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Peaceful and relaxing spa allowed me to switch off my busy mind

I made a confession last week, but here’s another: I don’t know my way around town, let alone the rest of Bermuda.

Although my surname might suggest otherwise, I was actually born and raised on these shores, but that’s never made it any easier for me trying to navigate around this tiny rock.

So before heading to Tai Home Spa’s new location, I had to make a quick phone call to find out where Laffan Street was. After a few wrong turns, stopping twice to ask for directions and then almost driving in the wrong direction down a one-way street, I finally stumbled on the spot.

Nestled in an old, traditional Bermuda home, I quickly felt transported to a different space. It might have had something to do with the decor — some plush, purple-coloured chairs were in the foyer, where some walls were lined with Asian wooden art.

Moments after I arrived for the massage appointment, a friendly woman in traditional Thai clothing greeted me. “My name is Thip,” she said in a broken accent.

I was shown to a small room which was very reminiscent of the spas I visited during my travels to Bangkok last year — there was a soft mattress on the wooden floor and the scent of aromatic oils wafted through the air.

As is commonplace with most spas I was told to partially undress and given a towel to wrap around me as I waited for my therapist to arrive to start my reflexology treatment.

Lying in a bed wrapped in sheets like a cocoon, I listened as light Asian music played in the background. I tried to think of ... well nothing, but that’s usually the hardest part with going to such places, turning off your busy head and allowing yourself to relax.

What was actually going through my mind was a small checklist of things I had to get to after leaving the spa, picking up medicine for a cold I’ve been nursing and visiting a family friend to catch up after the holidays.

It was easier to focus once Thip, a masseuse from the North East of Thailand, arrived back to start the complimentary reflexology treatment.

A type of foot massage, reflexology uses pressure points in the foot with the aim of bringing balance to the body.

It seemed as though Thip was fast to catch onto my problem relaxing as she took out an oriental herbal balm to rub over my feet and lower legs. “This is Tiger Balm,” she said as she slathered the ointment on me. It has soothing and warming properties and aims to relax muscles and ease any aches or pains, for me it mostly felt a little cool.

Thip spent the next hour rubbing and kneading tense spots on my foot and legs. For me some parts of the foot were more sensitive than others, some massage strokes sent wonderful shivers up my spine, others (particularly those near the bones on the front of my foot) were more painful.

Overall it was the gentle continuous wave of massaging that caused me to eventually stop thinking and begin to doze off. (Though falling asleep during other activities like the movies or a date is typically seen as a bad sign, I think it must be the opposite for the massage profession.)

It was my troubled breathing due to a cold that caused me to slowly regain consciousness.

Thip spent the last few minutes stretching out my legs and hips; my feet were feeling virtually weightless. I dreaded the thought of having to stand on my pampered feet again, but obviously one cannot relax forever.

Before I left the spa, I was offered a cup of hot tea — and I have to admit it was nice to stay in the cosy environment a moment longer before braving the winter chill outside.

Overall, it was a really relaxing spa experience and the best part is it’s a lot more reasonably priced than other places on the Island.

Tai Home Spa is located at 14 Laffan Street — directly opposite Kiddie Academy. For more information call 297-2347 or e-mail info@taihomespa.bm.

Useful website: www.taihomespa.bm

At peace: A file picture of a woman enjoying a spa treatment. Royal Gazette writer Nadia Arandjelovic tried out the Tai Home Spa, on Laffan Street, Pembroke, and found it to be a peaceful and relaxing experience.

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Published January 04, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated January 03, 2013 at 3:29 pm)

Peaceful and relaxing spa allowed me to switch off my busy mind

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