Finding peace at the spa

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Sunday, April 6, 2014


In an urbanized environment, we find some escape in tinkering with gadgets, watching TV, or treatments supplemented by machines in wellness centers.

Living in a busy metropolis allows the pleasures and conveniences that a modern lifestyle and technology can bring. But at times, a quiet respite from the city is just what we need.

An hour away from Cebu City is the AUM Spa and Wellness Center in Crimson Mactan, where authentic, unique and meaningful treatments are designed for wellness and therapy.

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Like the “om” mantra of yoga practitioners for meditation, AUM focuses on relaxation and balancing the energy of the mind and the body. Many of their services favor allnatural ingredients over chemical ones for, after all, the purest elements for healing are found in nature.

A combination that provides rejuvenation to the body and relief from the summer heat is the aloe vera body wrap, traditional hilot massage and the Tropical Revitalize facial.

Enter a spa suite with its own private shower and bath tub in a semi-outdoor alcove, which sets the ambiance of an escape to nature. Start by having feet washed and kneaded in a bowl of warm water scattered with flowers before sitting comfortably on the massage table.

The spa therapist begins the body wrap by smoothing on sabila aloe vera on the back, and proceeding to coat the rest of the body. Aloe vera is widely regarded for its healing properties, especially on skin that has been exposed to the sun.

The entire body is wrapped in a plastic sheet that acts like a cocoon, allowing the aloe vera to hydrate the skin more deeply.

Aloe vera’s soothing and conditioning properties make it ideal to relieve
sunburned skin. Twenty minutes later, the plastic sheet is removed and the aloe vera rinsed off in the shower. After towel drying, return to the massage table for the traditional hilot massage.

Practiced for centuries in the Philippines, hilot makes its distinction from other massages in its intention to heal imbalances in the body using
deliberate strokes, with pressure not just from the hands but also from the thumbs.

Hilot is excellent for diminishing knots in the muscles, stress relief, and improving blood circulation.

The Tropical Revitalize Facial uses natural ingredients to nourish the skin. Cucumber slices are placed on the eyelids to help reduce puffi ness. Lemon is used to cleanse the skin, known for its brightening properties.

For exfoliation, freshly cut pineapple mixed with aloe vera is massaged all over the face. To remineralize and firm the skin, a rhassoul clay mask is applied.

Lastly, aloe vera with olive oil provides moisture without the greasy feeling. Using fruit acids and enzymes makes facials safer and more
comfortable for most skin types.

Surrounded by calm and quiet with these treatments, feel the tension of the muscles and stressors of the mind become a distant, hazy memory.

Afterwards, a new softness is felt in the skin, muscles are relaxed, and the mirror reflects a visible glow in the face.

AUM Spa is recognized in leading hotel booking site Agoda.com as one of eight outstanding hotel spas in Asia. Appointments can be made daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. by both in-house and walk-in guests.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 06, 2014.

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