Some time back I happened to state that I will write about the spas that I venture into. I have always loved the reflexology and all the other massage techniques in the world and its been a wish to visit the Ananda Spa at the Himalayas, ever since I read about it years back, though it costs a bomb. I need to have separate earnings to blow it there.
And here I write about Aura at The Park Nungambakkam, Chennai. Winner of the Most Innovative Spa Award last year at the AsianSpa awards.
By the way, let me give the disclaimer that whatever I write here is on personal experience and not written on anyone's behest and nor am I acquainted with the owners of Spas around here.
I happened to read about this in one of the newspapers. An article on the spas in Chennai and decided to check it out.
Fixed an appointment and landed there in time. I went through the entire service card and saw that they had somethings as simple as a Milk and Honey body treatment to complex Ayurvedic treatments. I had already made up my mind on what I wanted though there were a couple of things that caught my eye, I decided to raincheck that.
Also, if you want to avail of any services at Aura, Tuesdays (if I remember right) have a discount on all services for women. You could give them a call (044-42144000, 42676000, 42676300) and find out.
The one that I was most attracted to and had won glorious reviews about as well was monikered "Soul Balancing".
Read through the service card and you ll see the copy is very impressive. Writing about services in such places requires stringing the words in a manner that it impresses you subliminally as well, perhaps, and it was clear that The Park had hired a pretty good copywriter. If that was anything to go by, I definitely expected something other worldy. Well, who wouldn't.. let me rephrase, I would like to balance my soul the way it was printed.
I was first directed to a safe deposit locker where I could place my belongings.
The spa was quiet. Not serene. Just quiet. Tick One. Music was good. Tick two. Ambience great. Tick three. Nice play of colours. Tick 4. Lighting brilliant. Double tick 5.
Once in, the place looked exactly like the picture that they had displayed outside The Park.
Hmm... Whats surprising about a place looking like the picture you might ask. Well, have you visited the several Bhavans around Chennai and noticed how they photographed the milkshakes and ice creams on the menu looks and how the nice tasting but browbeaten product lands on your table? Forget that, how the plate and the Dosa look way different from the picture? Thats it.
With my expectations already sky high at first dekho I looked forward to a super time.
Now, I have always believed that the masseuse heats the oil or at least warms it before the service starts. Or rather thats the way I have experienced it as well. Literature on massage techniques speak about warming the oil at least between your hands, before applying it on the patient's body for therapy.
My first sensory shock happened here. The therapist commenced the session with almost ice cold oil at the base of my feet.
Also the oil was probably a cocktail of a few aromatic oils. What if someone was allergic to any of the compounds?
The masseuse was a pretty restless being I must say. When there is pin drop silence a balanced therapist adds to the experience. That was missing in that girl. Plus, she was talkative. Hardly wanted to talk shop when I was trying to "balance my soul" ;)That was the diademing glory. Not with thorns though, let me not be caustic. I'll just say, dried, ungainly leaves.
And maybe all that would have been forgiven of the therapy was any good. I was immensely disappointed. The therapist is definitely a novice.
45 minutes later, I was wondering why I dropped in there at all. And decided to give no thanks to the copywriter for the flowery words or the journalist who wrote highly of the service. Great writing though. Good job. There ends.
But then if you announce that you are a journalist probably things are different. The best therapist is sent to you and the treatment is no less than five-star. But what if you go in and come out as a nobody?
Anyway, once the session was over I came out to be treated to some herbal tea, that was a welcome treat.
If benefit of doubt be accorded here, every therapy session or how you come out of it depends on your therapist. Or luck. May I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Or maybe I could have chosen a different treatment.
The session, small wonder, does not come cheap either.
Nevertheless, if you head to Aura - at The Park Chennai and sign up for soul balancing, don't expect too much from this particular service.
This space shall definitely have some more experiences in therapy sessions, not just in Chennai but wherever I have had the time to test waters.
Next up - The wellness center at Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport "My Foot Reflexology"