Stories by Lehia Apana, John Giordani, Rita Goldman & Shannon Wianecki | Photography by Mieko Horikoshi, Jason Moore & Pacific Dream Photography
Story by Lehia Apana
THE TREATMENT: Restorative Volcanic Foot Experience | Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui | 4100 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea | 808-875-4100 | Fairmont.com/kea-lani-maui
WHAT IT INCLUDES: There’s more than meets the foot in this reflexology massage that treats the entire body. My therapist, Shannon Gabrielson, applies pressure to specific points on my feet that relate to organs and glands in the body. While the upsides of reflexology run the gamut, Shannon informs me that this treatment is especially effective for detoxifying and releasing impurities from the body.
WHY YOU NEED IT: Our feet are unsung heroes in our daily routines—shuttling us from one appointment to the next, anchoring us during a workout, and helping us catch up with the kiddos in our lives. Then there are the fashion choices, like the Hawai‘i-favorite rubber slippers (aka flip-flops) that offer little in the way of support. And how many of us ladies will confess to wedging our feet into those high heels that were irresistible when they went on sale, despite being a half-size too small?
BEST FOR: Since this massage focuses on the feet and neck, it’s especially great for those who would rather keep their clothes on, or who don’t have a lot of time to freshen up post treatment.
MEMORABLE MOMENT: This entire treatment is done while facing upwards, so I opt for an added face mask to work in concert with the reflexology massage. Shannon applies a 24K gold-infused mask from luxury skincare brand Knesko, whose “nanogold” particles are engineered to absorb into the skin. Surely the luxurious symbolism of the mask is enough to pique my interest, but my post-mask glow and plumped skin make me a believer.
ADDED PERK: This massage isn’t just soothing for the body—it’s also good for the land and local youth. Willow Stream Spa is teaming with Lanakila Learning Center in Hilo to source custom massage sticks made from invasive and problematic waiawī (strawberry guava trees). The center applies holistic concepts to teach at-risk youth, and students hike into the forest to harvest, then hand-shape each stick. The sleek implement, which guests may take home, is used to stimulate specific pressure points on the foot.
THE COST: 60 minutes, $199; face mask, $49