Spicy treatment meets winter needs

(shanghai dailuy)
Updated: 2006-11-14 09:55

Winter holidays can be a fun and relaxing time with friends and family to eat, drink and be merry.

Spices such as cinnamon and ginger can tantalize the tongue and are prominent and tasty in holiday baking. But are you aware that they can also be used in a spa treatment?

In keeping with the spirit of the season, The Spa at The Hilton has launched a new "Winter Spice" package to give your body and soul a strong dose of Christmas cheer. With a healthy slathering of these spicy ingredients, your body will get the boost it needs to get energized and warm this winter.

The package includes a ginger and cinnamon body scrub, foot reflexology and a full body massage with "Oriental Blend." These are perfect for winter as they can assist in the warming, inspiring and boosting of the immune system.

"The joys of the season can often be mitigated by concerns of boosting immunity and guarding against any sniffles or coughs," said Deborah Childs, manager of The Spa at The Hilton.

To help beat winter cold flu bugs and to strengthen the relatively lower immune system in this festive season, Childs has carefully created this new package using fresh ginger root, cinnamon and honey in the body scrub.

"The fresh ginger root provides warming relief to muscle and joint aches," the Australian said. "It also targets the digestive and immune systems and is probably best known for relieving indigestion and flatulence."

Cinnamon gives a room a spicy, fresh wood scent which helps arouse the physical senses and creativity. It is warming and stimulating and is useful in strengthening and toning the respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems.

Childs said the cinnamon and fresh ginger help to peel away the top layer of dead skin cells and to improve circulation. The honey itself helps purify and moisturize the skin.

During the scrub, I was asked to lay down on a warm electric blanket which helps the ingredients penetrate the skin, warming the muscles and joints, activating circulation and the lymphatic system.

After the powerful scrub, I was wrapped in an electric sheet for 10 minutes; the heat created from the blanket continued to keep the pores open and let the ingredients penetrate the skin. At the same time, my therapist, Vicky, administered foot reflexology, doubling the circulation effect.

The fresh ginger, cinnamon and honey created a dynamic fusion to enliven the body and heal "seasoned and tired" skin.

The body scrub was followed by a one-hour aroma body massage, using the Oriental Blend - a concoction of grapeseed oil with ginger, lemongrass and eucalyptus essential oils.

"The blend is to ease muscular pain, warm the spirit and energize the body. It is especially good for the winter season," Childs said.

"Eucalyptus is good for fever, colds and flu, muscle pain, respiratory and urinary problems, while lemongrass is good for strengthening an exhausted body or mind."

The winter spa treatment will definitely boost your immune system and give you a healthy look. However, there are some simple steps you can take to help your winter wellness at home.

"A body scrub is needed twice a week during this dry season," Childs recommended. "After a shower when the pores are opened, apply a small amount of essential oils as this will give you more protection during the winter."

Childs added the spa's Oriental Blend is a good choice for people to use daily at home. And anyone who has had a treatment at the spa will get 30 percent off of the blend which normally costs 280 yuan (US$35).

She also suggested spreading a few drops of eucalyptus on a shirt and inhaling the scent to prevent and ease winter colds, boosting the immune system.

"Hydrating in the winter months and drinking plenty of water is very important. Warm lemon water aids the digestive system and makes the process of eliminating the waste products from the body easier."

So take time out this winter to rejuvenate your body with a little pampering at The Spa at The Hilton. And remember, preventive measures are your best defense against having to deal with extreme cold weather conditions.

Address: 4/F, Hilton Shanghai, 250 Huashan Road
Tel: 6248-7777 ext 2600
Price: The 135-minute package is 980 yuan and 880 yuan each for two persons.


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