Try the healing therapies at Aurora Spa & Bathhouse – and the luxury hotel that’s right next door.
“This is going to sound a bit woo-woo” is an opener my friends, family and a few Uber drivers are tired of hearing. But after I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's (an autoimmune disease that causes exhaustion, dry skin and a sluggish metabolism) and found medication didn’t really help, I turned to alternative treatments.
Six years ago, I would have considered colour and sound therapy a hobby for people with toe rings and tie-dye shawls but I’m open-minded when I arrive at Aurora Spa & Bathhouse, at Sorrento on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, to meet with founder and wellness guru Lyndall Mitchell. Colour or “chromotherapy” has been around since the ancient Egyptians and is meant to heal, reduce stress, aid sleep and promote focus. Sound therapy is said to do much the same; both will play out while I soak in a magnesium bath.
Mitchell doesn’t greet; she hugs. “I have a rule here,” she tells me later. “No small talk. We can ask how you are because we can help to improve that. But we don’t ask how work is – we want you to feel present, cared for.”
In my room at the adjoining InterContinental Sorrento, I change into swimmers, throw on a robe and pad back down to the airy waiting room. I’m sipping herbal tea when I meet sound therapist Daniel Byrne of Cymatic Harmony. He’ll be using crystal singing bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, gongs, chimes and bells for the next hour.
Mitchell guides 20 of us in a meditation. In between slow breaths, she asks us to focus on the colour green and its associations: Rebirth. Growth. Abundance. Then we’re led silently into a darkened room where only a green light is visible above the baths.
Mitchell has explained that magnesium soaking isn’t just an ancient practice but a vitamin pill for your skin. While Daniel gongs away, I sink into the water and try to welcome the instrument’s vibrations, the green light and a debt-free lifestyle into my consciousness. After 30 minutes in 40-degree heat, my heart is pounding as I get out of the pool and head back to my room for a cold shower. Guided by a force larger than myself, I order a huge bowl of fries from room service. I don’t think this is the abundance Mitchell had in mind.
But back home in Sydney, I put my head on the pillow and don’t move for 14 hours. And I’ve never slept that long in my life.