Review: Riyuegu HotSpring Spa, China

My friends and family visited Riyeugu Mineral Hotspring Spa in Xiamen, China recently. We last visited Riyuegu in July last year and you can read the reviews here and here.

This time round, we spent our visit in the communal hotspring resort park instead of the private treatment rooms. It has been recorded historically that more than 400 years ago during the Ming Dynasty period of early China, a royal Ming court official immersed himself in the hotsprings here and felt such joy anf fulfillment that he recorded his experience of this ‘heavenly gift’ on a stone plaque. The plaque was re-discovered in the 1980s where Riyuegu Hotsprings Resort now stands.

The communal hotspring resort park has more than 100 spa pools with water that has been pumped from underground hotsprings. The hotspring park is designed with lush surrounding and together with the serene environment and hotspring serves to make it an ideal holiday destination for friends, couples and family alike to spend a day there.

There are various themes for the hotspring pools such as floral, herbal, mineral, medicinal and alcohol where there are ever such a faint hint of the real stuff in the hotspring. Apparently, it is more of a gimmick than real because where in nature would you ever have a red wine hotspring pool for example?

There are also hotspring swimming pool, sand pool, hot-stone beds, fish pool and other various kind of  facilities you may come to expect from a communal hotspring. For example, you can have a massage while lying on a hot stone bed or have your body massaged by fishes.

You can also get a massage in private rooms within the communal hotspring. The masseurs are professional and the massage is superb. Read our earlier reviews.

At the end of your visit, you can have a meal at the cafe and then hop onto the complimentary bus that brings you back to Xiamen. If you are ever in Xiamen, China, you owe it to yourself to make a visit here. You will not be disappointed!

Location of Riyuegu Hotsprings Resort:
1888 Fulian Road, Haicang District, Xiamen, China 361027
Size of Resort: One luxury hotel, one hotspring theme-park, one spa retreat
Facilities: Multiple luxurious spa facilities

Friendliness: Extremely polite resort staff and massage therapists.
Pricing: About US$17 for hotspring theme park entrance fee. Massage treatment ranges from US$15 to US$40. Between US$85 to US$175 for spa, beauty or detox packages.

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Massage Chair = Personal Live-in Masseuse?

Massage ChairA personal home massage chair has suddenly become a vogue item to have at home.

A few years ago, some people would have purchased a massage chair at home because they may be suffering from back pain, neck pain, buttock pain, headaches, and even leg pain and stress and hence would want a chair to release some discomfort at home.

In those days, most chairs would be made from artificial leather and offer only one or two mode of massage – mostly vibration and kneading. Most of these chairs cannot fully recline and to be honest, most were not good-looking and may not blend well in a home if you are a fussy home maker.

Most chairs would have cost about US$1,500 to US$2,500, and were mostly bought by children as a gift to their elderly parents or by the elderly themselves.

Fast forward to today – and you’ll find that the trend of buying massage chair is not a one-time fancy or fad but instead, massage chair has almost become a vogue item to buy for the home.

No longer is the massage chair bought by children for their elderly parents but most likely by the children for themselves or for their new homes. The new massage chairs of today are likely to be made from real leather or suede, are good looking, can fully recline, has multiple massage functions and can even massage or vibrate in accordance to music or a movie!

Hence, some people will simply want a nice massage chair that looks good in their living room or office so that they can relax and just listen to their surround sound movie or music system! For others who are still keen on ‘real massage features’, new massage chairs today can perform all of these massage functions: –

Kneading – also known as “shiatsu”, kneading rolls outward from the spine and feels much like 2 hands alternately rubbing your back.

Percussion/Tapping – this is the light “karate chopping” on a client’s back that you’ve probably seen before on TV. Increased blood flow and muscle stiffness relief is the benefit gained. It feels wonderful.

Rolling – Basically, wheels just roll up and down the muscles on either side of your spine. Here are the benefits: 1.) gentle moving of the spinal bones, and 2.) stretching of the spine and the muscles around it.

Foot and calf massager – many of the new chairs have an attached ottoman that has a calf and foot massage feature administered by an airbag system. This feature is a real “must”, especially if you spend a good portion of your day on your feet.

Full recliner – if you want your massage to be as deep as possible, you need to get a massage chair that has a reclining feature. And the further back the recline, the greater the intensity of the massage.

Prices has not only not fallen over the years but have gone steadily up especially with a number of new features and are generally between US$1,500 to US$8,000 depending on leather quality and number of fancy mechanism. Most of these chairs are manufactured in Japan or China under a few big Japanese brands such as Sanyo and Panasonic. In other parts of Asia, local brands such as Osim, Oto, VGO, Omega has sprung up and are active sellers of the home massage chair and other home health products.

If you live far away from shopping malls or prefer to shop online, you can buy new massage chair recliners at a good price at this massage chair online site. This company offers a 90 refund policy, ships internationally, is managed by a doctor and carry most of the major and reputable brands. By far, this is one of the best on-line website for massage chairs I have seen.

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Spa Relaxation Music

Relaxation musicI love relaxing in a spa. They invoke your inner senses with their dim lights, aromatic smell and soothing background music.

I remember this spa that I visited in Mines, KL, Malaysia, a few years back which even had a room with soft sofas called “The Sense Room” that had nothing but flowing curtains, soft lights, scented candles and soft music.

Guests moving in and out of The Sense Room were not allowed to make unnecessary noise and magazines, MP3 players and mobile phones were strictly not allowed. All you were allowed to do was to lay back and relax to the soft music.

There is something about spa music that is so soothing. Many of them are back-to-nature sound, nothing but the repetition of ocean waves or rustic bamboo swinging in the wind or spring water bubbling over stones or the collective call of sea gulls.

These music tracks were unique and difficult to get. I’ve checked many CD shops and the closest I can get are zen, inspirational, instrumental or aboriginal tracks but never exactly the same kind of music I hear in spas. Once, I did come across a small CD shop that sold similar back-to-nature music CDs but it closed down quickly due to the small market.

I am glad to come across this online CD store that sells exactly what I am looking for. This company sell back-to-nature CD that you can buy online and they’ll ship you the CD with FREE shipping fees. And if you can’t wait for shipping, they’ll even allow downloading of the same MP3 tracks. How’s that for service?

What this company does is to actually track down the right places in nature and record the sound using high quality audio recording devices. None of the tracks are artificially created in a production studio.

What I also like is that I can also listen to a track partially on their website before making a decision to buy. And if I realise the CD I bought is not really what I want, I can even get a full refund within 30 days!

So, if you are like me, who like soothing spa-type music at home or in the office, do check out their website. I’m sure you will enjoy what you hear.

Online Store: Http://www.relaxation-cds.com
Types of CD: More than 30 categories of rest and relaxation genre CDs
Price: Between US$19-US$25
Remarks:

FREE relaxation screensaver
FREE MP3 version included on CD
FREE international shipping & handling
RISK-FREE 30-day money-back guarantee

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Relaxation Techniques to Relieve Stress

Relieve Stress techniquesGiven the fast and furious pace of modern life, wherever you may be living in the world, you may find your friend, relative, colleague or even yourself suffering from mental stress and burnout.

However, there are some relaxation activities you can do for the relief of these conditions before you may need to seek professional help. Certain of these relaxation methods can be effective in reducing stress in your life. These relaxation methods can include muscle relaxation techniques, deep breathing exercises, meditation or prayer, massage therapy and biofeedback. Massage therapy and biofeedback are usually done in a professional setting but the first three methods can be done at home.

Muscle relaxation
Muscle relaxation is a great activity to practise before going to sleep each night. It will help you calm down and help you sleep better. You should lie down in a comfortable position without crossing your arms or legs. Begin concentrating on each part of your body starting with your head. Breathe deep and slow through this exercise. Tense each muscle as tightly as possible holding for a count of five to ten and then release the muscle. Think of that muscle and feel the relaxation as it becomes heavy. Tense and release each muscle starting with the head and not forgetting the muscles in your face. Continue down each muscle group to your feet. Once you have completed the outside, you may want to work on contracting internal muscles. (Note: You will have some difficulties initially but once you can get it, you’ll find muscle relaxation great for stress relief)

Deep Breathing
Breathing is an important way to reduce stress. When we are stressed, we start taking shallow, short breaths. Taking a deep and long breath can be a great resource for winding down and taking a step back for stressful situations. Deep breathing means concentrating on each breath and counting through each cycle. Inhale through the nose to the count of ten, taking in as much air as you can. Breathe with your stomach and abdomen muscles and don’t let your chest expand. Breathe out slowly through the nose also to the count of ten. Concentrate only on breathing and counting through the cycles. (Note: Repeat this exercise five to ten times and try to make it a habit of doing deep breathing techniques several times a day.)

Mental Meditation
Meditation has been widely used in Oriental cultures as a way to reduce stress. The goal is to calm down the mind and relax. Meditation reduces the stress hormone levels in your body and raises your emotional mood. It aids in reducing blood pressure, keeps adrenaline and skin temperatures in your body level. You should carve out twenty minutes of your day to practice meditation. (Note: You shouldn’t try this right before you go to sleep because it could cause you to wake up in the middle of the night bright and alert.)

Techniques for meditation are varied and you may choose the method that feels the best to you. Sit upright in a chair or on the floor with your spine straight. If you are sitting on the floor cross your legs, if you are sitting on a chair be sure both feet are flat on the floor. Let your mind go and picture your favorite place where you feel the most relaxed. Picture your worries as clouds that are slowly melting away. Feel each breath you take and listen to the sounds around you. Make an effort to use all of your senses to experience the moment you are in. (Note: You may find playing zen-type of music a help for meditation)

These three relaxation methods can be practiced at home and will help reduce stress and control stress hormone levels in your body.

Some of us may find that we can easily practise these relaxation techniques by ourselves at home. Others may not be able to and it is advisable that you then take up classes such as Yoga and Tai Chi which includes muscle relaxation, breathing exercises and meditation as part of their practising philosophy.

Article reprinted with permission from http://www.health-wellness-care.com

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