• Stroking stress blues away

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    Alice Bustos-Orosa

    Alice Bustos-Orosa

    In recent years, the spa business has grown in the same way as tea cafes and cupcake stores have sprouted around town. I guess there must be good business in the art of relaxation.

    Mind you though, spas have evolved over time—from massage, nail, slimming, to facial spas. It seems to me that all these spas have just been springing everywhere, each with a different kind of service to offer.

    It must be that more people are so stressed these days that the spa business has been so lucrative in helping people drive stress blues away. The one good thing though is that with so many spa choices around, the services have been quite reasonably priced.

    These days, resorts and hotels cannot afford not to have a full-service spa as an attraction to lure clients in. It’s funny though that even in the most remote towns and even at airports, you’ll find a good masseuse these days. Even my balikbayan relatives often tell us that the one thing they’d like to do when they visit is simply to go to a spa. They’re often shocked too at what a bargain it is and to get such fine service for a few dollars.

    Hence, the one thing I often look forward to during long weekends and holidays is the chance to head off to a spa. And lately, I’ve come across some very interesting things.

    These days, massages come in so many choices—almost like choosing from a menu—from Swedish, Shiatsu, Thai, Filipino Hilot, and what I call the Beijing kind. From gentle strokes to more reflexology-based hand movements, every spa seems to have its own signature massage style.

    Of all these options though, the Beijing foot spa has always been an interesting one for me. First, they dip your feet in a tub of almost scalding water. Then after, the masseuse pinches and presses every single reflexology point on your foot’s sole—points that you did not even know existed. Only after does the masseuse get her hands onto your calves.

    Honestly, when I get the Beijing foot spa, I don’t really know whether I want to tear up or sigh in relief as the masseuse hits a vulnerable point. At one time, to match the foot massage, we tried the foot spa with the Ventosa glass cups, heated by lighting a little fire inside, then glued to your sole almost magically. My sisters and I found it so amusing to have glasses stuck to our feet, until the ladies begun to tug at the glass. And alas, I could only muster a half-croaked scream when they pulled these off! Yet in the end, my feet had never felt more relaxed than ever.

    Far from the utilitarian interiors of the Beijing foot spa are the luxury spas around town. These luxury spas complete with nature sounds playing ever so softly in the background and scented with the aromas of lavender and eucalyptus are the perfect places to be after stress-filled deadline days.

    Just stepping into these luxury spas draws you into the feeling of being in a resort away from the city. You almost forget that you’re paying a steep price for just being there. But as soon as you hit the sauna and lay down on the bed, you begin to chant the mantra “This is the life!” As the masseuse begins to stroke your aching back and legs, you barely manage to stay awake the whole time. And in the end, you literally drag your feet home.

    Whether you prefer home spas, luxury spas, near or far away, bask in the experience! After all, we all deserve a bit of pampering every now and then.

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    1 Comment

    1. Mang Karpio on

      Stress linked to foot problems? Or you have gone to the bottom of the problem. Maybe the problem is overweight even if you think you’re skinny but actually medically over or under weight. When you use the right slipper, shoes, spa or your favorit alcoholic beverages it’s nothing but just a short relief for when you return to the daily grind you’re back to you plantar issues. We might as well put our best foot forward and money where our mouth is so lets drink to that…mabuhay!