IF THE idea of a 10-day detox chills your spine, then there are easier, less-effective though more enjoyable ways of getting your cleanse on.
Anyone looking to harmonize their Yin and Yang should head to the Chuan Spa at the Langham Place Hotel in Mong Kok. Its intelligent blend of international luxury spa culture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices. The concept has proved so popular that branches of Chuan have opened in Shanghai, London, Auckland and Melbourne.
Upon entering the spa area, where d?cor is tastefully inspired by Chinese imperial architecture, a sense of calm washes over you. We aren't just coming here for the atmosphere however, we are here with a mission to detoxify.
The Tao of Detox treatment (2 hr 30 min at HK$1,725 for single and HK$3,095 for a couple) promises calming detoxification. A short questionnaire about how you are feeling helps the therapist to choose from the five fundamental Wu Xi elements (earth, air, fire, water and wood) for optimal body balancing. I get the wood element, which signals that I am stressed and uptight (I nod gratefully when I hear the news), and Chuan's own brand of aromatic wood-based massage oil is used for soothing during my treatment.
After a round in the sauna and stream room facilities, I enter the treatment rooms. The treatment starts with a luxurious full body exfoliation scrub as the therapist expertly stimulates your blood and lymph circulation, a crucial process in expelling surface toxins and those just under the skin.
After the scrub is showered off, you are treated to a warm, aromatic marine algae wrap, applied in slow strong strokes to intensify the detox process. The wrap also draws out toxins and stays on for 25 minutes or so before it is also showered off. What follows is an extremely relaxing back, neck and shoulder massage to release tension and energy blocks in your system - this is the most relaxing part of the treatment and you are in danger of falling asleep from sheer bliss. The icing on the cake is the revival facial infused with an intensive oxygen booster, meant to cleanse pores and restore dehydrated skin. It leaves my skin looking plump, nourished and healthy for the next 48 hours.
The products used are strictly either Chuan's own carefully branded TCM-based selection or Thalgo - French experts in marine beauty products for more than 40 years.
The treatment ends as you are led into a relaxation room where you sip on herbal tea and gaze over the Kowloon skyline. The best thing about the treatment is the fantastic skin detoxifying effect and energizing of a sluggish lymphatic system, whilst fostering a zen-like calm. The worst thing is that they won't let you stay the night - unless you book a room of course.
Chuan Spa, Level 41 Langham Place Hotel, Mong Kok. Tel: 3552 3510