and erector spinae muscles.
”Other shells like the lions paws and scarlet coloured scallops are heated and placed on the body to warm the chakras and also the hands during the massage.
”Smaller more delicate sun dial and cockles are used to release lines in the face, whilst cones and olives unlock tension in the neck and shoulders.”
For me, it was the rhythmic effect of the use of the shells combined with massage techniques that had me seriously lolling off to la-la-land.
I was booked for a two-hour treament ($185) and as is the Ripple way, this not only included the massage but a whole list of spa inclusions: foot reflexology massage, peppermint and lime-scented foot soak and foot scrub, organic green clay and cucumber cleansing face mask, full body exfoliation with walnut, tangerine and lime scrub and a gift (in my case a gorgeous candle).
It was all I could do to get off the massage bed at the end … but at least it was just a case of rolling on to my lounge and chilling for a bit longer. Deadline, what deadline?
*available in select Queensland, New South Wales and Gold Coast locations.