BlueWater Day Spa is that oasis in the city known for its unique spa treatments that come from different international origins. I was at a recent event of theirs to reintroduce their brand ambassadors, launch new ambassadors, as well as show us their latest massage treatment.
I could not resist an invitation to a reflexology experience at The Reflex Zone, a natural therapy center which is the first of its kind in the Philippines that follows the Rwo Shur health method of reflexology. Little did I know (till afterwards) that the owners (Alex and Jamie Coyiuto) are the son and daughter-in-law of friends.
There is no doubt that massage has a healing property. Mothers are told to touch and massage their babies lightly and studies have shown that massaged babies grow up with a greater sense of well-being than those who are not massaged.
But massage is not necessarily reflexology. Reflexology is a natural form of therapy that uses pressure applied to specific reflex points on the feet which correspond to different glands, organs and body systems. Pressure applied to these points breaks up crystalline deposits of uric acid, calcium and lactic acid as well as clears blockages and releases toxins in those areas. Massage is meant to relax the parts being massaged; reflexology works through the nervous system to heal ALL parts of the body.
Foot chart pressure zone legend (partial)
The Reflex Zone’s type of reflexology is called Rwo Shur Health Method of Reflexology. This has been in existence for over 30 years now. Developed by Fr. Josef Eugster, a Swiss Catholic priest and missionary in Taiwan, it is done using just the bare hands, unlike Xiamen or Thai reflexology that involves a wooden stick that is pressed into the different pressure points.
Fr. Josef himself was healed from a debilitating severe rheumatoid arthritic condition when, upon the urgings of a colleague, applied reflexology on himself. He became a self-taught reflexologist and over time, healed many people. Rwo Shur is Fr. Josef’s Chinese name. Watch this old video with Fr. Josef’s testimony and another one with an actual demonstration:
The Reflex Zone has only 7 licensed male therapists. All of them were trained on the Rwo Shur methodology in Malaysia. We asked, why male therapists only? Apparently, studies showed that the males had a more consistent pressure on the feet.
My friend Michelle and I occupied the first treatment area closest to the foyer. Every seat was a lazyboy so I was quite comfortable. Side tables beside the therapists’ chairs contained a drawer for one’s shoes.
One of the treatment areas
The first step consisted of a 20-minute Peppermint Crystal Mud Food Soak. A kind of powder was sprinkled on the hot water in our foot basin and as I swished my feet around to mix the powdery solution, I felt the water hardening, much like the solidifying of gelatin.
Water is still almost all liquid
This is what it looks like after turning gelatinous and the sensation is heavy (like you are swimming in gelatin)
After the soak, dissolving powder turns the gelatinous solution back into watery form
A quick pumice foot scrub ends the first part. Step 2 was the actual reflexology treatment which lasted about 60 minutes. My physical therapist was Jorel and as he began pressing on different parts of the feet, pushing, pinching, or kneading, he’d explain to me what organs were affected. Most of the time, I felt no pain but definitely, there were some areas that hurt (one of which involved the gall bladder). I’m having myself checked for that soon.
On their website, they posted a list of medical conditions that can be positively affected by the Rwo Shur Signature Therapy method.
They also offer reflexology for children aged 5-8 years old consisting of a 20 minute foot soak and 40 minutes reflexology. The Reflex Zone also posted these children’s conditions that can be helped by their reflexology.
To me, the real test of an effective reflexology treatment is how well I sleep at night. For a long time now, my blogging has kept me awake past midnight. Although I had been trying to reverse this by slowly trying to sleep earlier, sometimes I’d lie awake at night with my body still active. But after my Reflex Zone reflexology, around 10:30 that night, my eyes were dropping already and I felt like going to bed. Yes, it was one of the soundest sleep I’d ever had in a long time. I’m going back there soon.
One Saturday afternoon, a group of mommy bloggers, including myself, headed out to try a spa we had never been to (at least for most of us) — Nuat Thai Libis.
I was only familiar with another spa place along Libis so it was nice to find out that there was an alternative one. I had a pretty looooong week then so getting a Thai body and foot massage was something I was really looking forward to. The fact that I was going to experience this with mommy bloggers was an extra treat!
With Janine Ching-Go and Jay Tiu of Nuat Thai Libis
My pictures from hereon are few and a bit dark. After all, why would I spoil a spa experience by taking lots of pictures instead of just surrendering to the hands of our masseuse?
My choice for the afternoon was a Swedish body massage followed by a foot massage. But first, we had to have a foot bath.
Entrance to foot bath
The ambience was truly Thai — including the touches with flowers floating on water, tiles with flat, dark stones in between them, and strategically placed lighted candles to give it that warm, inviting, relaxing feeling. Inside the foot bath room, I saw two foot ceramic basins with individual faucets and a raised wooden seating area.
That’s me getting a nice foot scrub
Rubber slippers were provided after the foot scrub and I was led to the area where they do the back massages. Oh! They had mattresses on the floors and each cubicle was discreetly separated by dark curtains for privacy. And I thought my friends and I would be lying visibly next to each other! Hahaha.
I changed out of my clothes and promptly lay down on the mattress. I was a bit afraid of how the Swedish massage would go because the last time I had one at another massage place nearer home, the lady masseuse seemed to have had a bad day because she pounded me no end, leaving me feeling worse after the massage and achy all over.
To my relief and great delight, I had a very good masseuse. She kneaded me all over, just exerting the right pressure. I had a choice of eucalyptus oil, green tea or lavender oil. I chose lavender oil, my favorite aromatherapy scent for relaxing.
I felt totally relaxed under the skillful hands of the masseuse assigned to me. I just regretted that I did not thoroughly enjoy the experience because in the cubicle right next to me, a guy who was also getting a massage insisted on talking on his mobile phone for a very long time. That, despite the shushing that my masseuse kept giving him. Some people really have no ethics when it comes to mobile phone use.
Anyway, back to my massage experience…
After the body massage, I dressed up and was led to still another room where Lazy Boys were. Again, my masseuse did a good job with the reflexology points and the Thai stretching that came after. One slight discomfort though. I was seated right next to the door, with my chair facing the reception area. So since the rooms were all dark, every time someone opened the sliding door from the reception area to the hallway, the sunlight from outside would blind me. Next time I go visit them, I’ll specifically ask not to be seated in that chair. Or maybe they can reposition the chairs, taking that into account.
View of body massage and foot massage areas (photo courtesy of My Mom-Friday)
At the end of our massage, the Nuat Thai people made sure we were well fed – Serenitea (my favorite!) and some cookies and ensaymada completed the afternoon as we mommies spent time chitchatting around the reception area.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience despite some problems I encountered. Nuat Thai does have good masseuse and that is actually one of the key successes of spas. Their gowns and towels are very clean and look hygienic; the wonderfully scented oils they use truly enhance the relaxation experience.
Last but not least of all, their prices are so reasonable! Take a look at these:
Nuat Thai foot massage (1 hour) – Php 250 Thai body massage (1 hour) – Php 250; Php 300 with oil Thai back massage ( 1 hour) – Php 250; Php 300 with oil Swedish massage (1 hour) – Php 350 Aromatheraphy massage w/ herbal balls (1-1/2 hrs) = Php 550 Hot oil massage (1-1/2 hrs) – Php 550 Thai head, back & shoulder massage (1 hour) – Php 250; Php 300 with oil
My boy has been hankering for a foot massage so one of these days, I’ll probably bring him there for one while I try their back massage once again. This time I am hoping there won’t be a repeat incident with anyone who cannot even leave his mobile phone on silent in order to fully enjoy his own spa massage.
Nuat Thai Libis 2/F 90 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave. (across Shopwise, above Allied and RCBC Bank) Libis, Quezon City Tel (02) 477-5004 Open daily 12 noon to 2:00 AM