Unsure about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)? We find it makes for an incredible spa experience at Mandarin Oriental
Aren’t we always down for a good massage, mama? For me, working long hours in front of the computer in all kinds of sitting positions (working from home gives me the freedom to use my bed as an office desk which… well… isn’t always the best thing for the body!) takes a huge toll on the wrists, shoulders and back. So when the good folks at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Singapore extended an invite to try out their Signature Spa Therapies treatment, I couldn’t have said ‘YES’ any faster.
Developed in consultation with specialists in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and master aromatherapists, each signature therapy consists of a relaxing, hands-on body massage ritual that combines the powerful effects of oriental meridian massage with the therapeutic benefits of custom-blended essential oils, created uniquely for the award-winning hotel by UK-based company (and Sassy Mama fave!) Aromatherapy Associates.
The treatment starts with a private consultation relating to your Yin and Yang, with a Diagnostic Questionnaire of different elements that reflect how you’re feeling as of late. Questions include those relating to both mental and physical health, such as whether you find it difficult to make decisions, have a tendency to worry, get tired easily in the afternoons… I ticked the boxes to all those statements (fickle-minded, worrywart, sleepy head is me), and was then diagnosed with a current state of well-being inclined with wood, earth and fire. The special essential oil blend ‘Awaken’, with its woody tones, suited me perfectly and left me super zenned-out by the end of the treatment.
Prior to the massage, I was treated to a soothing foot soak before getting comfortable on the massage bed. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the attention to detail – while lying on my stomach, my massage therapist, Clarice, propped my legs up by the ankles snugly with rolled towels so they didn’t splay out. Mamas who find it might be difficult to lie absolutely flat for almost two hours will also rejoice knowing that the massage beds are adjustable (!). When flipping onto my back, my head and knees were gently lifted by the motorised bed to aid in a more natural and comfortable posture.
At one point of the massage, Clarice introduced heated herbal pillows, placed first on my back after working out the kinks there, and then on my stomach after a gentle digestive massage. I was curious, so asked why she did this – turns out we hold a lot of emotions in our stomach, so putting warmth on it releases the built-up tension (which could be why we eat when we’re upset, or get butterflies when we’re nervous!).
The overall treatment was nothing short of amazing. Clarice really paid attention to each part of the body and took her time ironing out all the knots in my muscles, one by one. It felt like she spent a good 15-20 minutes kneading on each side of my back! There were also some acupuncture techniques involved, targeting my pressure points in the neck, hands and feet.
At the end of it, I was coughing due to a sudden dry throat after lying down for so long. Clarice confirmed that it’s a normal reaction when your body is being detoxified, which is why it’s so important to rehydrate with the ginger tea they serve afterward in the Spa Tea Lounge, and then with lots of water throughout the day post-massage.
If you plan on trying this out mama (and since Valentine’s Day is coming, why not hint the hubs to gift you a session, or any of their other treatments?), don’t skip on the aromatherapy shower in the changing room – there are different shower settings with various lightings to suit the mood, so it feels extremely luxurious after an incredible massage!
Mandarin Oriental Signature Spa Therapies, $330, include:
- A personalised TCM consultation
- 1h 50 min massage, including foot soak
- Tea before and after with nuts/butter cookies
- Access to the fully-stocked changing room with free use of facilities such as aromatherapy shower, lockers, towels, robes and toiletries (including deodorant, hair styling products and hot tools)
Receive a complimentary Mandarin Oriental Elemental Massage Oil worth $78 when you quote Sassy Mama while booking a Mandarin Oriental Signature Spa Therapies treatment! Valid through February 28, 2017.