Natural Awakenings Health Thought – Get Dipped in Chocolate or Graped

by | Feb 27, 2007 | Archives

Natural Awakenings to good health include seeing the benefits of chocolate. A natural awakenings message recently shared the wonder of the La Mirage Spa Chocolate Massage. This has prompted numerous readers to send me all types of information including pictures of a chocolate car.

One reader forwarded an article entitled “Chocolate Takes On Chronic Fatigue (and Wins)”

Natural Awakenings Quote:

The article says “The latest research shows that eating 45 grams of chocolate every day can ease symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).” Hmmm I think I am feeling tired.

The article points out that a group of British scientists formulated a special blend of very dark chocolate: 85% cocoa, rich in polyphenols to treat CFS. Study participants either got the real deal or placebo for eight weeks. The patients getting the placebo reported feeling more tired, while the real chocolate-eaters reported feeling less fatigued. Researchers believe these results are due to the impact of chocolate on neurotransmitters like serotonin, which controls sleep and moods.

So one would think that being down here in Cotacachi right next to the chocolate massage and with free access to plenty of Intag organic chocolate one could ask for nothing more. That would be a real natural awakening. Right?

That may because you have never been to Ecuador nor experienced the inventiveness of our friends over at the spa.

Natural Awakenings Trip

Today, Merri and I ambled over to La Mirage for a “before our course” begins treat. I had the Lavender Luxury, Merri the Ecuadorian Volcanic Clay Bath. My treat began with a 20 minute soak in hot water and lavender (grown at La Mirage) then a lavender herbal wrap and finished with an hour long lavender massage. (90 minutes for $75)…then we both met at their exquisitely beautiful round meditation room with a roaring eucalyptus fire. Wow. This gave me the energy to get this message out, but while there I learned that now they have added one more treat….a grape massage.

This is exciting because if the truth be known, I’ll take a pile of fresh grapes over a chocolate bar any day and feel superior about it as well.

They have not finished translating the description yet but believe me I have booked one for the day the course is complete. I’ll let you know how the grape goes.

I have been checking Grape massages on the internet and learned about Vinotherapy, the practice of using wine by-products for spa therapy, giving new meaning to the French paradox of healing the body with wine.

Comments pop up with phrases like “soaking in a tub of wine-laced spring water and later partaking of the local vintage is considered good for you” and “try a Jacuzzi filled with grape-seed extract, feel the tension melt away with a Sauvignon massage or, for the ultimate in stress relief, a vinotherapist will wrap you in a balm of honey, wine yeast and oil.”

One article says “the practice of spa vinotherapy originated at the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in Martillac, a town in the Bordeaux region of France. During a visit to the chateau, Joseph Vercauteren, a local pharmacology professor, was appalled to see the winery throwing out tons of seeds and skins from grape crushings. At the time, he was patenting a process using grape seed oil for skin care products. The professor’s visit led the Cathiard family to build a hotel, restaurant, spa and a line of skincare products”. They have even opened Spa Caudalie, a member-only spa in Las Vegas.

This must be good because says “Les Sources de Caudalie’s Vinotherapy Spa was voted the number one European Hotel Spa in the 2004 Condé Nast Readers Spa Awards. Treatments combine the soothing nature of hydrotherapy with the anti-oxidant properties of grapes. Naturally heated spring water, rich in minerals and oligo-elements, is pumped from 540m below the ground. Grapes contain a high concentration of polyphenals which can be used to fight against ageing free radicals and detoxify the body. The result is a selection of unique treatment programmes designed to relax, slim and rejuvenate.”

Imagine that. In my younger days I at times got soaked drinking wine, but never “soaked in wine”.

The Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa in California advertises: “Grape Seed Antioxidant Body Treatment (80 minutes) $175

Indulge in this signature treatment that includes a Grape Seed Rosemary Body Exfoliation followed by a full body massage with warm Antioxidant Grape Seed Oil. Your body will be wrapped in a warm cocoon while your scalp is massaged with warm Lavender Grape Seed Oil. A cup of Grape Seed Tea completes this ultimate bliss.”

So there you have it. The French invented it. The Californians made it expensive and Las Vegas…well we won’t even go there.

Now the grape massage is coming to Cotacachi, Ecuador! Who says we don’t have anything and everything in our tiny remote village. My guess is the treatment will be longer, price barely a third of California and the therapists far far sweeter.

Come join us in the sun, learn, grow and while we are at it, we can go soak in chocolate or get graped for natural awakenings to health!


Here is our winter schedule.

Feb. 16 – 18, 2007. Ft. Lauderdale. Lucrative Travellers Conference.

Feb. 20 – 25, 2007. Quito and Cotacachi Ecuador. Import – Export Course.

Mar. 9 – 15, 2007. Cotacachi and Imbabura Ecuador. Expanded Super Thinking + Spanish.

Mar. 16 – 18, 2007. Cotacachi Ecuador. International Business and Investing Made EZ.

Mar. 19 – 21, 2007. Andes Extension & Real Estate Tour.

March 23-25, 2007. Throughout the High Andes. Shamanic Longevity Tour. For detail contact me at