You've been burning the candle at both ends for weeks. Event days were long and there were few breaks. Now it's over. It's extremely important to have some downtime. What better way to do it than to schedule some post event pampering....Asian style.
Today is Chinese New Year so I thought it would be interesting to share some of the special spa treatments I've learned about during trips to Asia. While a lot of these treatments may be new to Western audiences, they have been around for thousands of years. While some are rooted in the principles of ancient Chinese medicine, my descriptions are based solely on my personal experiences and how I have found these treatments beneficial for relaxation.
A lot of these treatments work on the basis of improving circulation and promoting flexibility in muscles.
For maximum relaxation, play this music while you read this blog post. It captures the essence of the experience.
I had experienced Western-style reflexology before I went to Asia for the first time. When I told a participant in one of my workshops that I had booked a treatment in Kuala Lumpur, he said "It's very different from what you're used to in Canada." He was right. In Asia, foot reflexology is a much deeper massage and, unlike North America, the therapist uses a variety of instruments to apply deep pressure on acupressure points.
This traditional Chinese treatment is very relaxing. Warm cups are placed all over your back,. There are several versions of this treatment but, when I had it, glass cups were used. A herbal preparation was placed inside each cup and lit causing suction as each cut heated up. After 10 minutes my back was soft and supple. Cupping is also practiced in parts of the Middle East and it was documented in Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical book on papyrus from around 1500 BC.
3. Traditional Asian Massage
Techniques include kneading, pressing on acupuncture points with the fingers or the elbow, and walking on the back. It's guaranteed to relieve stiffness.
4. Thai Massage
It's one of my favorite treatments. Every day after I facilitated a workshop in Bangkok, I crossed the street and had Thai massage and reflexology. You change into the pajamas that are provided. You're offered green tea before and after massage. During the treatment you lie on a mat that is placed on the floor rather than on a massage table.Some of the techniques are similar to traditional Asian massage including walking on the back. Emphasis is also placed on folding and bending you in order to promote more flexibility. My favorite place to go for Thai massage in Kuala Lumpur is Thai Odyssey. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover an authentic Thai massage business near my hotel in Frankfurt during IMEX last year.
5. Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage dates back about 4,000 years in Asia. I heard about hot stone massage in Asia but I experienced it for the first time in the Dominican Republic. Smooth, flat stones are disinfected. They are warned and placed on the back and shoulders. The stones are heated in hot water or a special oven. The therapist places the stones on the back about halfway through the massage when the back has already been warmed up through manipulation and sometimes the application of hot towels.
The next time you are at a destination where these treatments are offered, stay an extra day, pamper yourself and return home rested and refreshed.
For more tips to help you unwind after a busy event, also consult Event Planner Smarts: 12 Ways to Stop Your Feet From Aching After Events and 10 Tips to Stop Going Home from Events Exhausted.
Photo Credits: Thai Odyssey, Executive Oasis International