#360fit: Try an Active Muscle Release Massage for a zen-like feeling

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  • Retreat into Zen: The spa is stylishly decorated for a perfect getaway from the busy Dubai lifestyle.

    Zen by name, Zen by nature. Tucked away in the heart of Dubai is Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana’s prestigious Zen the Spa.

    And believe me, this is a place that unwinds both the mind and the body. For an active sportsman like myself, you would think taking care of your chassis would be crucial.

    But keeping the body maintained and serviced so that I can continue to perform at the best of my ability, is something I’ve sadly neglected.

    Not anymore and never again. Not after this experience. As my colleagues at Sport360.com are well aware of, I’m one for complaining about the regular aches and pains after physical exertions.

    Warm embrace: The treatment room at Zen the Spa.

    Warm embrace: The treatment room at Zen the Spa.

    So when I was handed the opportunity to visit the tranquil world of Zen the Spa, it’s one I welcomed with open arms. Upon arrival, it’s clear that the Zen concept is carried out to the letter.

    After being served a welcome shot of fresh green tea by the clean and courteous staff, a quick tour reveals a compact and cosy space, stylishly decorated with a warm embrace. Quite simply, the place oozes calm and tranquillity.

    It’s uncomplicated, offering a complete antithesis to the cluttered and busy life that bustles outside its walls.

    The treatment of choice was a 90-minute Active Muscle Release Massage but following a quick change, the first step was to take advantage of the venue’s steam and sauna rooms and Jacuzzi.

    Calm and relaxed: A 90-minute muscle massage.

    Calm and relaxed: A 90-minute muscle massage.

    The secluded area was a perfect place to begin and in itself was a treat of its own. But then came the massage.

    Now initially, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. My body had been put through its paces this week, with football, golf and the gym all on the menu. It’s fair to say my body was worn.

    This, though, was a deep and specialised treatment that cut to the core of some of the physical issues that have plagued me for quite some time.

    The skilful therapist worked on the tense and aching muscles with Ginger, Black pepper, and Rosemary oils, to stimulate, invigorate and release me from those pains.

    I could feel a warm rush of blood as every pressure point was relieved of its tension as a sense of freedom took over.

    For me, there were three stages to this massage: relaxation, repair and rejuvenation.

    The session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The therapist uses his hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves.

    Once the abnormal tissues are discovered, he treated them by combining precisely directed tension with very specific movements.

    Problems in my lower back, hands and shoulders – from golf – were alleviated. Issues in my thighs, feet and hamstrings – from football – were gone.

    What was left in its wake was a feeling of complete Zen. Over the 90 minutes my body from head to toe had been given the care it craved.

    It’s no wonder that athletes ranging from Olympic weightlifters to triathletes swear by the Active Muscle Release Massage treatments. It was then back to the steam room and another Jacuzzi session before finishing off in the ‘Relaxation Reception’ with some fruit and a pot of green tea.

    So, the aim of the spa team is to provide each guest with “me time” and they delivered that and much more.

    The venue’s dedicated therapists serve a wide range of treatments, which I will no doubt revisit to try out and learn more about.

    There’s a varied selection of other treatments including the relaxing massage, body treatments, facials, hand and foot treatment.

    What was great, for a first-timer like me, is that the team provide consultation and gradually educating the guest on how to achieve a balance and well-being, which will be reflected in both their inner and outer self.

    The Spa leaves its visitors with a unique, breathtaking and well-being experience. And whether it’s a 30-minute session or all-day package you’ll get that Zen-like feeling.

    What: Zen the Spa, Active Muscle Release Massage
    Where: Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana, fifth floor
    Price guide: Range from Dh405
    Verdict: It’s my job as a reviewer to reveal all the good and bad of an establishment, but I can confidently say that Zen the Spa is a 9/10.