To celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Snake, the Four Seasons Spa recently launched its Chinese Wellness Ritual, an Oriental-inspired treatment designed to "wash away" all the stresses of last year and help you start afresh.
Entering the Four Seasons Spa is always a treat - along with super luxurious facilities, the atmosphere is warm and inviting.
My therapist, Angela, explains that the treatment uses a blend of traditional Chinese ingredients that promote wellness and harmony. Most of the treatments are organic and have been chosen to unblock the key meridians (energy channels) in the body so chi (energy) can flow freely.
The 2½-hour ritual begins with a relaxing Chinese tea ceremony followed by a footbath. I am then led into a spacious treatment room with an adjoining wet room for a body scrub and massage. I find it too warm and stuffy, although my muscles start to relax after a few minutes.
The fragrant scrub uses green tea oil and other invigorating ingredients such as rice, ginseng, black pepper and cinnamon. Once this is applied, warm rice milk is poured over my body to hydrate and lighten the skin.
As the milk trickles over my skin, she begins a deep massage using a compress which she calls a milky rice poultice (it can best be described as a ball of rice dough wrapped in muslin). The sensation is odd at first, but my muscles quickly succumb to the treatment and I fall into a deep sleep.
After a 30-minute massage, hot steam is released into the room to help the ingredients soak into my skin, then a rain shower is switched on above the bed, which feels like a purification ritual.
Once I dry off, I am led back into the treatment room for a full body massage where various Eastern techniques release unwanted toxins and improve digestion.
After the treatment I feel relaxed but surprisingly energetic. My skin looks squeaky clean and feels soft and hydrated.
The following day I feel much less bloated around my stomach and the stiffness around my muscles has all but disappeared. I'll definitely return for another treatment.
The 2½-hour Chinese Wellness Ritual costs HK$3,600 on weekdays and HK$3,888 on weekends and public holidays