June 2, 2008

Le Sense and Sensibility

By Loke Poh Lin

LOKE POH LIN says it's only sensible to visit the Le Sense spa when your body's signalling it needs a break.

We all know that all too familiar symptoms: tightness around the neck and shoulders, throbbing temples with a headache coming on, an uneasy tummy, brows all knitted up, minor aches and pains - your body is sending you warning bells for a time-out!

The sensible thing to do is to pay attention to these red flags. One need not go very far for relief as there are sanctuaries in a shopping mall near you if you work or live in the Klang Valley.

Le Sense by Slimming Sanctuary at The Gardens is a place for relaxation, wellness and slimming, offering 557 square metres of pampering. Once you step beyond the reception desk, all is calm and restful. The centre has many programmes to help men and women feel good, look great and even shed a few kilos into the bargain.

Like many other spas in the city, they offer massages, saunas, facials, manicures and pedicures, and weight loss programmes. But what they have over and above the regular spa are their signature services, which incorporate slimming, detoxification and massage as a package treatment.

As Slimming Sanctuary general manager Lau Sieu Keng explains, before the start of any treatment, clients are always given a quick tour of the centre to put them at ease.

This gives them a basic idea of where the various facilities are. Lau showed us around Le Sense's VIP massage rooms with Jacuzzis, its spa pool, sauna and lounge, and beauty, consultation and steam rooms.

This pre-treatment introduction is an essential step, Lau feels, to get clients emotionally prepared for their sessions. "It's important that our clients feel comfortable before their treatments, feeling relaxed and at home here."

Next, we spent quality time with a nutritionist who gave us a quick body analysis using the Inbody 230, a Korean wonder which can measure your BMI (body mass index), percentage of body fat, waist- hip ratio and basal metabolic rate. The results will give you an idea on what to prioritise when choosing treatments.

If you do not have excessive body fat, a traditional massage will do to loosen the knots and improve blood circulation and limberness to one's tired body. The soothing treatment room alone is therapeutic in itself.

To give us an idea of their new signature treatment, Lau recommended we try out a session of AcuSLIM, which is touted to be a reinvention of slimming combining technology (the use of machines) and acupressure (the use of hands).

The mechanical part involves the use of a device with a head which is applied on one's skin, gently sucking and applying pressure to release the fluids in the fat cells that causes cellulite. It feels slightly prickly and even though I felt no discomfort, I was told that it can be painful for some clients who have stubborn cellulite in problem areas.

The technique, we're told, increases lymphatic drainage and blood circulation to flush the fluids out from fat cells and reduces overall water retention. The desired effect on the client is reduction in cellulite, improvement in blood circulation, increased oxygenation of skin and cell nutrition.

A full body treatment using acupressure and lymphatic drainage massage then followed, focusing on different parts of the body.

The powerful hands of my masseuse persuaded the body to loosen and relax. The healing touch of human hands can never be replaced by any machine and this part of the treatment is by far the more comforting and reassuring.

Moreover, the stimulation, I was told, will help flush out excess water and harmful toxins while improving blood circulation.

At the end of the session, I left the treatment room with much reluctance, feeling fragrant and much rejuvenated.

It's a good time to try out Le Sense's swanky new centre as Slimming Sanctuary has some special first-time-only offers.

For example, a Full Body Slimming Desire package at RM38 gives you a slimming or spot slimming session, a full body contour wrap, plus freebies like one week unlimited spa access, a slimming kit worth RM98, and RM100 treatment and RM50 product vouchers.

For facial fans, opt for their Purifying Facial Bliss package at RM68, which will get you a full facial complete with exfoliation, extraction, face and shoulder massage, and mask. The freebies include a La Peau facial kit worth RM138, eye soothing therapy, and RM100 treatment and RM50 product vouchers.

Strictly for the lads, the Deluxe Abdominal Trim & Firm at RM38 gets you a full massage and wrap inclusive of a free slimming kit, and RM150 worth of treatment and product vouchers.

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