For a glow and shine

For a glow and shine

For a glow and shine

It's 2 pm on a sultry Friday afternoon when I am ushered into the spacious reception of Shine Spa, located on the fourth floor of Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway. Migmar, the spa manager, tells me I am booked for the spa's signature massage: the 'shine massage'. "This 60-minute massage is designed to tackle tension and uses the fragrant lavender oil to nourish your skin and make it 'shine'," she says.

I am then greeted by my spa therapist, Cracy, who leads me down a spiral staircase to the floor with all the treatment rooms. As I descend the steps, the noise of the world outside is replaced with soothing Tibetan music. My soft-spoken therapist leads me into a room, where muted lights set the tone for relaxation instantly. After I change into a comfortable robe, my shine therapy begins.

Cracy begins the treatment with a foot ritual, which is designed to familiarise the masseuse with the customer and their preferences. Cracy washes my feet with some sweet-smelling soapy water and then washes them off with warm water. She wants to know if I have any problem areas that she could focus on during the massage.

My back and my legs, I tell her, and nodding her head, she leads me to the massage table. "Would you like the oil to be applied to your face too?" she asks. When I hesitate, she asks me if my skin is generally oily. When I nod yes, she tells me I could opt out of that particular process then. Migmar tells me that pretty soon they are going to be making this particular foot ritual a little more luxurious by adding Himalayan salts and some fragrant essential oils. But for now, I had to make do with the soapy water.

Lavish lavender

Keeping my preferences in mind, Cracy begins the massage by pouring warm lavender oil on my body. Why lavender oil, I wonder, and Cracy explains, "Lavender oil relieves pain thus helping the body to relax. It is also a great detox oil. It hydrates your skin, leaving it glowing from within." Succinctly put, lavender oil has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that work wonders in treating acne, body stress and insomnia.

Surprisingly, the oil's fragrance isn't as strong as I expected it to be. Cracy gradually increases the pressure of her strokes and keeps checking with me if the pressure is alright.

Soon, I can feel the warm oil and the gentle and hard strokes loosen my body, one muscle at a time. Her strokes go from gentle to intense and then gentle again, ensuring that I don't feel discomforted at any point in time. With more focus on my back and my legs, Cracy ensures that my problem areas are treated with care.

In many ways, the shine massage reminds me of the good old tel maalish from my childhood, when my grandma used to massage my body with hot oil right before my bath. With no other extravagant elements or procedures, this treatment, I believe, focuses on the core principle of massage: to de-stress the body.

My 60 minutes of relaxation are coming to an end, but not before Cracy gives me one more round of 'oiling and massaging'. I am then directed towards a hot shower to help get rid of all the oil. If the intensive massage had missed out on de-stressing any part of my body, the hot shower covered it all. Once out of the shower, my body is a little worked up from all the heavy-duty action, but also much less stressed out than before.

If you expect a little more indulgence from your spa treatment, you could go in for the 90-minute version of this massage that involves a 20-minute jacuzzi ritual. A cup of hot green tea brings down the curtain on my shine massage.

While this particular treatment may not seem luxurious on the outset, it quietly does the deed.

After a good night's sleep, I could notice the difference in my body: my muscles weren't tight anymore and my problem areas felt like they had been through a good workout. And as Migmar said, my skin did glow from within.

In all, I would recommend this quick and simple massage to those who are high on stress, but short on time.
Shine massage might just be the solution for that throbbing back ache or sore neck or that irritating pain in your legs that never seems to go. As an added benefit, shine massage might also leave you feeling weirdly nostalgic!