In much need of some pampering, Angela Beitz tries the new Lava Shell Massage at Sisters Beauty Lounge and finds out why this unique massage method is sweeping the globe.
From placenta facials to blood injections, innovative treatment techniques continue to be a hot trend in the spa and beauty industry. The latest to launch in Dubai is the Lava Shell Massage at Sisters Beauty Lounge. It involves two tiger-striped clam shells to warm and loosen your muscles and trigger pressure points to leave you feeling deeply relaxed. Heat helps the muscles to unwind and relaxes the joints. Using it in a massage allows for easier manipulation of the body, working with the muscles and helping to penetrate the tissue easily to improve mobility and health, relieving the body of sore and tired muscles and improving blood circulation.
We spoke to Sara Abdulrazak, managing director of Sisters to find out what is so special about this massage. First she explains that heat is the key as it will loosen up tightened muscles.
‘Aside from being all natural and eco-friendly, it’s deeply comforting and relaxing. The heat from the seashells stimulates blood flow, which promotes the removal of toxins from cells, relaxing sore muscles and stiff joints, while giving your skin a healthy glow.’ So why is it better than a traditional hot stone massage?
‘The lava shells are naturally self-heating massage tools,’ she says. Unlike hot stones, lava shells eliminate the use of supplemental electricity and use only natural mineral heat with the help of lava gel, a blend of natural minerals, dried sea kelp and algae. The gel is mixed with sea water and inserted inside the hollow shells to generate heat that can last for up to two hours. The massage itself is known for accelerating the skin regeneration process and improving the skin’s appearance and texture. ‘They’re non-porous, unlike hot stones, and are therefore more hygienic,’ says Abdulrazak.
I headed to the salon to experience it for myself. Once I’ve changed into very comfortable slippers and a soft robe, I chat to my therapist who asks us about any areas of concern. She starts by giving me a general lymphatic drainage type massage, kneading my skin to loosen it up. Then she shows me the shells.
I wasn’t sure what to expect and was a bit sceptical that it would be any different from the traditional hot stones massage. What I didn’t anticipate was how much hotter the shells are than regular hot stones. When they were first pressed into the palms of my hands it was hard not to flinch because they were so hot. The therapist said they had to be quite warm to penetrate the large muscles of the body but the heat can be lowered for people who have a low pain threshold or sensitivity to heat. Once my therapist got going, the heat of the shells felt amazing on my skin, particularly on sore spots like my hips, shoulders and back. The shells are used just like hands, stroked and kneaded all over your body to release tension in the muscles. I flip over and the same process is conducted on the front of my body. When it’s over I’m left feeling as if I’ve been given a new body and all of my kinks and knots are gone.
I could instantly feel it working as the therapist rotated the shells and it soothed the deepest aches and pains, stress and tension. The results of the massage were almost instantaneous and I slept very well that evening.
I would recommend this massage to anyone who likes deep relaxation or heat during their treatments. It’s ideal for people who sit at a desk all day or have pain in a specific area of their body.
The Lava Shell Massage costs Dhs475 for 60 minutes. It can also be added onto other massages at Sisters for Dhs60 per shell. Sisters Beauty Lounge, various locations including Mall of the Emirates (04 379 2992).
Three other innovative spa techniques
24-karat gold facial
Facial incorporating sheets of gold leaf.
Dhs2,000, Biolite Aesthetic Clinic, Dubai Healthcare City (04 346 6641).
Magic wand facial
A thin probe-like instrument is used to stimulate the skin.
Dhs159 for 15 minutes. The Spa at Fairmont Dubai (888 363 5055).
The sweeping method causes the therapist to look like ‘Superman’.
Dhs310 for 70 minutes. The Nail Spa, Meadows Town Centre (04 447 0744).