Posts Tagged ‘neo spa’

Adjusting the ‘chi’ of your feet-Get a foot massage this weekend!

In Philippine Star Column on July 21, 2012 at 1:09 am

Even if your shoe wardrobe has shifted from summer sleek to rain ready, you should ensure that your tips and toes are always in top shape. Furthermore, your feet carry you literally through all your stages of life, and have probably done this in some of the most torturous footwear available. Whether your peds have been squeezed and squished into flats or killer heels, supported by workout trainers or allowed some open freedom with flip-flops, they are in need of regular TLC. Alternative medicine believes that the feet house all the nerve endings of the organs and muscles in our body, and encourage massage therapies such as reflexology to help the flow of “chi” or life force. I take my feet seriously, believing that dry calloused skin, plus ungroomed nails, are a total turn-off, not to mention that tired, aching feet can lead to even more discomfort throughout the rest of my body so I make time for a serious “feet treat” once a week. Until recently, most foot reflexology centers were dimly lit, crowded venues with therapists who just made you sit down and went to work. A very impersonal experience and uncomfortable for some since the general ambiance was reminiscent of an establishment of ill-repute. Still, many flocked to these places believing that having their feet pressed and prodded had therapeutic benefits. I can still remember going with two of my gay friends to a foot massage place in Cebu, as they were local, they knew the lay of the land and we still recount with laughter at how we cringed, whined and practically screamed when our feet were being manipulated by giggling foot therapists. But, we all slept like the dead that night, so we couldn’t discount that, at the very least, something must have worked.

Take the time out to treat your feet right!

Nowadays, foot spas are aplenty and there is a range of services to choose from, in terms of just the bare-bones foot massage to an all-out pod pampering. At the recently opened The Reflex Zone, there are two treatments on offer, one for adults and one for kids. Simple. It was explained to me that this center practiced the Rwo Shur Health Method of Reflexology and that all the therapists were male and had undergone strict training in this particular method. As a backgrounder, Rwo Shur was developed by Fr. Josef Eugster, a Swiss Catholic priest and a missionary in Taiwan who got into reflexology because of his own need to be healed. In 1977, at only 37 years old, he was suffering from a debilitating severe rheumatoid arthritis in his knees. After consulting several physicians, it was a friend who convinced him to try reflexology — telling him that the cause of his ailments was rooted in the imbalance of his internal organs and could be treated by curing through pressing on various pressure points found in the feet. My 80-minute treatment which started off with my feet soaked in gel bath (P1,000) was quite soothing, although I would have preferred a more comfortable chair. Thankfully, there was also a short back massage included and we were given a bottle of water to drink after the treatment. I was instructed to not shower for a couple of hours and not to eat a heavy meal that night. The therapists were all very polite and there was even a chart you could read to see what parts of the foot corresponded to a particular organ or ailment. For a no-frills treatment in a comfortable setting, this is good place to literally “cool” your heels.

The Reflex Zone for no-frills yet effective foot massages.

At The Neo Spa in Fort Bonifacio and its sister spa Ki Spa in Greenhills you get myriad choices on how much pampering your peds need. In terms of massage there is the Ingham Method of Reflexology which is the result of the combined work of the late Eunice Ingham, the founder of reflexology, and her nephew Dwight Byers, head and founder of the International Institute of Reflexology. It was Singaporean Master Reflexologist George Tay, the Asian representative of the International Institute of Reflexology, who trained their reflexologists. A 60-minute session can cost anywhere between P600 and P900. You can extend your treatment to also include a short back massage. If you want to try something more locally inspired then there is also the Bamboo Foot Massage (anywhere from P850 to P1,150/ session). This is an authentic and indigenous tribal foot massage that uses herbal clay to cleanse and purify one’s feet and then bamboo sticks to stimulate the soles. Afterwards, deep strokes of hagod relieve the feet, which helps in regulating blood pressure, improves blood circulation, lessens stress and hormonal imbalance. This is a gentler alternative to traditional reflexology, which may not be for everybody’s discomfort thresholds. You can complete any of the abovementioned treatments with a foot spa and pedicure if you have time to spare.

Pamper-time is easy at Ki Spa and Neo Spa

Last but not least, if you want to go for luxe, check out the treatments at Dusit Thani Hotel’s Devarana Spa. You can opt for a private room, although it would be wise to call ahead and see if the hotel has any ongoing events. The spa is located right beside the pool area so you may not get the peace and quiet you would like if there is something happening. If you are going to indulge go for their 1-2 punch of Reflexology (P2,700++) plus Aromatic Pedicure (P2,200++). You start off with a gentle sea salt scrub that sloughs off dead, calloused skin and leaves your soles refreshed as pressure is then applied in reflexology fashion. The pedicure that follows is so thorough your feet and nails feel squeaky clean and “younger looking,” with the added bonus of being prettified with a couple of coats of Chanel nail polish.

Luxe lounge. Ultimate feet treats at Devarana Spa in Dusit Thani

Remember, throughout every journey in life your feet walk with you every step of the way. Treat ‘em right.

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For more information on The Reflex Zone, Pasong Tamo ext., Makati call 812-0050 or e-mail: For Ki by Neo Day Spa-Greenhills, call: 584-6789 or 584-6066. For Neo Day Spa-Bonifacio Global City call: 815-8233 or 815-6948. For Devarana Spa at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati call 818-7081 or e-mail

5 ways to get more ‘ME’ time in 2012

In Philippine Star Column on January 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm

As 2012 rolls along a little faster than some of us would like, here are some simple steps to make the world — well, at least your inner world — slow down just a little bit.

Sun worship: You’re only as young as your spine is flexible.

1.  Do sets of sun salutations or surya namaskar. If you want the full benefits of stretching, toning, breathing and just an overall sense of well-being in approximately 10 minutes then learn the most basic of the yoga asanas, known as the sun salutation. There are different versions depending on which type of yoga you learn but they are incredible for opening up the chakras, stilling the mind and conditioning the body and spirit, not to mention if you do them often enough you get really toned arms, a stronger core and limber legs. Take some classes to get the basics and you can do this at home. Try the newly opened Core Yoga, which offers vinyasa and “hot yoga” classes to choose from. Core Yoga is at 1504 AIC Burgundy Tower, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, tel. 576-3756 or 576-3857.




Heavy mental. Be the master of your own mind with meditation

2. Dedicate yourself to a spiritual practice. The philosophy of sadhana or spiritual practice is essential to a life that is open to receiving all that the universe can give. To remove what the masters call a “monkey mind” is to teach it to be still, and that is achieved through regular meditation and calm, easy breathing. Whether you devote five minutes or 50 minutes, you have to commit to creating a space in your home and life to sit down and just let go of external noise and distractions. Remember you must commit, whether it’s every day, three times a week or once a week. It is the ultimate “me” time, and frankly, you are the most important person in your life. Contact organizations that teach ways to meditate such as The Art of Living Philippines, which holds workshops once or twice a month. Visit or call 0917-848-4898 or 216-6139.




Make it real. Daily affirmations to transform your life

3. Say affirmations. When you affirm yourself or a situation you are making it real to you and your life. It has been said that your brain cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy for as long as you truly believe in something. It may sound hokey at first to affirm or “convince yourself” but the more you repeat an affirmation, the more the possibility of it occurring in your life becomes a probability. Create an affirmation that is short yet detailed and one that you can repeat about 50 times a day for 30 days. As an example, if financial abundance is what you’re after you can say, “Wealth is coming to me easily and effortlessly.” Pick up I Can Do It!, an easy-to-read book by metaphysical healer and author Louise L. Hay, to get a whole bunch of affirmations to choose from that can help transform your health, love life, career and even self-esteem. It even comes with an audio CD. I Can Do It! is available via special order from National Book Store.





Choose your own adventure. Plan that great escape with a single step

4. Take a trip. Everyone needs his space, especially you, so take the time to plan the perfect getaway. It doesn’t have to be abroad but you need to leave what is familiar and even comfortable for you for a couple of days. Treat this particular activity with reverence. Go out and buy yourself a brand new suitcase or weekender in a color you love. Make an afternoon out of it. Check out Tripologie, which offers an excellent selection of travel essentials and even looks like a jazzed-up check-in counter so you really get in the mood. Once you’ve bought the bag, put it somewhere where you can see it often and start imagining where you’re going to go. As you pore over travel mags and websites, get excited, get inspired and make it something to look forward to, really look forward to. There is nothing like an adventure to bring in unexpected opportunities (and even people) into your life. Oh, and this would be a good time to make sure all your travel documents are in order! Tripologie is located at Alabang Town Center and Eastwood Citywalk 2, visit 

Feet me right. Reflexology releases toxins and stress

5. Feel a little pressure. Have a proper foot reflexology massage. Each point in the foot corresponds to a major organ in the rest of the body. This is one of the simplest ways to disconnect from the world while giving the rest of your insides some time to recuperate from what has been absorbed from the daily grind. Wherever you feel pain or discomfort at a certain pressure point, you can link that to a particular area or even symptom. Many foot reflexology fans tell tales of their digestion improving and even headaches diminishing because of regular treatments. Make an effort to pamper your feet once a week (perfect for those who are in heels all the time) because they take you everywhere you go and everywhere you’ve been. Treat yourself to the Inghma Method of Reflexology at New Spa, which comes with a head and back massage as well.

E-mail at or call 0917- 7938888 or visit

A Tale of Two Treatments

In Philippine Star Column on December 9, 2011 at 2:47 am

Soothe away the season with a Baborganic Scrub and massage

Hit by the ‘Holidaze’ (if it were ever written) would certainly be my theme song as we move towards the end of 2012. November found my sched spinning a bit out of control with early shopping requirements, early Christmas parties (yes, really) and balikbayan friend who wanted to come home, yes, early, to celebrate the Yuletide. At some point, even with regular exercise and a more (sometimes less) healthy diet, I felt on the verge of near collapse. Late nights out resulted in interrupted sleep and all I could think of was having a little time to myself to rejuvenate. A massage seemed to be on the menu so I called up Neo Spa in Fort Bonifacio to see what they had that was new. I have nothing against at-home massages, I just feel going into a spa allows the “disconnect” you need from the daily grind. A Saturday slot was open for me to try the Baborganic Snowflakes and Candletouch Ritual for 90 minutes, which included a mild body scrub and a massage using the warm wax from a Baborganic wellness candle followed by deeper pressure involving quartz crystal wands. The scrub was indeed quite gentle and soothing and when the wax from the candle was then dripped on me and rubbed into my skin I fell asleep within minutes. Later on, I felt the quartz candles being pressed on pressure points on my body, unblocking trapped energy (caused by stress and lack of sleep) giving me improved energy flow. I think I fell asleep again, and when I went home later that evening I had my first uninterrupted slumber for the week. The treatment I later found out was called such because it used Babor Organic products, which contain natural extracts of certified organic ingredients. This means there are no synthetic colorants, perfume substances, animal raw materials, petroleum-based ingredients and irradiated raw materials. I shy away from strong scents — which is the biggest turnoff for me at any spa — so maybe this is why I was able to sleep without sneezing. Also the next day, I found my skin to be rather soft and supple and my face look “fresher” and more relaxed. As party season preps up, I look to this scrub-and-rub session as a good way to grab some extra zzzz’s.

Better than candy cane: Improve circulation and reduce the holiday bloat with Toning Bamboo Revival, a silhouette-targeted treatment at The Spa.

Hours of high heels, heavy shopping bags plus meals on the go (mainly involving fast-food fare) are necessary evils one goes through during the Christmas (c)rush resulting in less energy and a rather achy body. I found myself close to exhaustion after a harried morning in High Street, Fort Bonifacio and checked myself into The Spa. The treatment of choice, The Toning Bamboo Revival, was part slimming and part invigorating, perfect for me since it was still mid-day and I still had the rest of the afternoon plus evening obligations to attend to. My 90-minute escape would involve a scrub, a wrap and a massage using bamboo canes and Spanish brand, Selvert Thermal products. In the villa that was provided I treated myself to a steam and a few more minutes decompressing in the Jacuzzi and silently hoped that time would stop and let me enjoy this quiet for as long as possible. The scrub was done in a strong, circulatory manner that initially kneaded out the tightened muscles and joints, especially on my overworked calves. Anti-cellulite cream combined with Spice Powder was further rubbed into my skin to help reduce bloating and to improve my circulation. After the scrub I was wrapped to further absorb the creams and moisturizers for about ten minutes. What followed next was the masseuse working on me with bamboo canes of different densities. I felt like pizza dough, with her rolling the canes over my body, in longish strokes. My shoulders and neck were the main focus as they felt so stiff, I could barely turn my head all the way to the right. I could feel the familiar “pop” of muscles loosening and even if I didn’t fall asleep I knew my body was getting the recharge it needed because of the intensity of the massage.

When I was done, I continued on with a meeting, a dinner and a movie premiere, and survived, with head-turning function back to normal! The best part of this was, the next morning, my skinny jeans fit better. It may have been the combination of everything I did in that villa, but no complaints, I got the boost and the de-bloating that I desired.

Whether it is to soothe and sleep or slim down and step out, a scrub and a massage is a definite “love yourself” way to self-gift, whether it’s Christmas or not.

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Baborganic Snowflakes and Candletouch Ritual, around P2,950, Neo Spa. For more info, e-mail or call 815-8233, 815-6948 or 0921-4779999.

Toning Bamboo Revival, P1,900 (regular room) or P2,600 for a private suite or villa, The Spa. Visit to find out which branches offer this treatment or call 856-5858 or 856-6868 (Fort Branch).

Have a wild (cherry) of a time with this rejuvenating therapy

In Philippine Star Column on December 2, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Japanese AAAAAAH!

The bipolar weather, aircon on the inside and then searing heat on the outside, can wreak havoc on your skin and even your overall wellbeing. Sitting for long hours in meetings and then getting stuck in the rain as you’re running to appointments can contribute to some body aches and pains and a lowered immune system. If you notice people around you getting sick, you may want to take a little “me” break to banish some of those daily  (and hopefully temporary) blues and stress triggers.

I have long believed that the Japanese are the Asian experts on feel-good remedies. I also favor Japanese skin care products and makeup, seeing that it fits my skin better than other brands, so this is why I was drawn to the Hanakasumi Nourishing Ritual of Neo Spa. Hanakasumi means cherry blossom mist — and a quintessential snapshot of Japan is its cherry blossom trees in full bloom — I blocked off two and half hours after work one weeknight to indulge.

The treatment started off with a dry brushing of the skin. This may not be a common sensation people enjoy, but I felt that the hard bristles really scraped off dead skin cells from areas that are normally hard to reach when showering or bathing. What is common knowledge is that dry brushing is great for exfoliation, but it also has other benefits such as stimulating and increasing skin cell production, giving your skin a healthy glow all year long. On a more than skin-deep level, dry brushing increases blood flow and circulation and enhances detoxification through the skin. The pressure also used in brushing the skin may either be relaxing and calming or will energize you, so do tell your therapist what you prefer.

What followed next was a scrub made out of warm cherry rice powder which was then wiped off with warm towels, a change from scrubs I’ve experienced in the past that are usually more damp and can sometimes turn unpleasant if the temperature of the room starts to make you shiver.  Even as the scrub is being wiped off with towels, the therapist applies pressure, especially on the feet and legs, which adds to the relaxing, soothing effect.

The massage that followed was a tranquility massage and I’m not quite sure what balm they used but it smelled beautiful. It was a mix of body butter and Asian essences I was told. It was applied smoothly in circular motions and I guess it was partially the fragrance and the massage that put me to sleep. If I could bottle that balm and take it home I would, but I was probably too sleepy when I was finally woken up to ask for it because I only remembered when I was in the car ride home.

A combination of exfoliation, to make the skin glow and stimulate circulation, is always beneficial, especially in our climate that requires us to work or eat in climate-controlled interiors and then have to brave either searing humid heat or crazy rains can make your skin dry, to the point of itchiness or tired looking. A massage with a calming or even yummy fragrance combined with long deep strokes are great for the muscles, especially if you are not as active as you’d like to be due to long work hours or late nights up and about. You may or may not feel the same was as I do about dry brushing or think almost three hours of being scrubbed, moisturized and kneaded is, well, needed, but your body and mind needs a break in order to fend off future chronic ailments and aches.

This may be a post-Thanksgiving piece, but there’s never a wrong time to thank yourself with a little TLC. Turn Japanes-a over the weekend and have a beauty blossom-filled week!

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For more information on the Hanakusumi Nourishing Ritual email Neo Bonifacio Global City  at or call 815-8233, 815-6948 or 63921-4779999.

SOUL TRAIN By Katrina A. Holigores (The Philippine Star) Updated December 03, 2010 12:00 AM