Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Body Tune: The Traditional Thai Massage

After all the stress and excitement of this school year, I think it's (really) time for me to enjoy a very relaxing massage.

source
Body Tune is unpretentious, budget friendly and a no-frills kind of spa/massage therapy center. I tried their SM North, The Block branch. I went there on a Saturday afternoon and the front desk lady immediately assisted me when I went in. A first-timer will not be intimidated while entering the facility because of its simple wall display and layout.  



meet "Lovely"
There were several types of massages (Swedish, Shiatsu, Holistic, hand and foot, back, facial, etc.) and other services (Body scrub, foot spa, manicure, pedicure, etc.) to choose from. You can also choose to either have the therapy in a 1-hour or 2-hour session for each treatment.  I chose the 1-hour "Holistic massage" for 525 pesos. Not bad eh? Ok, so we are kinda familiar with the other types but what is a Holistic massage? According to this article;


Holistic massage as practiced at Holistic Body Therapies is the gentle, rhythmical stroking and kneading of the body's soft tissues, soothing away tensions and relaxing and balancing mind and body. With this approach the whole person is treated, rather than just the symptoms of disease, anxiety or excessive stress.  

This is achieved by the use of relaxation techniques, the playing of calming music, where necessary essential oils are employed, the treatment room is warm, light and airy and we provide a caring and informal atmosphere, and most importantly, listening carefully to the client and attending to their needs in a holistic manner.

After the massage, you will be offered fresh spring water, and ample time is provided to bring the treatment to a close. Therefore, please allow fifteen minutes extra for each session. A one hour treatment, for example, will last one hour and fifteen minutes.


So there.
blurry hallway - just squint your eyes
I filled out a form and then was ushered inside the treatment area by my masseuse named "Lovely" (I dunno if it's a screen name or something). She showed me my tiny, cozy room. With the dim lights on, she asked me if I would like to take a shower first and I said yes. She gave me a bath towel, a tiny soap in a box, a robe, pyjamas and an underpants. She then asked me if I want to have a steam bath or a sauna after the shower, I chose the latter. Then she went out to give me time to accustom myself.


locker, clock and a lamp
peace time
take note of the rectangular gaps on the wall
I checked out the room and turned the lights on. It's a small room (with an estimation of 1 1/2 by 3 1/2 meters) with a massage bed (the one with a hole for your face), a faux window with blinds, an artwork, a clock, a lamp and the locker. The first thing I noticed is the "locker". I immediately put my stuff in it and locked it using the key given at the front desk. 


sliding door without lock
the filthy-looking bath towel, the key and the XL pyjamas
I smelled the sheets and the pyjamas, it smelled clean. I checked the pyjamas' size and it's an XL. Arggh. They didn't even ask what my size is. The bath towel? Yikes! It looks filthy so I asked for another one, it's still the same so I guess that's their version of what a "dirty white" is . They should have all their towels in darker colors so as to not scare their clients. I also noticed that the sliding door has no lock. Other than the towel, it seems fine for me.


the knobs


I walked into the shower area, it looks filthy too. It has only a shower curtain that serves as its door. After taking a shower (without using the bath towel ;p), I went straight to the sauna room just three steps away from the shower area. I felt calm. I love saunas. I have a very high tolerance to heat, pain and torture. Borderline masochist. It took me 15 minutes but I want more! Torture much? 


sauna


So I went back  to my room and waited for Lovely. She knocked and went in. She said that she will now start the session (timer starts now...). 




Lights off, dim lights on. The music? An Oriental-Instrumental theme, sometimes with an Angklung accompaniment. Huh? It's soothing. She smothered every part of my body with her massage oil (I'm not into scents so I dunno what oil it is). She kneaded and massaged me very well. It was A-OK. She's really strong and I loved it. It's as if all my worries and stress went away at that particular moment. What I like most about her is that she's quiet. She didn't try to make a conversation. She just did what she did best. I'm uber talkative, but when I'm having a massage or facial, I want serenity. 


Halfway through the massage, I heard a new client on a nearby room. She and her masseuse were so loud! Another problem is that there were rectangular-shaped gaps above the walls and one cannot help but eavesdrop much on the other rooms. They were so loud that everyone heard about the woman's "disposable underwear issues". Arrgh. 


war zone
The time went by so fast that I didn't notice it was all over. It was so nice and I felt like I can sleep right there after the massage. Lovely said that it's done and asked if I want to have an Iced tea, hot tea or coffee. I asked if she can give me a black coffee and she obliged. She came back after a few minutes with the coffee and two hot towels for me to wipe off the oil in my body. The tray also has a "tip envelope" wherein you can place your tip inside and you can write your comment about your masseuse. It was so relaxing that I was so lazy to even get the towel to wipe myself off. I just want to savor the moment by just hanging around my tiny, cozy room. 


hot towels, black coffee and the tip envelope
Before leaving the place (and facing the "real" world), I went to the bathroom to freshen up. There was a woman ahead of me so I waited for like 2 minutes. When it was my turn, the sink was clogged. I just went on and continue to wash my face. There were some stuff you could use in the bathroom; hand wash, facial wash, Q-tips, baby powder, combs and hair brushes. I just washed my face with water, that's it. It was ok except for the clogged sink.


clogged


Overall, Body Tune is a nice experience because of Lovely. She's superb. Just a piece of advice, bring your own towel in any massage/spa/therapy center for your own sake. I'm not really O.C. but I don't want to wipe myself with filthy-looking stuff. Right?


**updated: October 2, 2012**

After the first post I went back in the same branch 2 times and just this afternoon I went there for a massage. It was a gift from Jay - again. He scored a good deal from ensogo last July. He purchased a 60-minute massage session for only 250 pesos - a 53% savings from the original rate or 525 pesos. 

I called up the Body Tune's branch at SM North - The Block on September 29. I was trying to reserve for an October 1 date (I can only use the voucher during weekdays) but they said that it was already full. I then asked if October 2 was still available and the lady said yes - but on 1 p.m. schedule. This was great because I go out from work at 12 noon. I made a reservation and gave them just my name (not the voucher number). I was also told that I only have 5 minutes grace period or else my reservation will be cancelled.

I was there at around 12:50 p.m. and the front desk lady immediately assisted me. I said that I have a reservation at 1 p.m. and she  checked my printed voucher for confirmation. The voucher is transferable so they didn't require me to show any identification card. 

I was ushered into my room by another lady. The rooms are still the same as last year. No major changes at all. She told me to wait for my masseuse for the massage. I asked her if I wasn't allowed to take a shower and sauna because it was a "deal" and she said that I can. It just felt weird because when you pay the full amount they automatically give you everything you need and they will assist you with anything without even asking. She handed me the (again) filthy-looking "dirty white" towel. Good thing I brought a microfiber towel with me because I didn't really want to use theirs.

The same routine as before; I went to the shower with a tiny box of soap with me and then I immediately went to the sauna room and stayed there for 15 minutes. I went back to my room and my masseuse came after 5 minutes. The whole massage lasted for about 55 minutes which was very relaxing and worth its price. I didn't know what the massage was (but it's not  Shiatsu) because she didn't ask me beforehand of my preferred massage. 

After the massage, the masseuse asked me if I wanted some hot or iced tea (no coffee anymore?) and I had some hot tea. She came back with the same wooden tray with the tea, two hot towels and a tip envelope. 

The experience was still the same after being compared to the regular priced massage. You just need to book days in advance to secure your preferred date and time. And if you're such and obsessive-compulsive, you can bring your own towel and underpants.







Body Tune: The Traditional Thai Massage
SM North Edsa, 5th level, The Block
North Avenue cor. EDSA, 
Quezon City, Philippines
+63(2)-724 61 49






24 comments:

  1. aww i hoped they saw these and took your advice on the towels haha but great review, really awesome. ill be here this weekend and i hope i get lovely too! :) if she's still there. :)

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    1. thanks rose... hope lovely's still there.. tell me what happened on your visit :)

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  2. Hi I just happen to come by your blog. Nice review. However I would like to ask if they allow their clients to remove their underwear/shorts or going commando during the massage :-). I feel more comfortable that way. Thanks!

    Shirley

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    1. hi shirley! i think you can do it commando style. but try to ask your masseuse first. :)

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    2. Thanks for the reply! I've read somewhere that they don't have separate shower areas for male and female. Is that true? How could you risk walking around without a bath towel!

      Shirley

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    3. yeah, there's no separate shower (and sauna). but i've been there thrice (it's the most convenient) and i've never experienced men and naked bodies (i wish).. or maybe because i go there at weird hours of the day like 12 noon? hehe

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    4. haha right! it seems the perfect time for me is around noon too. looks like i'll be in for some adventure and be butt naked as well. lol. hope it isn't as uncomfortable though.

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    5. update us on your experience shirley :)

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    6. Hi! I've just been able to experience their branch in The Annex. Everything was relaxing, though I have to admit, you're totally right about their towels. lol. I was able to shower first before the massage, but the shower area was covered only by curtains and it was right in front of the hallway, so if you're not careful enough, you might end up showing more skin than you may have wanted.(exciting!) haha. T'was a very good experience for me. Have to try the one in The Block soon. Thanks! -Shirley

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    7. minus points for the towel really :(

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    8. Massage is relaxing however tolerating the therapist to flirt with the customer is prohibited.especiaaly sm bacoor branch

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    9. Massage is relaxing however tolerating the therapist to flirt with the customer is prohibited.especiaaly sm bacoor branch

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  3. Don't they have a room for couples???

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  4. Hey, I've always wanted to do back massage but I haven't done it because of my back acne. Do you think that would be an issue if I go to a massage parlor?

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    1. they wouldn't mind i guess. better ask them for precise answers :)

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  5. does the shower area have a shower curtain and a wall or something that separates customers or is it a one big area where people shower all together? :D

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    1. it's an individual shower enclosed by tiled walls and shower curtain (serves as the door) :)

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  6. had a horrible experience in dasma branch. we happen to avail ensogo vouchers and the treatment (im talking about customer-client relation) is not good. it seems that they dont put priority on those who availed it.. i will not ever go back to that branch.. disrespectful staff.

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    1. tsk tsk.. sad to hear about that. never experienced that iin SM North branch though..

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  7. my husband and i just had a massage their yesterday and we had the worst, the horrible, the horror of horrors experience.Firstly, their therapists are extremely rude and racist (my husband was foreigner and they were so obvious in with their 'kiss ass' thing), their massage wasn't at all good, they don't pay attention to their customers, they don't know what products they put on to their clients (they had to put facial scrubs, which by the way i had mentioned to the receptionist that we didn't want to get it) and the list goes on and on.

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    1. oh... that's so sad. i'm hearing loads of negative comments about them lately...

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  8. Gud aftie..... just want to ask do you have any promo package for a couple?

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  9. Worse service.. Disrespectful therapist.. The place has a lot of background noise from all over the place.. Staff boisterous conversation. I didnt feel like that im in a spa. I wasnt treated as a customer. When i aired my concern to the therapist about the noise, she seemed annoyed and answered back and even put hard pressure on the massage. Definitely not a go to spa.

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