The Pavilion Sports Club is a well-equipped facility with a gym, squash courts and all the trimmings – including, now, a spa. I must admit the small massage area initially feels like a bit of an afterthought, hidden away in a corner behind the gym in a room that could have previously been used as a store cupboard. But once I’m led into the room, the door is closed and I’m left alone with soothing scents from burning oils and gentle music, the room is transformed into a small sanctuary.
The Fatigued Muscle-Release Body Treatment aims to work deep into the tissues to relax stiff, tight and fatigued muscles and joints, increasing lymphatic flow, eliminating toxins and boosting the immune system.
Step by step
After a foot soak, my therapist tells me that the lavender and peppermint massage oils will both help me relax and act as an anti-inflammatory, further relaxing my muscles. He begins by working my shoulders and back, before massaging deep into my hamstrings and lower back – an area of tightness I has previously told him about. Eventually, he asks me to lie on my back before he works over my thighs, lower legs and arms. He then massages my shoulders, head and the top of my face.
The most unusual part of the treatment comes next, when he begins to gently pull my hair – and I’m surprised to discover it’s a strangely relaxing sensation. With the massage over, the therapist stretches my problem hamstrings and offers me good advice on how to stretch them before and after sport.
The procedure leaves me feeling deeply relaxed – tired, even. But after a short afternoon nap, my muscles are re-energised and I feel great. I’d suggest that this is an ideal treatment to follow sporting activity, rather than precede it.
• My therapist really seems to know his stuff when it comes to treating specific muscular issues. That should be a prerequisite for a masseuse, yet so many therapists in Dubai ask you what you want them to focus on before blindly carrying out the treatment and disregarding your requests.
• Nothing major to complain about, other than the aforementioned strange hair-pulling techniques.
Angsana Spa & Health Club
This muscle-ease massage is effective and reasonably priced.
Dhs300 for 90 minutes. Dubai Marina (04 368 4356).
A less powerful muscle massage, ideal if you’re looking for relaxation.
Dhs470 for 65 minutes. The Monarch Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 501 8888).
Visit this spot for the aroma vitality massage to feel rejuvenated and loosened up after strenuous exercise.
Dhs410 for 50 minutes. Shangri-La, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 343 8888).