Taking Discomfort Away

Oasis spa Bangkok Suk51_L
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The “Siam Therapeutic Wisdom” of Oasis Spa is designed to release deep-seated tension and pain, and restore the body’s natural energy and equilibrium.

By Percy Roxas

“Just what I needed.” This is what I’m thinking as the therapist begins my rubdown session at Oasis Spa. It’s called “Siamese Therapeutic Wisdom,” and knowing Oasis Spa, I have no doubt that this treatment package — by its name — will fulfill what it promises. I have been feeling un-well the entire week (to put it mildly), and my body is really aching for something to shoo its overstaying troubles away.

hot compressI’ve been meaning to visit a spa since Monday. Feeling a bit too overworked lately, my regular personal “stress-relieving routines” can’t seem to bring back that peaceful easy feeling I have always thought I owned. A friend recommended that I try any of the two Oasis Spas in Bangkok (one in Sukhumvit 31 and another one in Sukhumvit 51). It’s an easy decision. A day at the spa is always, for me, “just what the doctor ordered.” I have been coming to the Oasis Spa Suk 31 branch often.

If I love the Suk 31 branch, I certainly love this one on Suk 51 more. The day spa has that urban Bohemian ambience. It has that exotic mix of Middle Eastern-Indian-Lanna Thai feel that I really can’t get quite a grip on, except that it’s vibrant, carefree, and “groovy (to use a very 60s’ lingo),” — probably because of the interesting interplay of décor and furnishings. The shapes (from the artwork frames to the candleholders), the colors (from the blue stained glass conversation piece to the ‘Moroccan-ish’ hues of some treatment rooms), and textures (oh, the velvety soft furniture fabrics) combine to balance that somehow esoteric idea of pampering the “mind, body, and soul” with the concrete reality of the outside world. In short, it’s a place to find your peace, and maybe even to “find your piece” in this grand, big, universal jigsaw puzzle that we are all part of.

Anyway, the spa’s stylish but casual approach suits me well. And even as my therapist was yet ushering me upstairs, to one of the spa’s 11 private treatment rooms, I become expectant of more than just sheer pampering. I want my muscle tensions and body fatigue rid out. I want to be re-energized. As soon as I lie down on the spa bed – on my sides, by the way – I knew I would be in nirvana soon.

The therapist starts by rubbing a Thai herbal massage balm on my body, starting from the shoulder blades down to the torso. She then lifts my left hand, pulls it down to my hips first and then up over my head, before stretching it slightly behind my back while giving my torso a slight push. I feel the “chi” waking up already. Then, she places my hand across my body, to rest on a small soft pillow. She puts another pillow between my legs, spreading the left one across to the same side.

Then I felt a rubbing sensation on my skin. It is the balm — a blend of essential oils of prai, nutmeg, ginger and clove – giving it a pain-relieving remedy like no other.

single treatment Oasis Spa Bangkok Sukhumvit51I try to keep awake as she skillfuly searches my ligaments for the core of the “problem”: kneading away obstructions in the five primary stress areas: the head, neck, shoulders, and upper and lower back. Back and forth, back and forth, she uses fingers, hands, elbows, kneading away where the tensions lay buried. As far as I know, she’s combining some ancient and contemporary massage techniques, releasing blockages, letting my body’s life forces more flow freely again. (Suddenly breathing became easier; and I know I have a stuffy nose!)

She does the same thing when I turned to the other side. More deep stretching, deliberate rubbing, and some acupressure. I feel her search for the key points of the body, going inside deep muscle layers with deliberate strokes. At some point, I feel some pain, but I even so, I soon fall into a slumber. I didn’t know why, I didn’t know how long – until she wakes me up to change position. I am now facing down, my eyes transfixed on the petals of the yellow carnation that fill the golden bowl on the mahogany floor.

Then, she picks up a Thai Herbal Hot Compress and dab my body with them from top to bottom. In my mind, I was trying to explain why this method enhances further the effectiveness of the treatment, but the bliss that I am feeling won over in the end. I don’t need any explanation. I just need to enjoy this. And I did.

After just an hour-and a half (the treatment actually lasts two-hours and a-half; Bt4.600++), she motions me to sit for the final touch: back and shoulder and head massage, which has become SOP in all spas to close the treatment. I still want more, but I know that my healing time is about to draw to a close.

As she wraps up her stuff, I let out a question, rather naively: Why is this treatment called “Siam Therapeutic Wisdom?” Of course, I know the answer: “The stressful demands that daily living make on our body are nothing new. Centuries ago when the world was an even more difficult and hostile place, those stresses were even greater. Ancient Asians responded by developing highly effective methods for relieving the results of stress on the body and restoring it to balance.

“Our Siamese forebears, in particular, developed healing techniques (massages and herbs), and passed them on from generation to generation. Oasis Spa combined them with modern knowledge of anatomy and physiology to create an effective body rebalancing treatment. That’s what their flyer says. “Siam Therapeutic Wisdom” is designed to release deep-seated tension and pain, and to restore our natural energy and equilibrium.” Ah, yes.

As I wait for my ride in front of Oasis Spa, I was thinking how grateful I should be to two forward thinking individuals for how better I’m feeling right now: Toby Allen and Pakin Ploypicha. These two shared not only their avid love for spas but also their unique skills and abilities to create a product that has been continuously upping the bar for all spas in Thailand. Award winning Oasis Spas can now be found not only in Bangkok (two), but also in Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Pattaya.

So let me give a recommendation: If you are suffering from muscle tension or chronic pain, body fatigue, reduced movement, stiffness, headaches, or lower back pain and you need more than just pampering, try the “Siamese Therapeutic Treatment.”

This is a hard – not medium- or soft-massage treatment. But I assure you: This will make your discomforts go away. At least, it did mine!

Contact Details:
Oasis Spa
02-262-2122 (Bangkok), 053-920-111 (Chiang Mai); 038-364-070 (Pattaya); and 076-337-777 (Phuket); www.oasisspa.net

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