Try these quick, affordable stress-busters in Dubai
If you’re looking after the fils this month after Eid al-Adha, or in anticipation of some expensive Christmas shopping, it doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on pampering time. We’ve road tested five stress-busting treatments, each 60 minutes long and each priced at Dhs200 or less, so if you’re time- and cash-poor, look no further.
Express mani/pedi What it promises: A first-rate manicure/pedicure (or both) using products from the Jessica Vartoughian range. There is also a free chip-repair service if you damage the look within the first 24 hours.
What it delivers: The manicure is carried out in a proper spa, in a private treatment room with panoramic views of Dubai Creek, so it feels luxurious. The treatment takes an hour, and there’s the option of spending a further 20 minutes letting our nails dry in the relaxation area, where we enjoy fresh fruit and yogurt, as well as excellent herbal teas.
Stress-busting score: 5/5 Dhs80, Spa InterContinental, InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City (04 701 1111).
Head, neck and shoulder massage What it promises: The relief from the physical manifestations of stress, which causes muscles to tense uncomfortably, particularly around the neck and shoulders. The word ‘massage’ is said to come from the Arabic ‘massa’, meaning to ‘touch or handle’, and works by manipulating the body with pressure and motion.
What it delivers: True to its tradition, after an hour of being thoroughly worked on by Breath and Health’s resident contortionist, we feel noticeably more relaxed. A genuine weight (or knot) is lifted from our reviewer’s deadline-strewn shoulders.
Stress-busting score: 4/5 Dhs200 (normally Dhs300; on offer until November 20). Breath and Health, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim, www.breathandhealth.net (04 348 9940).
Pranic healing What it promises: Working along the same philosophy as reiki, pranic healers don’t actually touch the person they’re treating. Instead, several rituals are followed to realign the flow of energy (or ‘chakras’): the aim is to remove negative energy, then harmonise and stabilise the positive energy. It can be used to treat specific problem areas, while a general cleanse promotes a sense of wellbeing, both mentally and physically. What it delivers: While a series of treatments promises the best results, after just one pranic healing session we feel more relaxed and more positive with renewed energy, ready to tackle the world.
Reflexology massage What it promises: An hour of relaxation focusing on the pressure points on your feet to relieve stress. What’s more, Chez Toi comes to you, so there’s no need to leave the house.
What it delivers: While we find it a little odd having a professional masseuse in our bedroom, the fact that we don’t have to travel home afterwards is amazing. The therapist arrives with everything she needs, including soothing music and candles and the massage does a great job at relieving tension.
Stress-busting score: 4/5 Dhs200. Ladies only. Chez Toi home service, www.cheztoibeauty.com (04 339 7117).
Reiki What it promises: This natural healing energy therapy is said to clear people of any physical or emotional ‘blockages’. Reiki means ‘universal energy’ and the practice, which was developed in Japan centuries ago, is known to be a popular healing therapy for those suffering from illnesses. You’ll be pleased to know that it can also be used for those looking to de-stress.
What it delivers: The reiki practitioner lightly touches parts of our body and gently hovers over others – while everyone has different reiki experiences, a change in temperature is common. Whether you’re a believer or not, we leave feeling calm, tranquil and wanting to sleep like a baby for the next 10 hours.
Stress-busting score: 4.5/5 Dhs200. The Third Eye, Saeed Tower 2 (next to Four Points Sheraton), Sheikh Zayed Road, www.thirdeyeonline.com (050 809 8595).