In a world where massages can relax even the most tightly wound of bodies, there is a relatively new practice in the world that is leaving guests fully immersed in relaxation nirvana. The Jade Massage, which employs two therapists working in synchronised harmony, is taking the massage world by storm, and while hard to get your head around at first, this luxurious treat is certainly one way to get your body back to wholeness.
Feet scrubbed, lying face down on the table, I’m pretty sure I know the drill. But as the soothing music begins to ease me into a peaceful slumber in the middle of Muscat, something sudden happens that steals me away from sleep, at least momentarily. Instead of the customary two hands that reign relaxation in a massage session, I’m bombarded with four, and my mind starts to kick into overdrive. With a pair of hands on my back and shoulders, and a pair on my legs, where do I focus my pleasure, where do I hone in on bodily equilibrium, where do I feel the most relaxed? Of course after the first few minutes tick by, these questions, along with the tension in my body, fade away, and what started as a strangely new experience, becomes one that is uniquely enjoyable. This is the Chedi Jade Massage, and it’s unlike any session I’ve ever experienced before.
“With a pair of hands on my back and shoulders, and a pair on my legs, where do I focus my pleasure, where do I hone in on bodily equilibrium, where do I feel the most relaxed?”
A massage now eponymous with all GHM hotels , the Jade Massage treatment is something that everyone has got to try at least once. Having been created and perfected by Brenda Ramen, GHM’s Vice President of Spas, this treatment has become a mainstay for visitors looking for something a bit different in any of the many top-notch wellness retreats that call the GHM properties their homes. A massage that employs two people working in synchronised harmony, the Jade Massage is a full-body delight, and one that has you feeling like royalty when you’ve got to – unfortunately – get off of the massage table.
And while I knew I would be receiving the Chedi Jade Massage one hot afternoon in Muscat, what didn’t hit me is how different this type of treatment can feel than any others. It’s not to say that the techniques are techniques that aren’t used elsewhere, but the precise synchronisation of the Jade Massage between the two therapists is something that truly allows it to stand alone. Employing a number of techniques that span from Shiatsu, to Balinese massage and even to Hawaiian techniques, the treatment successfully brings together a number of cultural approaches to this centuries-old practice of massage making it perhaps one of the best types to get, as you get a little bit of everything – and from two people, who can complain? Palms, forearms, fingers and pressure points are all used, and guests are all the richer for it.
Each therapist starts in a different place, and for me, one was working my legs calves while the other was focusing on my back and shoulders. Again, it was strange in the beginning, almost a massage overload, but once the body acclimates to having four hands on it, you realise that relaxation never felt so comprehensive. The treatment begins on the back-side and after a certain amount of time has elapsed depending on how long you have scheduled the treatment for (60 or 90 minutes), you will flip and receive the same four-handed bath of bliss on your front-side. From head to toe is fair game, and when all of it is being done at once, there is a certain amount of pampering you don’t experience with the standard, but always nice, two-handed massage.
And while the massage is thing of beauty for recipients, for therapists, this massage is one which takes considerably longer to perfect than it does for guests to enjoy. While the movements and techniques aren’t necessarily complicated for an experienced therapist, the need to be in perfect harmony with another therapist does pose its limitations, and training to reach the perfect balance can take even the most experienced of these therapists up to a month to master. Luckily, however, at most of the GHM hotels, a large percentage of the staff have already gotten their wings as established Jade massage experts, even up to entire staffs which is the case at The Legian Bali. And with the Jade massage on the rise as one of the more popular massage requests within the spa and wellness world, you’re never in bad hands.
“Employing a number of techniques that span from Shiatsu, to Balinese and even to Hawaiian techniques, the treatment successfully brings together a number of cultural approaches to this centuries-old practice of massage making it perhaps one of the best types to get, as you get a little bit of everything – and from two people, who can complain?”
And so, as it usually goes, within minutes I was asleep, this time as the four soft Balinese hands were working out every kink and knot in my not-so-well-maintained body. The initial overload subsided and was replaced with that same bliss I get every time I step into the fragrant ambience of any of the GHM spas, and if I know anything, it’s that the hot afternoon Jade Massage I got at The Chedi Muscat won’t be the last time I ask for two therapists. Perhaps even more lucky, is that whether I venture to The Chedi Andermatt, The Nam Hai, The Legian Bali or The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah next, they’ve all got the Jade Massage on their menu of blissful delights.
(Featured image: Four hands and two therapists are the trademark of the increasingly popular Jade Massage at GHM spas around the world. This synchronised massage is one of the harder techniques to learn, and can take up to a month for even the most experienced of therapists.)