If asked to identify the Arabian treatment par excellence, most spa goers would probably cite the Rasul treatment: a potent combination of mud, herbs, steam and (if you’re lucky) a long, luscious massage involving therapeutic grade essential oils that work on mind, body and soul, making you feel like a Sultan or Princess from 1001 Arabian Nights. It is not surprising that the Rasul Mud treatment, which takes place in a hammam or steam room, is often offered as a ‘couples treatment’: few other spa experiences are quite so sensual or relaxing.
What Type of Mud is Used?
The mud used in a Rasul treatment is natural, yet it will have been dried, ground to a powder and sieved, to get rid of rough particles and insects. Sometimes, spas use up to three different varieties of mud – one for the face, one for the décolletage and one for the rest of the body.
What Does the Treatment Comprise?
A Rasul treatment alone (i.e. without a massage afterwards) will usually last for approximately 45 minutes. In some spas, the client applies both the mud and a deep cleansing sea salt scrub to their skin, though for a truly unforgettable experience, we recommend a spa where it is all done for you. In five-star spas, skilled therapists will usually begin by exfoliating your skin with a sea salt scrub, rubbing the latter vigorously onto your skin to eliminate any toxins that may be blocking your pores. A deep cleansing also allows the mud and essential oils to penetrate your skin better, so they can bestow their maximum anti-oxidant and moisturising benefits. After the salt is applied, the therapist will either apply jets to shower it off, or simply layer the mud over the salt. Once the mud has been applied (from face or neck to toe, usually), the therapist will turn up the steam, to open the pores to all the goodness they are receiving. The steam will normally be infused with herbs and spices like thyme and even curry-scented aromas, adding blissful sensations to the experience. For about 20 minutes, the therapist leaves you alone while the steam lulls you into a deep state of tranquility. Afterwards, they shower off the mud, and the Rasul Mud treatment is technically over. Of course, most top spas will also offer you a soothing massage using essential oils, so you can truly feel renewed and benefit from the powerful properties bestowed by oils such as lavender (which relaxes), cloves (which are anti-microbial) or citrus oils (which lift the mood).
What are the Benefits of the treatment?
The immediate benefit of the salt, mud and essential oils will be immediately noticeable in the baby soft smoothness of your skin. The mud, which itself contains moisturising oils, is especially effective on dry skin, since it has a deeply hydrating effect. The treatment detoxifies the skin and promotes the elimination of retained liquids, and is highly favoured by those suffering from joint and muscle conditions and rheumatism, since the heat is soothing and its pain quelling effects are felt long after the treatment is completed.
Who Should Avoid this Treatment?
Those who are pregnant or suffering from conditions such as epilepsy or blood pressure problems should steer clear of the Rasul Mud treatment. If you are suffering from any chronic health condition at all, it is advisable to speak to your doctor about the suitability of various spa treatments. Certain essential oils should also be avoided by those suffering from particular illnesses or conditions. Those suffering from high blood pressure, for instance, should avoid oils like pine, sage, thyme and rosemary. Pregnant women, meanwhile, should steer clear of all these oils as well as jasmine, lemon, cedarwood, chamomile, cinnamon, clove and more.
Words Marisa Cutillas