Eat. Pray. Snooze. Finding pleasure in South Australia's obscenely bountiful Fleurieu Peninsula is a whole lot sweeter than the rickety road to Javier Bardem in Elizabeth Gilbert's novel. Whether traipsing tipsily through Barossa Valley, cruising Murray River, or nesting in Kangaroo Island's eco-wonderland, a restorative treatment at Authenticity Spa caps off a week of misadventure rather nicely. More realignment ritual than rubdown, a remedial massage is like a "do over" for years of crotchety Dickensian posture. A deeply physical technique, it liberates blood flow, speeding up recovery and encouraging complete healing. My therapist uses friction like F1 hottie Jenson Button uses throttle. With the deft torque of her fingers and knuckles, she brings new oxygen and fresh blood supply to old scar tissue and adhesions. Unless these damaged cell blockages are removed, recovery can only ever be partial and repeat injuries more likely.
Lack of blood nutrients to the spine is a significant cause of long-term back pain. While most massages increase blood circulation, remedial massage may have the added benefit of restoring function to injured muscles, tendons and ligaments. A paramedical treatment, remedial massage is effective in treating sports and accidental injuries, as well as postnatal and post-stroke conditions. Stress related disorders such as migraines, frozen shoulders, nervous exhaustion and headaches also benefit from such treatment.
A short drive south from Adelaide along the stunning coastal town of Port Elliot, Authenticity is a delicious mix of sophistication and earthy delights. Surrounded by symmetrical botanic gardens lush with almond and olive trees, this exquisite terroir of seasonal regeneration is the perfect place to get back to being human. The seven-bedroom bluestone mansion houses just 12 guests, making it remarkably easy to slip into solitude for hours on end. The exemplary staff is well travelled and steeped in holistic traditions; using natural oils and herbal preparations for skincare and soothing pain is second nature here. A three-night stress management program deals with anxiety and sleep disturbance, or guests can opt into natural health counselling and Yin Yoga sessions to enhance well-being.
Authenticity Spa Resort at 14-30 Waterport Road; Port Elliot; 61 8 8554-2088; www.authenticity.com.au; 75 minutes for $120.
Special to The Globe and Mail