Just a short walk from Jungceylon and opposite the Holiday Inn in Patong are probably the best ‘value for money’ body treatments available on Phuket Island, at the stylish 5-Star Massage and Beauty Salon.
Under French management by the lovely Isabelle the salon operates to very high standards and uses only the best quality natural Thai oils and lotions. A whole range of massage therapies are on offer as well as hair and facial treatments, manicures and pedicures. It is Isabelle’s strict policy not to offer a service until she is completely sure that her product is the best on the market and her staff is well-trained and proficient in the procedure.
It was great to see then that three new treatments have been added to the extensive salon menu and we recently took the opportunity to check out these new offers.
The first treatment we tried was the ear candling and it was indeed a surprisingly pleasant experience. Ear Candling is an ancient healing method, originating in Egypt around 2,500 BC and still widely used today at alternative medicine clinics and holistic centers around the world. Ear candling requires the use of special candles, which are made of cotton or linen that is wound into a candle shape, soaked in wax, and then allowed to harden. It is a method of removing excess ear wax and debris and it really is completely safe and painless. Whilst you lie on your side the hollow candle is placed into the external ear canal and the candle is lit at the opposite end.
Warm air and smoke from the burning candle dries out the ear canal and stimulates the body’s natural excretion of wax and dead cells, pollen, mold, parasites and other debris. After the procedure, a dark, waxy substance is usually left in the hollow candle, which is a combination of the unwanted ear wax and debris, but the final result is that your ears are squeaky clean!
Next on our ‘to do’ list was a slimming treatment that employs a full body, Lymphatic Drainage Massage to achieve its ends. This is a highly specialized therapy using organic oils blended with essential oils. It aids detoxification and reduces water retention using unique gentle pumping techniques to drain trapped toxins through the body’s lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a complex network of vessels and ducts that move fluid throughout the body and is responsible for moving toxins away from healthy cells and carrying germfighting materials to cells when they are under attack by viruses. Though fluid moves through the lymphatic system, it does not have its own pumping mechanism. Lymphatic drainage is a type of therapy that primarily focuses on specific lymph nodes and points of the body and is intended to reduce blockages of the lymphatic system, which in turn promotes a healthier body. It is a really relaxing way to get healthy and a perfect way to spend an hour as often as you can.
Last on our list of new treatments was the Sports or Deep Tissue Massage. Developed only in recent years, the sport massage is specifically designed for people who are involved in physical activity. But you don’t have to be a professional athlete to have one! It’s also used by people who are active and workout often, or by non-sports people like me who have taken a non-sports tumble.
The focus isn’t on relaxation but on preventing and treating injury and enhancing athletic performance. This massage is slow and thorough and the therapist begins with superficial strokes to identify any problem areas and detected overused muscles. These muscles are hard and tense compared to the surrounding tissues and this massage helps to relieve any swelling and drain away exhaustion from the body. When there is chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments and these adhesions can block circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation.
Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. To do this, the massage therapist often uses direct deep pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles. It focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue and is especially helpful for chronically tense and contracted areas such as stiff necks, low back tightness and sore shoulders. This is not for the faint hearted though as the massage pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain, however the great news is that you will notice an improved range of motion immediately after the massage.
All-in-all three very good reasons to get over to the tender ministrations of Isabelle and her expert therapists for a complete body ‘tune up’. You just know it makes sense!