Asian Health and Beauty Secrets
people of tropical Asia have reaped the rewards of their botanical heritage
At last, some of nature's beauty secrets are available to us all in tantalizing treatments such as these....
Long limbs and vital statistics are minor contributors to the beautiful body. Much more important is the state of mind that sits hands of dedicated therapists in a spa context on top. While there is barely a woman can improve her body by upping the respect that she pays to it.This is achieved by taking time for herself- a vital part of life that most of us ignore.
The Asian approach to achieving and maintaining a healthy and beautiful body is a sensible one. For a start, it has no time for fad diets and punishing stomach crunches!Traditional body treatments from the tropics outstrip those from everywhere else in the world in number and variety and all of themrely on natures own pharmacopoeia to produce results.Certainly not skin deep, they not only cleanse and soften our skin but also draw out impurities from within. Their ritual of application (especially at the hands of dedicated therapishts in a spa context)e relaxes us, empties our minds and soothes who is content with her natural shape, every our souls in an atmosphere of peace.
All this emphasizes the oriental philosophy that regards beauty as a holistic concept embracing both the inner and outer self. For example, there are everyday words in the Indonesian language that are part of the more specific lexicon of body care which have no real equivalent in English. Indonesian women talk about having a lulur or mangir or mandi susu as readily as westerners talk outstrip those from everywhere else in the of taking a shower.This chapter reveals world in number and variety and all of them some of the more exotic body treatments, be they scrubs, baths, wraps, heat treat- ments and polishes, for glowing skin... and imoroved self-esteem!
The tale of Queen Cleopatra and her milk baths is well known, yet do you know anyone who pours a few pints into the tub before climbing in? Trust the Indonesian people with their deep grasp of the good of the natural, to have their own form of milk bath. Known as Mandi Susu, it has soaked Javanese princesses for centuries as an elixir of eternal youth. Milk, from a goat, sheep or cow, makes skin radically soft and pure to the touch. Modern formulations of this popular ritual have eliminated the taste and smell of milk while maintaining its nutrients with softening proteins. The Mandi Susu is a sought-after bathing ritual at the St Gregory Javana Spa in Singapore where therapists leave you soaking in a cloudy white tub for 20 minutes and advise you not to rinse afterwards. At home, you can pour fresh or powdered milk in with the bath water. Or for superior baby-soft skin, try natural yoghurt or buttermilk, but be ready to hold your nose!
This bath focuses on the healing properties of unrefined sea salt harvested on the east coast of Bali. Although not strictly thalassotherapy, this bath relies on the nutrients in the salt to draw out toxins from the body. The benefit of sea salt is based on the premise that sea-water has practically the same chemical make-up as human plasma allowing the body to easily absorb its healing properties. The Ocean Bath at The Spa at Jimbaran, Four Seasons Resort, Bali is altogether a more exotic affair. Not only are the pure sea salts mixed with Bali Sunset Oil containing coconut, vanilla and citrus blends to uplift the senses, this hour-long treatment kicks off with a scalp, neck, shoulder and back massage. As if that were not enough, it takes place in the privacy of your own villa, where the bath tubs have earned an international reputation for their depth, size and comfort.
For those of us born outside tropical Asia, the floral bath is the nub of the 'tropical spa experience. We can hardly believe our eyes when a bucket of vivid blooms is tossed into the water purely for our pleasure. It is a sybaritic moment when the velvety petals tickle our bare skin. Flowers - jasmine, gardenia, tropical magnolia, hibiscus, frangipani, bougainvillea, poinciana, rose, globe amaranth, alamanda and ylang-ylang - are chosen both for their fragrance and rich colours. In line with tropical mores, Asians believe flowers are the tangible link to the forces of the spiritual world, representing a symbolic purge of our earthly Impurities. In Asian spas, the Floral Bath is not usually offered as a treatment on its own. It is often used as the finale to one of the many tropical body treatments on the menu. It becomes an opportunity to savour the cleansing experience and relax for a further 20 minutes or so.
The bath is a perfect place to enjoy the sensual pleasures ofaromatherapy oils. Simply drop one or a combination of essential oils into warm water and spuddle. Some of the oils' properties are absorbed into the skin while the rest evaporate into the atmosphere for inhaling, simultaneously soothing muscles and mind.
A Few Recommended Bathtime Blends
For calming : camomile, lavender, rose
If you reach for the Vicks pot at a hint of a chesty cough, this body scrub is for you. Out of all the oriental treatments the Balinese Boreh offers the most potent sensation - an all-over deep heat experience. The scrub is purely and simply a herb and spice mix: It is a centuries-old village recipe using spices we more readily associate with curry, and is prepared to warm the body at the first sign of windy weather.
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