There are times in a woman’s life when diet and exercise alone don’t quite cut it – when we find ourselves perpetually bloated, puffy around the edges and staring miserably at our reflection. Despite trying to be good all summer, a two-week long chest infection had me seeking solace in stodge and ballooning; since then, I tried eating healthily, had slowly started my exercise routine again and even contemplated a juice detox (before remembering how horribly my last attempt at one had ended!), but I just couldn’t shift the puff. At the end of my tether, I put my puff in someone else’s hands, literally – with a Biologique Recherche Your Body treatment at the Four Seasons Spa.
I am perhaps biased as the Four Seasons Spa is unashamedly my favourite in Hong Kong – their therapists don’t just hash out pre-learnt massage routines, but expertly tailor the treatment to your specific concerns. This is even more the case for this treatment, the brainchild of Biologique Recherche founder Dr Allouche, and having already tested out their facial, I knew the miracle results they could achieve.
The two-hour treatment is totally unique to the recipient; there are no set products, formats or aims – it is 100% bespoke – and uses Allouche’s cutting edge massage techniques, namely a type of lymphatic drainage massage that reduces water retention and capitalises on his highly scientific results-focused range of products. The treatment can help with slimming, weight loss, water retention, toning and even tired muscles. Whilst rinsing my feet, my therapist quickly uncovered my needs and chose the suitable products for my aims and skin type.
The treatment started with a relaxing and soothing scrub, the first step in removing excess water from my surface skin cells and the ideal opportunity for my therapist to suss out my body. She recommended that we focus on my thighs, hips, stomach and arms as that was where I was retaining the most water, whilst she would also knead away at my small areas of cellulite and stretch marks with their signature mitt, then use their anti-cellulite cream to firm me up. As I work out a lot, I mentioned my tired legs, so she added a Heavy Leg treatment onto the end of my massage. After a brief explanation, she proceeded to work her magic with occasional interjections where she checked I was ok and explained certain aspects of the treatment.
I spent a large chunk of the two hours in a semi-slumber and on the whole, the massage and its drainage style strokes helped lull me off further. There were times when harder pressure was applied, for example on my love handle-esque hips, but I willingly absorbed this slight discomfort in the hope of banishing my muffin top! However, the most shocking part came from the Heavy Leg section. Following a massage, ice-cold bandages were wrapped tightly around my legs; although initially startling and somewhat uncomfortable, this helps soothe and refresh wearied muscles. My legs were left bandaged up whilst my therapist continued massaging my upper body and although I got used to the cold, in hindsight I think the most beneficial part of the treatment for me was the drainage.
Before I knew it, the two hours was over and the whole experience had been far less painful than a juice detox! However, the importance lies in the results – and having suffered from two weeks worth of bloating, I can honestly say that the puff has gone. I feel well and truly drained (in a good sense!) and my skin feels firmer and more supple, allowing the effects of my exercise routine to finally show through. This is a great one-off treatment to indulge in when you just can’t shift some of that bulge or before a big event where a pair of Spanx alone isn’t enough!
It is recommended that the Your Body treatment becomes a regular part of your health routine – whether as part of a three month pre-Christmas slim down, a bikini plan or a longer-term health focus – and slotting in these frequent tailored massages (combined with a healthy diet and exercise) really can make inches of difference. After all, we all understand the need to cleanse our faces of toxins frequently via regular facials, so why would we ignore the need to cleanse our bodies too?!
The Biologique Recherche Your Body Treatment lasts two hours and costs $2,500 on a weekday and $2,700 on weekends
The Four Seasons 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong
3196 8888 www.fourseasons.com