ZenNa Tai, available at The Oriental Spa at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental, is a healing method that considers physical, emotional and spiritual concerns in a holistic way. Holistic practitioner Dr Buathon Thienarrom assesses each of her patients individually, the goal being to clear both body and mind. A gentle physical massage might release physiological and emotional blockage, improving concentration and well-being.
When I meet Buathon, she identifies that I have a tight neck and shoulders, saying that this leads to shallow breathing.
Buathon created ZenNa Tai as a holistic approach to waking and energising. Typically, ZenNa Tai relies on three sessions. The first focuses on the front of the body, the second on the back of the body and the third is to make minor adjustments.
Patients are asked to practice "yin-yang" breathing. A deep breath, taking energy up to the head, down the spine and round to the tummy, is known as a yin breath. The opposite direction, sending energy down to the tailbone and up through the spine, then down to the tummy, is called a yang breath.
To start the session, a large singing bowl is sounded, to resonate with the water in my body. I feel a tingling sensation as Buathon moves the bowl through the air around my body. I'm told to breathe in and out, deeply and slowly. The massage bed feels warm, and a thick towel has been placed across my chest. The breathing encourages relaxation. The requirement for three sessions soon becomes clear.
Buathon works in minute detail. A lengthy massage on my neck and shoulders is made with short, gentle movements over small areas. The slow and gentle manner gets to the problem areas and I can feel more tingling sensations. This is different to traditional Thai massage or acupressure.
ZenNa Tai is also used for detoxification of the gastrointestinal tract, and recommended for those with irritable bowel syndrome, bloating or constipation. Buathon's approach includes the whole front of my body. A slightly heavier rubbing is performed from the centre of my tummy to my side, repeated evenly on the left and right. After some light massage on the legs the sound of the singing bowl ends my massage.
After this relaxing experience, guests can enjoy the facilities which include tepidarium chairs, the Amethyst Crystal Steam Room and a laconium. Buathon has a residency at the Mandarin Oriental every few months, and will next visit The Oriental Spa from March 7-11.
First session HK$1,420 (90 mins); follow-up sessions HK$980 (60 mins) or HK$1,420 (90 mins)