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A great spa massage is an unforgettable experience.

Banyan Tree Spaway to the Stars

Monday, January 7, 2008
TRANQUILITY Hydro Mist sounds just like a planet at the other end of the Universe, somewhere close to Serenity.

And that's precisely where this particular not-so-heavenly body is bound today, on a collision course.

It should be quite a trip. Three hours in Earth time, but in reality an eternity, especially once the warp-speed seismic egotrometer kicks in.

Feet begin the journey first, floating amid flower petals then stroked and massaged, toe by toe.

It has been ages, in truth about half a century in Earth time, since these particular toes felt so tickled and so pink.

Where the feet lead, the body follows, perhaps a little unsteadily at first, deep into the transportation vehicle that mere Earthlings know as the Banyan Tree Spa Phuket. If only they truly understood.

First, the right fragrance has to be chosen for the journey. Opting for a novel nasal adventure, today's selection is Bergamot (possibly named after another far-flung planet).

Bergamot, unlike Sandalwood and those other mere aromas, ''reduces depression, anxiety, insomnia and balances emotions.'' Yes, that's definitely the perfect navigational aid for this particular journey.

After a thorough cleansing shower that removes all telltale vestiges of human flaws and foibles, it's outward and onward, into the heart of Pepper Villa.

At the core lies The Rainmist Room. Here, the body, a little awkward and bare now, is placed prone on a soft bed. Time stands still.

Time is left standing, while the body takes it easy. What could be more balanced and fair?

Above, a shiny instrument of pleasure swings into position. Ten showerheads point down, gleaming.

A friendly Terrestrian once described what it was like to be hit by a cold waterfall that had been fed by solid rain for four days.

Ten showerheads are nothing like that. They are extremely gentle and warm, all over.

Therapist Khun Dumex leaves the room and lets the rain fall on the body and the bed. The mist rises. The mind floats.

A body scrub, along with applications of honey followed by fresh milk, spring every pore open and set each follicle humming in tune as never before, happy to be transported to the outer limits.

They are on their way to fantastic destinations even the Starship Enterprise has never seen. Later, as the body hovers between Venus and Mars, a stream of warm oil is trickled over the forehead. Firm fingers follow.

This is what's known as Shirodhara, somewhere to the left of Nirvana and a long way from Melancholy and its two moons. Elevation frees us from gravity and care.

And then, the Massage. Wherever we are going, it's an extremely nice place.

Splashdown comes all too soon, although there are clearly lasting effects from the journey.

The feet, for example, no longer quite touch the floor and the mind floats free from angst, not to mention politics and reality television.

Earthlings and others, be aware: the Banyan Tree Spa, relying on the extraterrestrial rocket fuel of indulgences intermingled with time-honoured traditions, is now offering Revival, Rejuvenation and Renewal as regular destinations for voyagers from Planet Phuket.

Next time, the seven-hour session. Onward and out there.

The author was a guest of the Banyan Tree.
Contact the Banyan Tree Spa on 076-324374.

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