When you first enter the workforce, having a sedentary lifestyle seems almost inevitable. After all, it takes time to adjust to a new environment. This has happened to my family and friends, and I’ve experienced it as well.
“It’s important to make sure you exercise, especially if you’re in a desk-bound job.” I’ve heard of many phrases to this effect – from those around me, and even the Health Promotion Board.
I must admit – it’s easier said than done. On most days I find myself exhausted by the time I end work, and long to be under the comfort of my sheets.
For the past few months, however, I’ve gradually built a workout routine and see myself sticking to it in the long-term. Yet, through this process I’ve realised that I’ve neglected another important aspect of my wellbeing. We’re encouraged to lead an active lifestyle, but there isn’t as much emphasis on one’s mental and emotional health.
Stress is guaranteed in virtually every job. Be it deadlines to meet, or the people that we interact with – we all have our own stress factors. Besides exercising, we often rely on holidays to unwind.
A Way To Unwind
Beyond the yearly or semiannual trip, there are other ways to destress within the island. I decided to pamper myself as I headed to Serena Spa one afternoon.
As I step through the glass doors, I’m ushered to a sofa seat. A staff hands a form for me to fill out my personal and health details.
I’m set for one of Serena Spa’s signature spa experiences – the Marma massage. It’s is also known as the body, mind and spirit massage, which is exactly what I need.
In the room, my therapist – Zoddi – first asks if I have any areas that I’d like to focus on or avoid. I chose to focus on my neck and shoulders; the long hours spent in front of a laptop have rendered them stiff.
Zoddi then works her magic.
The therapeutic Ayurveda-inspired massage uses a unique herbal oil that is prepared according to an ancient recipe. For the uninitiated, Ayurveda is a system of traditional medicine developed during antiquity and the medieval period.
Zoddi heats this oil gently over a candle, before pouring some onto her palms. The Ayurveda system believes in 109 Marmas, otherwise known as nerve endings.
In the Marma massage, these nerve endings are stimulated to increase energy flow.
Zoddi begins by massaging my head and shoulders, before directing me to a mattress on the ground. She then uses her feet to exert pressure on my body – heavier strokes than other regular massages I’ve had, but equally comfortable.
Soon after, I shift to the massage bed where Zoddi continues her therapy – only this time it’s through long, sweeping strokes using her arm.
A Singaporean Therapist
Through our brief conversation, I come to realize that Zoddi is Singaporean, which she admits is “quite rare”. It is to me as well.
In fact, this is my first time meeting a local massage therapist. She then reveals that she has been in this industry for 5 years. While this is an impressive record to me, it is lacking to her.
“Those that are in this industry often have decades of experience under their belt or have only started out for a few years.”
“The true test is withstanding the test of time,” she says.
I nearly drift off to sleep, but am kept awake by a sudden rough feeling. It turns out that I’ve come to the last part of the massage – the cleansing body scrub that’s meant to remove any excess herbal oil. Covered in the deep rep scrub, I head to the shower room – which also functions as a steam room.
For the next 15 minutes, I sit still as the room fills up with steam.
The silence and solitude is surprisingly therapeutic.
Before long, Zoddi knocks on the door to let me know that my time is up – also a sign that I can now shower to rinse off the body scrub.
I wasn’t prepared for a shower, but to my relief the shower is fully equipped. There is a hairdryer, cotton buds and disposable combs located at the dressing table as well.
Ready To Take On The World
As I step back out into the main reception area, Zoddi reappears, asking if ginger tea is alright. Although my experience with ginger tea thus far has been less than ideal, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ginger tea brewed by her wasn’t too strong.
Having been attentive and considerate throughout my entire session, Zoddi does a final check with me – was the massage okay? Do my neck and shoulders feel better? I nod.
As I leave Serena Spa, I’m once again reminded that our wellbeing transcends beyond physical levels.
EXCLUSIVE: For all our readers, enjoy a 10% discount from Monday to Friday and 5% discount on Saturday and Sunday when you quote “YPSpa” at Serena Spa.
To find out more about Serena Spa and reserve a session, click here.