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The Mystic Inka Treatment

Contact Author Denise Dubois September 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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The Mystic Inka Treatment

According to the ancient Andean and Inca people, well-being is the result of the harmony between humans and nature. In alignment with the beliefs of health and healing through Earth’s elements, a body treatment called The Mystic Inka Ritual has been created.

This 90-minute service offers a unique experience for the skin and senses. It consists of natural aromas and ingredients, including:

  • Purple corn—a unique source of antioxidants that absorbs free radicals, improves regeneration of tissue, helps collagen form and delays the appearance of aging skin;
  • Lucuma—an excellent source of nutrients that helps create energy, including the production of vitamin B;
  • Sacha inchi—gives comfort to the skin, contributes to cell renewal, and soothes and protects skin; and
  • Quinoa—feeds skin and injects energy that has a tonic effect and helps repair tissues.

The elaborate full-body treatment nurtures the skin in a four-step sequence inspired by Inka techniques to purify, energize, regenerate and nourish.


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The Mystic Inka Treatment evolved from the culture of the Andean people of the Peruvian Andes. They viewed the world as a whole and believed the Earth was not only a place to live, but also their source of life, as well as something to share their lives with. The Earth provided them with everything they needed for existence and, in return, they nurtured and protected the land. Through their rituals of giving back to nature, the Andean people believed they preserved their identity. By taking care of the environment, they fostered well-being and lived in perfect harmony with nature.

The Mystic Inka Treatment is meant to act as a true healing ritual, with each step thoughtfully performed to reflect the meaning connected to the indigenous nature and millenary properties of the ingredients. It features a sequence of Inka-inspired techniques and massages that correspond to the four healing elements: fire, air, water and earth.

Ideally, the treatment is performed in a wet room with a Vichy shower, but it can also take place in a massage room, and can be enjoyed by any typical spa client. It is a unique experience using exotic natural aromas with soothing textures that indulge the skin and soothe the spirit. (See Treatment How-to: Mystic Inka Treatment.)

Enhance the experience

It is important to create an environment that will increase the feeling of well-being that your clients expect from this type of experience. Display supportive home-care products for purchase to continue the skin care they experience in the treatment room on an authentic Andean carpet for an attractive visual appearance. Andean music throghought the duration of the service can also be used to help transcend clients on their divine journey.

After the service is complete, consider serving a typical Peruvian drink made from purple corn called chicha morada. It can be purchased in Peruvian grocery stores and can also be found online. During the service, palo santo is an incense that can be burned. It creates a very fresh, pleasant aroma with hints of citrus and mint, and was historically burned in ceremonies by shaman and medicine people for its energetically cleansing and healing properties. It provides a scent that helps prepare for meditation, and allows for deeper connection and relaxation. It is also said to bring good fortune to those who are open to its magic. Palo santo can be found in shops specializing in aromatherapy, as well as online.

Consider highlighting this ritual that honors Mother Earth and nature, during the harvest months of October and November by offering it as a featured service Remember: This is not your typical body treatment, but rather a ritual honoring Earth and nature, giving thanks for all the planet provides.

Denise Dubois graduated from the Catherine E. Hinds Institute of Esthetics in 1984, and is the president and owner of Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness in Albany, New York, which recently opened its second location. She is a member of the 2014–2015 Skin Inc. Editorial Advisory Board.

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Treatment How-to: The Mystic Inka Treatment

The service begins with the burning of palo santo, an incense that comes from a mystical tree that grows on the coast of South America, and is related to frankincense, myrrh and copal. The name means “holy wood.”

Cost: $189

Duration: 90 minutes

Contraindications: The application of the lucuma body mask is not recommended during pregnancy, or for clients with acne on the back, psoriasis, cellulitis or redness.

Products needed:

Purple corn antioxidant body exfoliant

Lucuma warming body mask

Sacha inchi body oil

Quinoa body cream

Palo santo incense

Step 1: Purify skin with purple corn antioxidant body exfoliant. In Andean rituals of purification, native plants are used to clean the body’s density charge. A spiritual guide passes a tie of a native plant over the body with cleansing movements from head to toe. The burden is believed to be delivered to Mother Earth (Pachamama), who recycles it and transforms it into pure energy. Symbolically, this act of purification is performed in the Mystic Inka Ritual with a purple corn scrub, which takes 20 minutes to apply, and is removed using a Vichy shower.

This step is inspired by the water element—the massage consists of fluid, soft rolling movements to encourage relaxation for body and mind. Imagine sailing in the natural geography of your client through symbolic rivers—the veins and arteries.

Step 2: Revitalize skin with lucuma warming body mask. This step is inspired by the Andean ritual called Intiwatana, which was conducted before winter started in especially sacred, energetic locations. The Incas would trap solar rays and concentrate the energy in natural centers, such as carved rocks, in order to keep the solar power and produce what they call “the sacred fire.” This, they believed, would awaken the inner light of human beings. Therefore, in the Mystic Inka treatment, the back is symbolically used as the carved rock. It is the place where people harbor the most stress and tension, and it needs to be energized to keep the inner light. The heating sensation that emanates from the lucuma warming body mask is intended to represent this ritual. The warming mask should be left on for 10–15 minutes, depending on the client’s comfort level, and removed with a moist towel.

This step is inspired by the fire element. In this sense, the massage during the mask application consists of energetic movements at the beginning and should end with relaxing engagements.

Step 3: Regenerate with sacha inchi body oil. In the Andean culture, a balance of energy is the key to achieving physical, mental and spiritual well-being. After revitalizing energy points on the back through the mask, it is now appropriate to distribute these pure energy waves throughout the body. This step of the Mystic Inka Treatment is a subtle representation of this concept, with its harmonious, soothing massage using sacha inchi body oil. The oil should be massaged all over the body, paying extra attention to the abdomen. This step of care introduces the air element, and should symbolize a breeze that runs all over the body and invites good energy to spread smoothly into the body and mind. The movements are fluid, combined with actions to clear the energy field. The symbolic reference: When the wind goes through forests and blows leaves and fodder, dragging them along the way. In the human geography, while the body surface is touched, energy flows in pursuit of physical and mental health.

Step 4: Nourish with quinoa body cream by applying it to the body for 20 minutes. The Andean concept of reciprocity, called ayni in Quechua language, is one of the culture’s basic principles of behavior with nature. Within this concept, special links are created between man and Pachamama as she feeds and teaches him how to grow—in reciprocity, the man cares about her.

Quinoa body cream symbolizes the strength of the land and the generosity of Pachamama, protecting all beings who respect her.

This step of care involves the element of earth. This phase may constitute a break of rhythm compared to the previous step, as the movements are firmer and deeper. It should be reminiscent of the movements made to the land before sowing. Renewal will be born.

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