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Bells at Killcare day spa applies traditional Aboriginal techniques to massage therapy

Phoebe Blogg -

Situated north of Sydney on New South Wales' Central Coast, Bells Day Spa is where relaxation and rejuvenation meets culture and tradition.

Operating in junction with Bells at Killcare Boutique Hotel, Bells Day Spa welcomes both hotel guests and the general public.

Unlike most day spas, Bells is unique in that it offers its very own Indigenous-inspired massage – a service not currently offered at any other day spa in Australia.

The highly-popular Indigenous-inspired massage – known as the Indigenous Clay Earth & Ocean Dreaming Ritual – has been created to encourage rest in the guest's mind, while striving to replenish energy levels through the natural healing powers of our earth.

Although Bells do offer a range of meditative, repairing, therapeutic and targeted massages, it is the Indigenous Clay Earth & Ocean Dreaming ritual that has had immense success.

Since being added to Bells offering of tranquil body treatments in 2020, guest feedback has been nothing short of superb.

"This treatment is our most popular body treatment and guests return time and time again to receive it," Head Spa Therapist Yvette Roberts told Style Up.

"This treatment offers deep relaxation and healing, gentle clearing of impurities with the exfoliant and mud, hydration of the skin, muscle and tension release, scalp and hair conditioning."

Bells Day Spa head therapist Yvette Roberts treating a visiting spa guest. (Image: Bells at Killcare Boutique Hotel, Restaurant & Spa)

When creating this culturally unique spa experience, the team at Bells reached out to the area's local Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council for prior approval.

"Our therapists are trained in the Indigenous aspects of our treatments, particularly when using a coolamon for cleansing & welcoming before the treatment starts," Ms Roberts said.

"Our spa partner, Anne Warren, gained endorsement from our local Darkinjung council, for our therapists to include a version of this tradition at the beginning of the treatment.

"Anne also trained the therapists in native ingredients benefits. Our treatments are exclusive to Bells Day Spa and were created in partnership with Naomi Whitfeld from iKOU."

iKOU are 100% Australian owned and NSW-based Australian-made organic skincare, natural body care, bath and aromatherapy producer.

Commencing with a traditional smoking ritual of paperbark, oak moss and eucalyptus leaves in a coolamon to welcome and connect the guest, the two-hour treatment then proceeds to a four-stage breakdown.

Beginning with a warmed blue cypress and wattleseed body exfoliation and native sea-kelp clay cocoon, guests will then receive a relaxing quandong and bergamot scalp massage.

To conclude the treatment, guests are treated to a soothing rhythmic massage sequence of the Kodo massage.

Starting with the back, neck and shoulders, and finishing with a nurturing head, neck and shoulder massage.

Bells team of massage therapists, aim to see all guests leave this treatment feeling both relaxed and revived.

Bells Day Spa guest participating in the Indigenous Clay Earth & Ocean Dreaming ritual. (Image: Bells at Killcare Boutique Hotel, Restaurant & Spa)

Whilst the Indigenous Clay Ritual – and supportive massage products used – do primarily focus on the use of, blue cypress, wattleseed, sea kelp and quandong, the spa's other massages also do feature a wide variety of native and botanical Australian ingredients.

Aside from the popular Clay Earth & Ocean Dreaming Ritual, the day spa also offers the Bouddi Signature Massage.

Described as a 'divine rhythmic body massage', this massage treatment has been inspired by traditional Australian Aboriginal techniques that work to bring the body back into balance, enhancing both mind and body wellness.

Focusing on pressure points through spiralling movements, the Bouddi Signature Massage utilises botanical aromatic oils to relieve stress.

A close-up of the native ingredients featured within the spa's Indigenous Clay Earth & Ocean Dreaming ritual. (Image: Bells at Killcare Boutique Hotel, Restaurant & Spa)

Being located on the grounds of the hotel has also seen the day spa – and its culturally enriching treatments – welcome a series of curious travellers who are eager to learn more about Indigenous culture and the clever use of native ingredients and soothing techniques.

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