Bespoke Spa-ing?

by Editorial

The posh two-hour treatment begins with a ritualistic foot massage and cleansing along with a consultation to determine which part of your yin or yang is out of balance. Each trait – yin and yang – are broken down in to elemental categories: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. While your feet soak in essential oils, you are given a questionnaire, which includes questions about your mental, physical and emotional states in an attempt to create a holistic snapshot of your immediate condition. The therapist then chooses a treatment based on your current state of well being – apparently, I had a bit too much yang for my own good, so we went with a “blooming” treatment in order to bring some balance back to my life. My therapist’s diagnosis? Metal imbalance, some flu-like symptoms, dry skin or allergies, which all corresponded to the lung and large intestine meridians, thus requiring more work on my shoulders and neck. Good, I thought, my neck was sore and I needed a shoulder massage.

The massage itself was very nice, but at times, I would have preferred an old-fashioned Swedish or deep tissue massage to work out the tension. My advice? Ask for harder pressure. At the end of treatment, I was given a prescription in order to maintain my newly balanced body. It included more rest and no coffee or alcohol. Fair enough; but, I kind of knew that before. Overall, the experience was very relaxing; but I wasn’t totally sold on the TCM bespoke aspect of the treatment. The consultation felt a bit too much like a doctor’s visit, the diagnosis was a bit contrived, and the $400 price tag could have been a plane ticket to the Caribbean – which would help balance anybody’s chi.

What I am sold on, is the professional staff and The Spa itself – the region’s only Mobil Four-Star Spa. Designed as a haven of rejuvenation and tranquility, the 10,500-square-foot spa offers a full array of services including massages, wraps, body scrubs, facials, and other specialized treatments. The facilities include eight treatment rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness center with Technogym® equipment featuring individual television screens and headphones, heated indoor 50-foot lap pool and a sundeck overlooking Washington marina and the Potomac River.

Plan to arrive at least an hour prior to your treatment time to make use of the Heat and Water Facilities. They have separate male and female areas throughout The Spa, so swimwear is optional. Be advised that there is a 24-hour cancellation fee of 100 percent.

Mandarin Oriental Washington DC
www.mandarinoriental.com

1330 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 554-8588

Relaxation Room

Relaxation Room

Spa Lobby

Spa Lobby

Treatment room

Treatment room

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