Amazing Race to the Spa: Shanghai

26 Apr

Did you all miss the race last week as much as I did?  So glad to get my fix last night.  I’ve found there are so many great sites that review the Amazing Race, this week I’d like to lead you to New York Magazine’s review.   Now we can get to the spa fun so much quicker.

Spa Destination

Four Seasons Shanghai's Decadent Pedicure Chair

This week I give the racers a respite at Qin the Spa in the Four Seasons Hotel in Shanghai.  This enclave combines wellness and luxury services served up with a modern twist.  The edgy Asian design is enough to make me drool.  If I were the racers I’d be sinking into the foot reflexology – you know their peds have got to be pretty puckered at this point in the race.  The Qin has a Bamboo Reflex Massage that is truly unique:

Bamboo reflex massage

Reflexology is based on the premise that the body contains qi (energy), which is constantly flowing through channels in the body that unite to form the reflex points on the feet and hands. This specialised foot massage uses heated bamboo sticks to help relieve stress and tension, improving blood supply and restoring the body’s natural state of equilibrium.

Or if they really want to luxuriate, they could try an hour and 15 minute Polish & Cocoon Therapy in one of the following flavors:

  • Green dragon – Your body is exfoliated with a dandelion and rhubarb skin-cleansing and renewing scrub to prepare for the peach blossom and tangerine body refresher wrap that follows, which will re-energise and sharpen your senses. To finish, your skin is nourished with a tea and lotus organic body lotion.
  • Red phoenix – This treatment begins with a white sandalwood and magnolia scrub to melt away stress. You are then enveloped in a white sandalwood and magnolia body butter wrap that will deeply nourish and soften your skin. The treatment ends with a wild orchid and ruby-infused body mist applied to the skin for nourishment.
  • White tiger – Rice wine tonic will be gently rubbed on your skin before you are cocooned in a white ginseng and wine wrap. The treatment ends with the application of a hydrating rhubarb and angelica gel.

SpaHome Inspiration

The couple's treatment room at Four Seasons Shanghai

As I mentioned above, Qin’s massage using warm bamboo is a unique version of reflexology.  I personally can attest to the power of this ancient practice to cure modern maladies.  For instance, I suffer from migraines occasionally – a hot foot bath and massage on my foot’s pressure points always helps fix me fast.

There are many simple ways you can emulate the Four Season’s therapy at home.  Spa Around the World’s version:

1.  Buy dried bamboo (found at many floral & home design centers).  Have it cut into 12 inch pieces.

2.  Warm one by wrapping a towel soaked in hot water around the piece for 10 minutes.  Remove the towel and lay the bamboo on the floor in front of a chair.

3.  Rub your feet with about 5 drops of essential oil diluted in a carrier oil like Apricot. (available at health food stores)

4.  Put your feet onto the reed and roll, using your body weight for maximum pressure.  If you can’t find bamboo, try a wooden foot roller, a tennis ball or golf ball.

Spa wishes, Candy

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