F F O H C T I N SW O H C T I W S y reboot ived a mind-baod ce re a n ja and n ge Sa Behnaz Remedy Massl Areen Palace te u in -m 60 e A th with e sophisticateesds Centre. Treatment atYth r Life Welln & Spa’s Live ou
riving towards Al Areen Palace and Spa, my car and my mind were both racing along the fast lane, the latter heavy with to-do lists on the work and home front. But walking through quiet, sunlit corridors towards the five-star retreat’s Live Your Life Spa and Wellness helped still my inner conscience and take note of the present. A quick, straightforward questionnaire later I was entrusted to Hazila, who is not only a certified alternative medicine practitioner, but also knowledgeable in alternative therapy and Thai medicine. Her soft-spoken demeanour immediately put me at ease, adding to the sense of calm that Al Areen’s serene environs had already instilled in me. I was in for the Remedy Massage, which is aimed to give relief from the various
niggles that arise from a largely sedentary lifestyle - back and knee pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, frozen shoulder, cramps, trigger finger and the like. The spacious massage room beckoned, and I quickly changed into a super-soft cotton robe and hopped, face-down, on to the massage table. Hazila applied tactful pressure to the soles of my feet, heels, and calves, moving up to my back and shoulders, thoughtfully checking the intensity I’d prefer. I then felt a soothingly hot herbal compress on my back. The pounding of this bundle of herbs in a slow, rhythmic fashion allowed its heat and healing properties to penetrate the muscles. Hazila concentrated her efforts over my perpetually peeved shoulders and lower back, and I noticed my otherwise shallow, erratic breathing turn into deep,
mindful intakes of air that reached the depths of my lungs. Next, she rubbed a light, fragrance-free oil onto my back, the pads of her fingers applying just the right amount of pressure. I’ll be honest, I’ve had massage therapists waging war on my knotted shoulder muscles, leaving me behind, well, in the battlefield of pain in the aftermath. So, when Hazila commented on how ‘tight’ they were, I braced myself. But her thumbs worked firmly, yet gently, coaxing all the stiffness to just dissipate beneath their warmth quite painlessly in a few minutes. Just as I was dozing off, a cold touch awakened me. It was the poultice that I had been told would be used; a wet mixture of powdered herbs meant to soothe the muscles and draw out any remnant aches and pains. After application, a towel kept me warm while the herbal blend did its job. And as my mind mouthed a grateful ‘thank you’ I returned to that semi-conscious state of bliss. Poultice wiped off and enrobed, I was asked to sit cross legged. As only an authentic Thai masseuse can do, Hazila proceeded to contort my upper body in tremendously soothing twists. At one point, my spine ‘cracked’ with the release of all its rigidity, as if to signal the grand finale of my Remedy Massage. A good massage always tires me out, but sipping on honeyed ginger tea and fresh fruit solved that for me. I left the tranquil precincts of Al Areen Palace and Spa, understanding fully well the true meaning of the word ‘retreat’. With both mind and body fluid and relaxed I actually looked forward to the drive back into the city. And this time around, I soaked in the sights and enjoyed the ride.
Vol.24 - Issue 3 - Your guide to a great way of life