Guest writers and reviewers welcomed!

Are you a Spa and Massage enthusiast too? Do you have your independent opinion on what makes a good spa or massage? Love to write but too lazy to start a website or blog?

Guess what? I am looking for fellow spa and massage enthusiasts to help write articles on fitness, massage therapies, holistic lifetyle, alternate treatment methods or to provide reviews on spa resorts and establishments.

You must be able to write in English. If you want to provide spa and massage reviews, you must have visited the venue yourself. You can write a favourable, neutral or even non-favourable review but they must be true and not made-up or dependent on the hearsay or opinion of a third party. Your self-taken pictures of the spa/ massage establishment and a link to their website will be highly appreciated.

We want to be a genuine and fair spa and massage review and blogging site. Hence, we will reserve the final rights to edit your submission or not to publish your article(s). Of course, if we do use your submission, we will provide full credit to your name and if you have a website or blog, we’ll provide a link too.

So, pick up that mouse and send us your best reviews and articles!

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Spa at Marina Square, Singapore

Spa reception areaI recently enjoyed a 1 for 1 spa treatment offered through a HSBC credit card promotion.

I had booked a 60 minutes Swedish massage with this spa located at Marina Square, a large shopping mall in Singapore. I had two different kind of treatment vouchers from HSBC for this spa. Initially, I wanted to use both vouchers at the same time since there were vacant time slots for both treatments. Unfortunately, the spa was not flexible enough for me to use it on a single visit. They said I need to come back another day to enjoy the other treatment… why…I’ll never understand.

The spa is nicely decorated with a mix-style of Thai and Balinese concept. There were 2 people at the reception attending to customers. We were led to a waiting area to fill up a “Getting to Know You” form and a flowered tea and hot towel were served to us. (This is something nice and relaxing which I hardly see when you are not in a 6-star spa).

Spa Treatment RoomShortly after, our masseurs led us to the treatment room. Surprisingly, the couple treatment room was quite spacious for a spa located in a shopping centre. Both the masseurs attending to us were local Singaporeans.

Susan, the masseur, who attended to me look quite young (perhaps in her mid 20s). Her strokes were very soft and gentle with just the right pressure. I liked the way she slowly cover or take away the towel on me. She was also so gentle and careful whenever she wanted me to change lying position or when she needed to adopt a stronger massage pressure.

My partner had exactly the same massage treatment in the same room and I could hear loud feet shuffling, repetitive clearing of the throat, dropped blankets and curt calls to change position.

I had long concluded that getting a good masseur is a luck of the draw in Singapore even if you are doing the same massage treatment, in the same room, in the same spa! When will spa operators in Singapore ever wake up to the idea that spas must de-stress their clients – not add stress!

Foot Massage chairsAfter the treatment, we were served with another flowered-flavoured tea and this time, a cold towel. This is great. This was a special offer spa treatment and as usual, there was a selling spiel by the spa sales personnel to promote some spa packages membership.

It seems that there are obligatory sales talk nowadays whenever there is a special offer for spa treatments. However, the sales person doing it was nice and not pushy and we let her do her sales promotion. This is not the case with many other spas establishment and which often leave a bitter after-taste especially after a nice massage session.

Spa operators, if you are reading this, let it be known that as customers, we understand that you may want to promote your spa and we can allow some time for your sales people to do their sales selling stuff. However, we do put our foot down on non-stop sales promotions or pushy sales people. No matter how good your spa is, I will walk out and never return.

Location of Spa: Marina Square, Singapore
Size of Spa: Quite a number of private room, a large common room and nice foot reflexology chairs and rooms.
Friendliness: Friendly receptionist and sales girl.
Facilities: Private Jacuzzi and Shower in Room
Pricing: Special promotion of S$138 for scrub and massage for two. Normal spa prices for other packages.
Transport: Downtown CBD, Singapore. Subway, Taxis and buses easily available.

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Traditional Cure for Stiff Muscle

Herbal pain relief patchesI don’t exactly know when it happened but I realized that my left shoulder was painful whenever I worked out at the gym. It wasn’t a obvious pain that I am physically aware of all the time but a sublime sort of pain which was only obvious when I worked out on certain gym equipments or when I stretched my shoulder a certain way.

I can only guess that I must have hurt one of the inner shoulder muscle during an earlier work-out. It wasn’t painful all the time but it was painful and awkward whenever I wanted to exercise and it wasn’t really recovering despite the pain being two weeks old or more.

After two weeks, I reached out for my mother’s traditional pain relief patches and applied one to my shoulder. Around the shoulder, I applied the Yoko Yoko Analgesic ointment, both of which my mother swore were traditional Chinese cures that will always work when nothing else will.

This is my second day with the pain relief patches. The shoulder seems to be feeling better and less painful when I stretch it but I’ll need another day or two before I see obvious result. I certainly hope it works well because I have already skipped a number of gym sessions.

You can purchase similar traditional Chinese pain relief patches and ointment at: www.quick-pain-relief.com

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Amazing Yoga Postures Life-like Illustrations

Once in a while, you come across things that simply take your breath away. It could be a scene from a movie, a piece of rousing music, a child’s painting, a nicely-setup food presentation or a funny busker on the road.

This fully illustrated book on how the different body muscles and skeletal work with various Yoga postures simply took my breath away! I have never seen anything so real, so lifelike and so representative of the art of Yoga.

It is simply one of those books that you must have on your coffee table even if you only flip through it once a month. Check it out and I’m sure you will be just as amazed too! And what better gift to give to anyone that is a Yoga enthusiast than this amazing book!

And for any Yoga teachers or masters out there, I will never understand if this book is not in your personal reference list all the time! Check out the amazing illustrations here

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6-star spa treatment in Fullerton Hotel, Singapore

Fullerton HotelFullerton Hotel is one of the grandest hotels in downtown Singapore. It was formerly the General Post Office, a grand and imposing British colonial-era building, before it was retrofitted to become a hotel. It is now a swanky 6-star hotel right smack in the middle of CBD and by the Singapore River and hosts daily grand events and banquets to the rich and famous of Singapore.

Hence, it was an absolute delight when my credit card offered a special promotion to the spa located within the hotel. It has always been my desire to try out spas in swanky 6-star hotels but my wallet had never allowed me to entertain those desires.

I made an appointment on behalf of myself and my husband, the credit card promotion being a two-for-one offer. At S$138 for two for a complete massage and body scrub in a 6-star hotel spa, I consider it an absolute steal in expensive Singapore!

Spa RoomThe spa is located in basement level of the hotel, next to the hotel gym. The fresh fragrance of lavender ‘greeted’ us as we walked towards the reception of the spa. The receptionist was a guy; which is a rare sight anywhere in the spa industry in Asia! Anyway, he introduced the spa menu available and I chose a lemon-flavoured sugar scrub and aromatherapy massage and my husband chose a sea-salt scrub and a Indonesian deep tissue massage.

We entered the spa area and were immediately reminded of the best spas of Bali or Thailand. The massage room was big and roomy and in one corner was a large jacuzzi tub and another corner was a large changing room with it’s own shower and clothes cabinet. There was even space to fit in two soft chairs in a corner of the room. You don’t normally get such space and opulence in a Singapore spa as most massage rooms tend to be small but this being a 6-star hotel spa obviously has to offer the very best!

However, unlike a good spa in Bali or Thailand, spas in Singapore just cannot reach the same high standard because of a lack in service standard and attention to close detail even in the very best spa.

We were not happy that the shower room was absolutely small! Add to the fact that the shower temperature knob tend not to follow instructions, you can get pretty burned because you can’t jump out of the way in the super-small shower room. And then, the tea served to us was more like hot water because there was hardly any tea leaves in the water. We were also surprised that a plastic sheet was used as an underlay during the scrub because it made a lot of ‘plasticky squicky sound’ throughout the entire scrub session!

Call me demanding but if you want to compete in the high value competitive Spa market of the Asian region, spa-operators need to be demanding of their spa’s quality and service and then some.

The massage was surprisingly good but the service attitude could be better. One of the masseurs was Lilian Teo and she was absolutely polite, attentive and soft-spoken, a rarity in Singapore but very normal in Bali or Thailand. Her other colleague, better not named, was typically curt and impatient, something quite common in Singapore.

Would I return? I doubt very much if I have to pay list price because it’s just too expensive in Singapore but the lure of promotions and special offers may just entice me back again.

Location of Spa: Fullerton Hotel, Singapore
Size of Spa: About 6 massage treatment rooms
Friendliness: Friendly receptionist and masseurs depending on who you get
Facilities: Private Jacuzzi and Shower in Room
Pricing: Special promotion of S$138 for scrub and massage for two. Normal spa prices for other packages.
Transport: Downtown CBD, Singapore. Subway, Taxis and buses easily available.

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Have a Happy 2008!

This is the start of a new year – 2008. I wish everyone a happy and fulfilling year ahead.

To my regular readers, thanks for the words of encouragement and the show of support. To new readers, welcome, and I hope to share more quality articles with you in the months ahead.

Have a good 2008 ahead everyone!

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