Abutting the busy area of Mathikere in Bengaluru lies an oasis of calm called Sohum Spa. Situated on the first floor of Gokulam Grand Hotel and Spa, Sohum Spa radiates a welcoming and warm vibe. Soft ambient lights highlight the traditional interiors, especially the kalamkari-painted ceilings. Nagarathna, the spa manager, welcomes me with a cool apple-cranberry tea that makes me forget my stressful journey to the spa.
While Sohum Spa offers both Ayurvedic and western treatments, Nagarathna says most people go in for western ones as they promise quick results and are quite hassle-free. I decide to leave it to her to finalise on the perfect treatment for me. Noting down my preferences of the pressure of the massage, the type of treatment and areas I usually experience pain, she suggests I try the Bali massage. She insists I go in for the 90-minute version as it will be very effective.
I then head to the relaxation room and finish my cooling tea. I am then escorted to a treatment room by my therapist Purni. She begins by scrubbing my feet clean with some warm water. The spa menu describes Bali massage as “a continuum of relaxing acupressure, skin rolling, and firm, smooth strokes along specific energy channels in the body.” Which is exactly Purni does once the massage begins.
Oil to the rescue
Purni begins massaging my body without any oil. Her strokes are firm and smooth, which help my body get prepped up for the next steps. She then applies a sweet-smelling mixture of lavender and jasmine oil and massages my back, and then my legs and arms. Lavender oil is known to detoxify the skin, thanks to its powerful anti-oxidants, and also heals tired muscles. Jasmine oil, apart from making one smell great, is an awesome antidote for stress and anxiety. All the benefits a working professional looks for from a spa treatment.
The pressure of the massage is just perfect as Purni alternates between medium and hard regularly. Stroke after stroke, she applies more oil, but it doesn’t feel too oily as it’s getting all soaked up by my skin. She then focuses on my neck and shoulders, my main problem areas. She senses a lot of stress here and applies more pressure and more oil. While it does feel a little uncomfortable initially, all the heat from the massage soon takes over the discomfort and it feels like I am working out at the gym.
Once Purni is assured she has taken care of my problem areas, she begins the whole process once again, thus ensuring no part is left untreated. Now, the pace and pressure of the massage are both intense and it’s a combination of long and short strokes. Slowly covering my arms, legs and stomach, Purni allows enough time for the oil to reach the deepest layers of my skin and never lets my body feel overworked. I half expect to fall asleep immediately but I am surprised when the opposite happens. Maybe it’s the heat from all the massage or the warm oil, I begin to feel more energetic by the minute.
Slow & easy
But the best part is yet to come. Once she’s done with my neck and shoulders, once again, Purni focuses all her attention on my head. She gives me a rigorous head massage which immediately transports me into a state of nirvana. While she doesn’t use any oil here, her masterful strokes are enough to get the blood circulation in my head up and running. If the intense body massage takes me to the edge of bliss, the exhaustive head massage pushes me over effortlessly.
Once the massage is done, I opt for a steam session. By now, my body feels oily and I am sweating bullets. And six minutes of thorough steaming also adds to it. However, I don’t mind it as it takes away all the oiliness from the massage before. I end this glorious experience with a warm shower. I am back in the relaxation room where I just have enough energy to savour a cup of hot green tea and fresh pineapple. The head massage seems to have hit my sleep button, so I bid goodbye, go back home and fall into a deep and peaceful slumber.
The Bali massage in Sohum Spa promised to awaken all the energy channels of my body and re-awaken my inner self. While I don’t know about the inner-self part, I can definitely feel fresh energy cruising through my body. And the stress that had taken over my body? All gone! This is not your fancy spa treatment that has multiple ingredients and sessions. It’s just a simple oil massage, but it will definitely deliver on its promise. A perfect treatment for anyone looking for a quick and effective spa experience!