Ever wonder what a truly Zen experience feels like? You don't have to wonder anymore. Don't be surprised to find it now in your favourite city - Mumbai - at the Areopagus Spa
By: Salman Z. Bukhari
Posted on: October 10, 2011
Ever wonder what a truly Zen experience feels like? You don’t have to wonder anymore. Don’t be surprised to find it now in your favourite city – Mumbai – at the Areopagus Spa.
Who does not love professional perks, especially when they come in form of a massage! My aching soul found the address and promptly fixed an appointment for this review hoping for rejuvenation and nirvana. Tucked in a by-lane of Mumbai’s jewellery district Opera House on Huges Road, Areopagus Spa couldn’t have a better location. After all the store hopping between A.Jaffe, Orra, TBZ, the after-effects of the long search and battle for that right ring, a lady might find some respite in a spa uplifting her enough to send her on yet another round of hunting and searching.
The team at Areopagus Spa describes it as a luxurious escape from the hustle bustle of urbanization. Its services and experience are designed to transport you into a world of tranquility and stillness, giving you a feeling of oriental warmth and hospitality which are the foundations of the Japanese culture.
On arrival, you are greeted by a polite girl, who promptly whips out some refreshing drink and assists you with the menu of services they offer. Lit a bit too bright for a spa, the reception’s décor in deep wood and reds promise the delights that lay within each chamber. After understanding the different session’s benefits and perceiving how nice I would feel as soon as this evening ended, I selected the house speciality, the Japanese Zen Shiatsu massage which promised to de-stress hormones, diminish pain and spurt the immune system.
The masseuse led me to my private room with its attached steam room, handed over clothes resembling a karate gear, and vanished into thin air. Clothes? What am I missing here? Not bad for those who have massage anxiety each time they imagine the horror of revealing their ‘EVERYTHING’ to a stranger – who is so judging them! Being scarred with my own massage table stories which still haunt me, I happily slipped into what was an oversized Karate-ish outfit in colours I certainly did not like. But who cared when you have 120 minutes of stress busting therapy coming up?
Now honestly massage has always been about me being sprawled on the table smothered in oils with a ‘WonderHands’ person working their skills and making me never wanting the moment to end. So how different would a Japanese therapy be when the end goal is release and relaxation? I suppose only better, especially if it has ‘Zen’ attached into the name. I couldn’t be more mistaken. Starting with your legs working upwards, the Shiatsu employs application of pressure all over the body and along the energy pathways in line with the traditional Chinese acupuncture. It helps stimulate the innate healing abilities of the body and reduce symptoms of illness to regain strength and vitality.
Simply put, it was a synchronized wrestling match between my lifelessly stiff body and the masseuse who used joint movement and stretching to increase flexibility as well as provide better access to the energy paths. You will be moved, pulled, twisted and turned till you start feeling each and every fibre in your being. The therapist was kind enough to keep asking every now and then if the pressure levels need be increased or reduced. The Zen Shiatsu might not send you in a state of ‘Zen’ while the massage is going on, considering the degree of pressure and stretching practiced by your therapist, who uses each and every limb to give you a kick start (quite literally) making you feel all ‘Jello’.
There were moments somewhere between the shoulder twisting and the arm pulling when
I thought to myself “What have I done to deserve this?” But I assure you it will end exactly when the two hours are up. You are given an option of slipping into the steam room and shower before you finally limp your way out of the massage room, back to the lobby, where a steaming hot green tea awaits you.
The massage might seem very unconventional for the uninitiated, but be rest assured, the
Zen-moment arrives the moment you sip on the tea, suddenly feeling parts of the body you never thought you had. The release of toxins and muscle stiffness seem to evaporate.
Areopagus claims to be a pioneer of high-end Japanese day spas in India with multiple franchises run outlets. Each of Mumbai’s four branches assures you of consistent quality and hospitality. At the core of their service is the art they specialize in - a combination of Japanese and Chinese massage therapies.
In addition to Shiatsu, more pampering rejuvenating services are listed here. Try the 420-minute Grounding Therapy which blends stretching, use of finger knuckles and elbows with hot towels and oil, to hit every muscle and nerve in your body. You can even double the pleasure of healing with two masseuses massaging in the Ritual Massage which lasts for two hours. In addition to this, Cupid Lovers massage sessions are worth exploring if you and your partner want to indulge simultaneously. I am certain the Yuki Energy and the Luxurious Facial sessions might be just the thing I might revisit them for another city-stress related breakdown!
Buongthangmawi Khawbung, Director of Areopagus Spa, is confident that Indians are ready for the next level of luxury spa experience – this time from the orient. “Touch is such a powerful healer that it can move mountains,” explains Ms Khawbung of her art form. It is certainly true as well…
Coordinates: Hughes Road , Ground Floor, Next to Mercedes Showroom, off Hughes Road, Mumbai – 400007
Ph: +91-22-23618221 / 2