Pressure points

The specialists at both of Bangkok's Rhythm Retreat spas have attained a rarefied level of training

Rhythmic massage techniques.

As much as she wants to, Sayaka Hirashima can't dress up her fingernails, which have to be well-trimmed for performing facial and body treatments.

Sayaka Hirashima, Three's international spa trainer.

Based at Rhythm Spa -- a part of Three Aoyama store in Tokyo -- the international trainer also grooms others to do the job, including Thai therapists stationed at Rhythm Retreat, tucked behind Three cosmetics stores at CentralWorld and Iconsiam.

"Hands are a massage tool, but the use of body weight and rhythm are as important in executing Three signature treatments," Hirashima said.

The therapist's movement involves, for instance, slightly bending the knee, parting the legs and swaying, rather like a slow dance, while gliding the palm over the skin instead of exerting pressure.

Using body weight along with proper body alignment and posture, the therapist also won't be exhausted after performing treatments.

The technique puts the clients' breath in sync with the therapist's movement, while the overall Rhythm Retreat experience helps restore their circadian rhythm.

"The relaxing and holistic facial and body treatments restore a mind and body balance that is connected to the beauty of the skin," said Hirashima. "Facials extend to the décolleté, where lymphatic-drainage massage is important in order to eliminate toxins and stimulate circulation for a rosy complexion."

As Rhythm Retreat's therapists hold bachelor's degrees in physical therapy or applied Thai traditional medicine, they can correctly target the lymphatic system and different muscles that require working on during a session, customised following a detailed consultation.

"Different oil blends are used in each treatment. We firmly believe in essential oils, and their therapeutic properties are considered in creating each blend," said the international spa trainer.

Restoring the skin's water/oil balance, the 45 minute Balancing Treatment (3,200 baht) involves a blend of bergamot and frankincense oils that help destress, while promoting deeper breathing and blood circulation.

The 1 hour Aiming Treatment (3,900 baht) is recommended for ageing skin, with a concentrated mix of Damask rose and fennel oils promising firming effects while encouraging hormonal balance.

The 1 hour Full Body Care (3,500 baht) focuses on relieving tension and relaxing muscles, using a blend featuring bergamot and rosemary oils, applied on the body with flowing and rhythmic movements.

The Rhythm Retreats at CentralWorld and Iconsiam house only three and two treatment rooms respectively, with minimalist and raw interior designs intending to make you feel grounded, philosophically appreciating the simple things in life.

"Everything looks simple but we actually go into great detail ensuring a relaxing experience," said Hirashima. "The Imabari towel, for instance, is used for its softness and good water absorbency. In different sizes, weight and textures, 14 towels are used for different functions and to provide comfort for specific parts of the body."

The gentle-on-the-skin towels are made in Imabari, located in Japan's Ehime Prefecture.

Likewise, Three skincare formulas feature homegrown natural ingredients, such as tea seed oil from Shizuoka, yuzu seed oil from Kochi, thermal water from Oita and powdered fossilised coral from Yonaguni Island in Okinawa.

The skincare collections include the Balancing and Aiming ranges that complement the facial treatments as daily care.

"Therapists are also trained to give the best advice after a spa treatment, so that clients can maintain the result by home care with Three skincare products," she said.

Rhythmic massage techniques.

A treatment room at Rhythm Retreat, tucked behind Three flagship store, CentralWorld.

For information, call Rhythm Retreat Iconsiam at 02-288-0321 and Rhythm Retreat CentralWorld at 02-252-3464.


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