Bukit Bintang Massage, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Bukit Bintang, MalaysiaLast weekend, my hubby and I made a quick, overnight trip to Kuala Lumpur(KL), Malaysia. The trip was via a coach from Singapore and we started at 8am and was in KL by 2pm. We checked into the Bukit Bintang Hotel along the busy Bukit Bintang Road. Bukit Bintang Road is a touristy area with lots of shopping malls, eateries, open air markets, cafes, no-frill spa boutique etc.

Our main purpose of this trip was to eat cheap, shop cheap and of course enjoy the massage at half the price as compared back home.

After our breakfast the next day, we decided to check out the spa boutique within the hotel. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any massage slot available and more importantly, the price was quite steep and not much different from home. As Bukit Bintang is one of the busiest street in Kuala Lumpur, we were quite certain that we would be able to find something cheaper and even better.

We noticed a few spa boutique signboards just across the road from our hotel. We walked into the 1st spa and they were not opened for business yet as it was only about 10.30am. We inquired about their service and price. The prices were reasonable. Since they were not ready for business, we walked further down to explore the rest of the spas. The second spa was located on the 2nd floor and they were open and ready to accept customers despite the early hour.

The place was nicely decorated with Oriental Chinese decor and Chinese soft music completed the ambiance. We decided to try their foot reflexology. We were then lead into the massage hall by our therapists. Wow, the place is like an ancient Chinese Palace Chamber with more than 100 massage beds and each bed was individually separated by soft, flowing curtains thus ensuring some degree of privacy.

Both our therapists were from China. Their reflexology strokes were so good that our 60 mins sessions passed so quickly. During the treatment, we found that they worked from 10am to the next following day 2am. This is so tiring work!

After the treatment, I went back to the 1st spa to try out their Aroma massage & body scrub. My hubby went shopping and we agreed to meet 2 hours later at the hotel lobby.

The therapist led me to the upper level. The 1st level was for foot reflexology, 2nd and 3rd level were for body and facial treatments. I was led to the 3rd level as it was meant for ladies only.

The therapist applied the sea salt scrub on my whole body and followed by a 90mins aroma massage. Her skills were good and she ensured every part of your body were being massaged with the right pressure. Both the body scrub and massage cost me MYR182 (US$55) which would have certainly cost me twice back home.

After my massage session, I walked back to the hotel to meet my hubby. We went for a quick lunch and it was time to end our short trip with another ride back on the coach.

Location of Spas: Row of shophouses opposite Bukit Bintang Hotel, Bukit Bintang Road, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Size of Spa:
1. First spa was three levels with individual small rooms on the 2nd & 3rd level
2. Second spa was one level with more than 100 beds in a large common hall
Friendliness: Friendly receptionist and masseurs
1. Shower rooms only
2. None
Pricing: MYR60 to MYR80 for one hour session (US$20 – US$25)


What is Shiatsu Massage?

There are many different type of massage therapy that one can undergo in order to feel better. Therapeutic massage offers many benefits to an individual’s health, including the release of stress from the muscles of the body, feelings of relaxation, and help when it comes to rehabilitating from an injury.In order to find out what type of massages are best for treating the problems that you are having with your health, it’s important to learn about as many types of massage therapy as possible so that you can make the right decision. In this article, we’ll learn about Shiatsu massage, a unique form of massage that can be helpful in many ways.

Shiatsu massage originated from Japan. The first exclusive Shiatsu massage therapy clinic was created in the year 1925 in Japan by a Japanese man named Namikoshi. Shiatsu massage is a type of massage therapy that continues to grow and evolve as the years go by with many different individuals adding to the therapeutic methods.

The very definition of Shiatsu massage states that the practice involves the usage and applying pressure of one’s fingers and palms of the hands to correct imbalances that are found throughout the body in order to help to keep a patient healthy both physically and psychologically. Practitioners of the art of Shiatsu massage state that their practice manipulates the body by stimulating the immune system, therefore helping an individual to be less prone to illness and more apt to make a quick recovery. To look at it closely, Shiatsu follows the Body Meridian principles found in China and it would not be surprising if Shiatsu massage traces it’s roots to China.

Shiatsu practitioners stress that the massage is one that focuses on maintaining the health of the whole body as opposed to attacking a specific symptom or problem. In this manner, the Shiatsu practitioners believe that the body possesses the natural capacity to be able to heal itself if there are no problems that are affecting the whole body itself.

Since Shiatsu’s conception in Japan, the art has spread throughout the world. Shiatsu massage can be easily found in USA and Europe and residents in these countries can find therapeutic relief through Shiatsu massage while ensuring that they are receiving the proper level of treatment since there are now many state and national boards which work to license and govern the practice of Shiatsu massage in these countries. In fact, Shiatsu practitioners are one of the most regulated practitioners in the world compared to the other forms of massage practitioners.

If you do decide that you wish to undergo Shiatsu massage, do your best to ensure that the therapist that you are visiting is licensed in the art of Shiatsu. That way, you will be able to ensure that you are getting the proper treatment from a qualified practitioner and avoid possible bodily harm from unqualified practitioners.


Amazing super-size foot massage palor in Xiamen, China

Large Foot Massage Place in Xiamen, ChinaTalk about up-sized! I know foot massage is a popular past time in mainland China but can you imagine a foot massage joint with a hundred over massage rooms and three hundred over massage therapists?

I recently visited a foot massage palor in Xiamen, China which can take in hundreds of customers at any one time and it is aptly named as ‘Da Tong Shui’ or literally ‘Big Bucket of Water’…

Da Tong Shui is located in a busy commercial district in Xiamen, China and has a grand entrance flanked by pretty female receptionists. Two flights of automated escalators lead up and down to the second and third floor of the building leading to a further myriad of hundreds of massage rooms. One can get lost easily in the corridors of hundreds of massage room maze…

Grand EntranceThe entire complex is done up very grand, elegant and opulently, very unlike the small and humble foot massage joints one is more likely to encounter in most places in Asia. Prices are clearly stated at RMB50 (US$6.25) an hour of foot massage with a free flow of food, soup, dessert and beverages! These prices are ready to knock the socks off all the small foot massage joints! No wonder there are hundreds of rooms because I am sure at that price, foot massage enthusiasts would be flocking to it!

Large water bucketsThere were two of us and the ushers lead us to a private room. Everyone gets a private room even if you walk in alone. Each room comes with comfortable seats, piped in music, magazines, LCD TV and a FREE FLOW of drinks, double-boiled soup and food which you can ask for anytime. There is even a printed catalogue with the the bio-data of each of the foot therapist including his/her specialty or strength level so that a customer can even find a therapist customised to his liking.

Foot massage therapistTea was served immediately and soon, two foot massage therapists came in to start our treatment. We started with a hot water soak in a herbs-filled wooden bucket (hence the name Da Tong Shui or Big Water Bucket) and then the actual foot massage started.

Treatment lasted for an hour and included some shoulder and hand massage. You can also add a foot pedicure for RMB20, Gua-Sha for RMB30 or Chinese Tui-Na Massage for RMB50. We chose an additional one hour of Tui-Na Massage and the foot massage seats were miraculously transformed into a sort of massage bed. We could even do our Tui Na or Chinese massage with the same therapists without leaving the room!

Tui Na was equally good and it was so easy to fall asleep in such a conducive environment. All too soon, one hour was up and it was time for some nourishing soup and food! We were presented with a menu with a large selection of soup, food, dessert and drinks. Ordering any of the soup or food alone would have easily exceeded RMB50 in a nice restaurant and it was amazing how the bosses of Da Tong Shui could have made any money with his low prices! What’s more, as a customer, we could have stayed in the room as long as we want with as much food or drinks as we want!

According to the Chinese massage therapists, Da Tong Shui is packed to the brim on weekends and in the weekday evenings. Despite the hundreds of massage therapists available, it is difficult to get a vacancy unless one books ahead in the evenings or the weekends! Wow…

We had good soup and food and watched TV for a couple of hours before deciding to leave. On our way out, we saw a row of computers and decided to spend some surfing the Internet and answering emails; again for free.

Of course, we also wanted to quickly update our blog so that you too, can enjoy the same kind of royal treatment the next time you happen to be in Xiamen, China!

Location of Spa: Jiahe Rd, Xiamen, China
Size of Spa: Hundreds of rooms; several hundred massage therapists
Friendliness: Cold friendliness
Facilities: Showers, bathrooms, internet access, free flow of food/beverages
Pricing: RMB50 for Foot Massage; RMB50 for Tuina, RMB20 for pedicure, RMB30 for Gua-Sha

(Note: USD$1 = RMB8)


No-frill massage on a lazy Sunday, River Valley Rd, Singapore

Thai MassageOne lazy sunny morning, my hubby and I had just finished a hearty breakfast along Mohammad Sultan Road, Singapore and happened to pass by some traditional massage shops along River Valley Road, just besides the Tank Road Indian temple. There were large, colourful banners advertising the shops and you just can’t miss them. Being in an extremely relaxed mood, we decided to try out one of the massage shops.

This massage shop is located in a two level pre-war shophouses. The friendly receptionist introduced their available massages and prices. Both my hubby and I opted for their signature massage… Balinese and Thai massage respectively.

This is a no-frill massage palor or boutique and hence does not offer the any type of spa facilities. Their main focus of business is Therapeutic Massage. In Singapore and Asia, there are many of such type of massage shops that focused strictly on massages and not spa frills and facilities. Personally, we prefer this type of no-frill massage shops as prices tend to be at least 50% lesser than a spa-type of massage boutique.

We were lead by the massage therapists to our respective mattresses as they do not have individual rooms. This place is like a typical Thai massage shop one can find in Thailand (i.e. one row of beds or mattresses with separated curtains in a common area). At least they bother to separate the male and female customers!

I opted for the Balinese massage as I wanted something soft and gentle. Balinese massage uses a combination of gentle stretches, acupressure and aromatherapy oils to stimulate the flow of blood, oxygen and ‘qi’ (energy) around your body, and bring deep relaxation and wellness.

Balinese massage uses a variety of techniques including skin rolling, kneading and stroking, acupressure and reflexology.

Overall, my therapist was not too bad even though she is Thai and not Balinese except that she was rather rough when she moved my leg, arms etc. Other than that, her skills was quite good as she ensured every part of your body was massaged.

My hubby loves Thai massage as it gives him the ‘kick’ when the therapist stretches/bend his body. So whenever we are in Thailand, he will try at least a few rounds of hard Thai massage.

Thai Massage is also called Thai yoga massage because the therapist uses his or her hands, knees, legs, and feet to move you into a series of yoga-like stretches. Many people say Thai massage is like doing yoga without any work! Thai massage uses passive stretching and pressure along the body’s energy lines to increase flexibility, relieve muscle and joint tension and balance the body’s energy systems. It is both deeply relaxing and energizing but for many people, especially first timers, they may find Thai massage less relaxing and more painful than other forms of massage.

His therapist was from Northern Thailand. After the session, I asked for my hubby’s comments. The only words he said was that he slept all the way during the session! On one hand, some people may think that the therapist was so good that the recipient actually slept through the treatment. This will sound right if you are doing Shiatsu, Aroma or Swedish massage. Unfortunately, it’s Thai Massage…. whereby the therapist literally uses her whole body, including her elbow, knee and feet to move, twist, turn and contort your body into various yoga-like positions…. so how can one sleep? Hmmmm……

Location of Spa: River Valley Road, Singapore
Size of Spa: 20 beds in common rooms
Friendliness: Friendly receptionist and masseurs
Facilities: Minimal. Shower room available.
Pricing: Minimum SGD50 for one hour session


My First Yoga Experience

Yoga pose The latest health and wellness craze to hit Singapore is YOGA. There are big banners hanging from buildings and full page advertisements in newspapers exhorting the merits of Yoga everyday and everywhere! In fact, I understand that Yoga is hot in many large cities across the world.

Personally, I had always wanted to try Yoga because I had always thought it consisted of easy stretching exercises which will not cause me to sweat too much and yet I get to exercise at the same time – best of both worlds :-) Hence, I readily agreed to attend a introductory session when one of the Yoga studios near my office in the central CBD district started handing out brochures.

The Yoga studio was tastefully done up. Warm lights exuded a soft welcome in the main reception area where a number of people were chatting and relaxing in a cosy sofa corner.

A friendly consultant attended to me and showed me around the studio and introduced their facilities. There were shower rooms, lockers, steam rooms and a member’s relaxation area.

I had a lengthy discussion with the consultant. She explained to me the various types of yoga classes as well as the membership cost. I was shocked with the membership price! I immediately held back my intention of joining up immediately!

I told her that I will try out the 7 days trial before making any commitment. She explained to me that as this is my first try with Yoga, she would recommend me to attend the Hatha Yoga class to get a taste of Yoga.

Hatha Yoga is an age-old discipline of Yoga that combines stretching exercises with relaxation techniques to form a complete system of holistic care designed to rejuvenate the body and free the mind from tension and fatigue. Sounds good… so I decided to check it out.

I made an appointment for my 1st Yoga lesson. When I arrived at the Yoga studio, the place was packed with office executives! Looks like lots of white collar people are in need of relaxation exercises! Before the class began, I was asked to take a shower. By doing this, it will help to cool down the body system before starting Yoga exercises.

My first yoga lesson was interesting. The class had about 20 trainees. The lady coach was very nice. Soft music was played and we started off by doing meditation for about 20 seconds. The coach explained that by meditation, it helps to calm the body down after a hard day of hectic work.

Next, we laid down onto our stomach and put our forehead on the floor, raised our head, neck and chest slowly (The Cobra pose). We then sat on our heels and stretched our hand upwards. Lastly, we laid down on the floor with legs and arms wide open and slowly raised our hands up and down. All positions were repeated for at least 8 times.

For the last 20 mins, the coach dimmed down the lights and asked us to sit down, massage our face (eyes, cheeks, ears) and set our mind blank (The Corpse pose). The entire Yoga session lasted about 90 mins.

For a first timer, like me, the most difficult part was to balance yourself with one foot. Most of the fresh trainees were Yoga first timer and we had lots of fun giggling whenever someone toppled over!

At the end of the class, I could indeed feel myself “lighter” and”fresher”. I certainly look forward to my next class!

Location of Yoga/Spa Studio: Raffles Place, Singapore
Size of Yoga Studio: Very big!
Friendliness: Most of the staff are friendly
Facilities: Shower rooms, steam rooms and rest lounge
Pricing: Need to pay a joining fee and membership fee to enjoy unlimited Yoga classes & usage of the spa. Need to look out for joining-up promotion!