Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Nurture Spa Experience Day 2

Day 2 of our Nurture Spa experience was all about wellness. While a normal day for me would consist of waking up at the sight of my clutter and the sound of cars zooming at the roads, I woke up with this scenery a few steps from our dormitory door:

Makeup-less save for brow definition, I proceded with the other bloggers at the activity area at 7:30 A.M., for the first activity of the day, which was the Qi Stretching and Breathing exercises.
Yoga mats were laid out on the floor and we were introduced to Jerry, our instructor who gave us a brief overview on Qi exercises. This was quite similar to yoga except that positions would be constantly repeated. Before the activity, we were told to wear comfortable clothing. I settled on a comfy shirt and leggings, which would enable me to stretch without heavy fabrics blocking my way. An empty stomach would also be better so we could do the positions better.
The first thing that was taught to us before the positions was breathing. When we inhale, we expand the stomach like a balloon. When we exhale, we push it back in, "deflating" it. The first exercises were quite easy, which loosened up tight areas in our body such as hips, thighs, and neck. Some of the stretches could be hard, if you're not flexible enough but Jerry showed several modifications on how to do the stretches if you couldn't do the full stretch.

Breakfast was served after our activity at Tanglad Bistro. I chose a hearty Filipino breakfast of Tapa, egg whites, and rice plus a serving of hot tea. For dessert, we were given a plate of fresh fruits for us to enjoy.

Massage came next. Before the massage, we were handed out client information sheets to sign and check for current health conditions and medical history, such as surgeries, pregnancies (for women), health concerns, diabetes, etc. After we submitted our forms, we were given 30 minutes to rest then we were lead to our therapy rooms. We were told to shower first before treatment so our skin is cleansed and rejuvenated. Just like makeup, we need to be clean before the massage.
Anyway, so here was the massage. Before the massage, I was told to sit at the foot of the bed and soak my feet at this wooden basin with warm water. I saw a mound of yellow paste in a little dish beside the bowl. When I asked what was it, I was told that it was ground corn to be used for scrubbing the feet. This was quite interesting because I've experienced only commercial scrubs and salt scrubs, yet never corn. The ground corn didn't feel scratchy on my feet though. In fact, I was quite ticklish during this time. The scrub was then rinsed and my feet dried. I was then asked to lie on my stomach for the massage.
The oil used on me was a soothing blend of lavander and ylang-ylang essential oils in a coconut oil base. What I like with it is that it felt warm and syrupy instead of greasy on my body. The therapist only asked me if the pressure was right or if I had any certain areas of concern I would want to concentrate on. She also answered some of my questions, like what was the thing she used to poke certain areas on the soles of my feet (it was actully a bamboo stick) and she used warm banana leaves to spread the massage oil on my back. I think I had a 10-minute nap while she kneaded out the knots on my back and hips while sniffing out the scent from the aromatherapy bowl.
When it was time for the head and face massage, I asked if she could use less oil since I'm sensitive to anything greasy on my face and she agreed. Even with the absence of oil, the massage still felt very relaxing and I could feel the tension and kinks in my body go away. The therapist adjusts to the client's needs, like during stretching. She won't force out the stretch if the client isn't flexible enough. If I felt that the pressure was too hard, she would adjust. Had it been my way or had we not followed a schedule to be boarding the shuttle back to Manila, I would have wanted that massage forever.
After the massage, I was served hot tarragon tea, which really felt good in the tummy. It was a perfect way of capping a very good massage. Since I don't want to be slick and too greasy when the humid city temperature kicks in, I requested the oil to be hot-toweled off me. The massage got rid of all the tension and cramping I've been experiencing especially in the tight areas on my shoulders and upper back (from carrying heavy equipment), hands (from typing), lower back, and even on my legs from prolonged standing.
After dressing up, I went back to the dormitory with the rest of the bloggers to pack our stuff before we headed to the shuttle back to Manila. The three-hour ride was spent chatting with the guys and sharing our own experiences. Aside from a very relaxing overnight trip , I'm happy that I got the chance to bond with my old blogger friends and meet new blogger friends as well. This working vacation was absolutely great. I would definitely go back to Nurture Spa for more treatments and I do hope that I get to do a destination wedding here soon.

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