Golfer’s Tonic massage at SensAsia Spa

We try this new treatment at Emirates Golf Club after a few holes

The spa
Finding SensAsia’s Emirates Golf Club venue proves a bit of a task, with the entrance hidden behind the building it shares with the golf club’s gym and pool area. Once inside and past the gym, the spa’s reception area is all dark woods and aromas of essential oils. Inside, the Asian theme is forced home somewhat, especially in the relaxation room, but treatment rooms are simple and stylish.

The promise
The spa offer a range of golf-related treatment, including Pro’s Choice, Who’s Your Caddie? and Get a Grip. Treatments range from Dhs225 to Dhs775. I opt for the 90-minute Golfer’s Tonic, a customised treatment that promises to relieve and sooth aching muscles after a hard day on the greens, combining elements of deep tissue massage, stretching and cracking to target tension in the back, neck, legs and feet.

Step by step
My therapist starts by speaking to me at length about which sports I play and what injuries or problems I have as a result. I tell her I have extremely tight hamstrings, which give me back pain, and admit I should stretch more both before and after I am active. She tells me she will focus on those areas more than usual, and begins to massage my back. My therapist seems surprised at the amount of knots in the muscles in my back and shoulders, and sets to work on them. The massage is, at first, extremely painful, but begins to feel more relaxing as it goes on. She asks me regularly if the pain is okay and assures me the pain will be worth it after the treatment, so I try to be brave. After what seems like a lifetime, she stretches my hamstrings and massages my legs before working on my shoulders, neck and scalp (which is surprisingly relaxing). I am surprised when she tells me the 90-minute treatment is over.

The results
I feel more flexible as soon as I get up from the table. The small pains in my back brought on by tight muscles are gone, at least temporarily (I bend down to pick up my shoes without what has become a customary groan). My new-found flexibility lasts until I go for a swim the following day. I stretch briefly before and after the swim, but the tightness begins to return the next morning. Clearly, this treatment is a wonderful cure for tightness and fatigue, but one that must be repeated regularly to maintain the effects.

• My therapist really listens to what I said and gears my entire treatment to my needs
• Results are immediate and last until I get active once again

• Some massages are about the pleasure of the treatment, and some are about the results; this certainly falls in the latter category - it is not for those with a low pain threshold
• Must be repeated for the results to last, which could prove expensive

Dhs495 per 90-minute session, SensAsia Urban Spa, Emirates Golf Club, (04 417 9820)

Also try ...

Mandara Spa's muscle ease massage is not as uncomfortable as some deep-tissue sports treatments, ensuring it’s relaxing, rather than wince-inducing.
Dhs470 for 65 minutes. The H Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 501 8888)

Cinq Mondes Spa ayurvedic massage leaves you feeling awake and energetic almost immediately.
Ayurvedic massage Dhs500 for 50 minutes, Dhs700 for 80 minutes. Cinq Mondes Spa, Kempinski Hotel, Palm Jumeirah (04 444 2400).

The Grand Spa’s deep tissue massage aims to relieve severe tension.
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