14 February, 2012

Sassy Review: Lymphatic drainage massage at The Oriental Spa – beat that bulge!

14 February, 2012

There’s a reason greater than chance that for those of us in the Northern hemisphere, Christmas falls in the winter. A month’s worth of overindulgence and gluttony play havoc with our previously preened and toned physiques, leaving us at the mercy of fat deposits all over our body. The only way to deal with new angry fat nodules is to cocoon ourselves inside layers of baggy clothing and reluctantly kick start our New Year detox. Or so I thought.

Lymphatic drainage is a treatment that whilst offered in most spas, I have always shied away from as it conjures images of torture and unpleasantness. My one dalliance with the treatment further reinforced my previous avoidance as I, seemingly harmlessly, wandered into one of Hong Kong’s many cheap day spas and emerged 60 minutes later bruised, battered and vowing never to subject myself to such a thing again. That was until the spa manager at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental suggested that I give their take on this devilish treatment a whirl. Begrudgingly, spurred on by my ever-expanding waistline, I placed my fat (metaphorically of course) in her hands and booked myself in.

To say I was nervous on arrival is an understatement. But I was instantly soothed by the tranquil surroundings. I was shown politely into the changing rooms where my only complaint was that the robes, every spa lover’s best friend, were tired and far from the enveloping indulgence they could have been. My slight disillusionment with the robe was quickly washed and steamed away by the Landmark’s fantastic heat and water facilities. I had made enough time in my schedule to actually arrive at the spa early and enjoy the facilities as advised, a benefit I normally have to miss. Discreet plaques instructed me as to each facility’s purpose and recommended duration of use. Each served a different function but all played the role of allowing my muscles to relax, my stress to waft away and pure serenity start to kick in.

I then retreated to the relaxation area. It’s amazing how simply placing yourself in a darkened room, on a comfy bed with headphones gently replaying Buddhist style spa music in your ears can utterly transform your mood. But then fear kicked back in; my therapist, Kimmie, emerged and guided me through to my treatment room. Whilst not as filled with “wow” factor as some spa rooms, it continued the theme of deep relaxation. Finally, the point that I had been dreading. The lymphatic drainage massage.

I’m normally pretty stubborn and will tend to hold my ground but regarding this massage, I completely and unashamedly detract any negative comments I have ever made about lymphatic drainage massages. The problem wasn’t with the massages themselves but where I’d been having them. Kimmie expertly and blissfully massaged me with ginger infused oil in a manner similar to other massages I have had but with more of a focus on certain techniques and areas, such as my stomach, thighs and lymph nodes. My lymphatic system, normally responsible for removing fluid and waste from my system, had its ass systematically kicked into shape.  The benefits of her strokes were to reduce bloating and water retention and to help eliminate the fatty deposits and cellulite that so rudely occupy my body.

Even without these benefits, I would have the whole massage all over again for its effect in soothing, relaxing and effortlessly accompanying me into a zone of Zen like bliss. But throw in fat reduction and this former lymph-sceptic is now lymphatic drainage’s biggest fan.  As I lamented the end of this heavenly hour, Kimmie informed me that by nightfall I may visit the toilet more often than normal but that this was standard and part of my body’s cleansing process.  Even by the time I exited the spa I felt lighter, less saturated and like I had started to win the battle of the bulge.

My verdict?

–        Oriental Spa: Blissful.

–        Water and heat facilities: underrated and gloriously relaxing.

–        Lymphatic Drainage massage: Not only was it effective at helping cleanse fat and toxins from my body leaving my feeling noticeably more svelte, it also caressed away my new year blues and guided to me a calmer place.

My advice?

This treatment should be at the top of every girl’s wish list this Year of the Dragon as the ultimate accompaniment to new year’s health resolutions!

P.S. For those of you who work in Central, I snuck a look and the Landmark Mandarin have excellent fitness facilities including pilates, yoga, an indoor pool and fitness centre. At prices on a par with most central studios ($2,300/month unlimited use), why not treat yourself to a serene spa experience every time you work out. Either pay as you go ($260/session) or buy an annual spa membership ($72,450).

Lymphatic Drainage 60 minute massage; weekday $1150, weekend $1250

The Oriental Spa at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2132 0188

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