Harness your inner chi through traditional therapeutic rituals. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental as a good place to start.

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The Spa at Mandarin Oriental now offers the Year of the Fire Monkey Spa Experience.

Launched at the start of the lunar year, the Year of the Fire Monkey Spa Experience is supposed to put you in the right frame of mind to tackle what’s said to be a challenging zodiac year. It’s offered all year round at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore.
Rites and Rituals
It’s said that strength, tenacity and agility are key to the success of every zodiac sign in 2016. Whether you’re a believer in astrology or not, there’s little reason to say no to a pampering spa experience that promises to create a sense of balance and harmony in the body and the mind using traditional Chinese elements. While seated at the waiting area, I was offered a cold towel to freshen up. Its zesty scent caught my attention immediately. It was tangerine oil, which symbolises good tidings. In contrast, the warm welcome drink was soothing. Aside from giving a sweet taste to the tea, Chinese red dates, honey and goji berries are known to de-stress the body and encourage sleep.

A New Beginning
To dispel negative energy in my body, the treatment began with a foot wash. To my delight, I found myself next to more red date tea while my therapist soaked my feet in a hot rose oil bath. Towelled dry, next up was the full body exfoliation. I appreciated the use of chrysanthemum flowers here, as opposed to the more common sea salt, because the petals felt significantly kinder on the skin. A warm rinse followed—a pail of pomelo-infused water was waiting for me in the shower. It is traditionally used to wash away negative feelings, my therapist shared, which perfectly led up to the next stage. Initially, I thought it might be odd to “sing” with her, but the singing bowl session wasn’t as awkward as I thought it might be. A heated bowl was gently placed on my abdomen and I was asked to follow along a short hymn to put me into my relaxation mode. I was already feeling zen (it must have been the tea), so I didn’t mind it at all.

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“The lounge couch was comfortable, so I picked my music—tropical rain was the soundtrack of the evening—and turned on the reading light so I could indulge myself with a fashion magazine before peeling myself off to go home.”
Jolene Khor, fashion and beauty writer.

Knead the Luck
The main event was the hands-on body massage that combined the effects of oriental meridian massage with a blend of ylang-ylang, rose and camomile oils that are meant to encourage joy and emotional release. I’m not sure I felt particularly happier because of the oils or because my therapist really knew what she was doing with my tight joints, but I was certainly left in a great mood. One would think that by this point, my nose would have been too confused with all those lovely scents introduced, but perhaps because they were all subtle and mild, none of them felt like an attack on my senses.

Sweet Endings
As if I wasn’t spoiled enough, the spa’s relaxation area was open to me upon the completion of the massage. I didn’t hide my excitement when they rolled out a cart of traditional Chinese New Year sweets. If you already miss those seasonal snacks, you’ll enjoy this little throwback Tray of Togetherness with sweetened tangerine, coconut and ginger. As I made my way out after two hours of renewing my chi, the receptionist gave me a red packet. Gimmicky, but cute! It was a return spa ticket with a sizeable discount. Should I ever suspect my luck is dwindling, at least I know whom to call. The number is 6885 3533.

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