Sunday, December 29, 2013

Best of a Travelife 2013: The mind-blowing ohashiatsu therapy at The Residence in Zanzibar


As 2014 approaches, we look back on the amazing year that was and remember the best of 12 months of truly wonderful travels and fabulous adventures. 

Thank you for following us on our never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

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THE RUNNERS-UP FOR
SPA TREATMENT OF THE YEAR

As I am very much a spa person (as well as a safari person now, if 7 safaris in less than 12 months is a qualification), I probably had hundreds of spa treatments in 2013, living a Travelife all over the world.

And if I have to pick my favorites, these would make the short list:

That's me, on my way across the Kalahari Desert
to the Tsuwalu Game Reserve, by private plane

1) The facial favored by all the Bollywood celebrities, at the Park Hyatt Hyderabad (March 2013)

2) A rolling sands massage at the Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town (November 2013)

3) A Kalahari body treatment and facial at the Tsuwalu Game Reserve in South Africa (November 2013)

4) A complete spa pampering package at The Retreat in Tanzania (October 2013)

5) The ultimate facial at the Les Sources de Caudalie spa in Versailles (June 2013)

AND THE WINNER IS....

The Residence at Zanzibar

However, when I really think about it, out of all these great spa treatments in luxurious settings, the ohashiatsu therapy at The Residence in Zanzibar, considered by many to be the best place to stay on the island of Zanzibar, was the one that really blew my mind away.

It was unlike anything I had ever had before, in my never-ending Travelife of spa treatments all over the world.

It was shiatsu, Thai massage, Swedish, stretching, yoga and a couple of other treatments all rolled into one.

Sunset from The Residence at Zanzibar


I'd booked it on a whim, on the morning that we were set to check out of The Residence and fly to Dar es Salaam.

We'd started the day out very nicely, and just finished a nice breakfast by the beach. And then we had a free and easy morning before checking out.

The Travel Companion was content to fiddle with his iPad for a few hours anyway, so it was the perfect opportunity to get some "Me Time" and try this new spa treatment.

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THE CARITA SPA
OF THE RESIDENCE AT ZANZIBAR

I booked a session of ohashiatsu at the hotel's Carita Spa, just because the name intrigued me.

The Residence Zanzibar is the first hotel spa in the world to provide Ohashiatsu treatment to its guests.

They've even built a pavilion entirely dedicated to Ohashiatsu.





COMPLETELY ORIGINAL

Ohashiatsu is an energy-based therapy treatment that is molded on Japanese shiatsu, with Thai stretching and Indian yoga thrown in.

In Japanese, "Ohashi" means "big bridge," the perfect symbol for a treatment that brings the Eastern approaches of healing to the West.


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SOME VERY FAMOUS CLIENTS

It was developed over 35 years by Wataru Ohashi, a Japanese shiatsu master based in New York, who apparently has a loyal roster of famous clients. 

His roster of clients for ohashiatsu include Liza MinnelliGeorge BalanchineStan GetzRalph LaurenMuhammad Ali and Henry Kissenger.



BENEFITS OF OHASHIATSU

Well, I have to say that it was unlike any other massage I had ever had before.

It's bodywork taken to the next level, with the following additional benefits:

- Increased endurance and flexibility
- Strength-building and posture-building, similar to Pilates
- Revitalization
- Release of stress

Ohashiatsu involves a lot of stretching and rotation of limbs to activate energy points and loosen up joints.

"The key to happiness is to know your weaknesses, know your strengths, and live accordingly. Through self knowledge, you discover where your talents lie and those things that do not support your life. Once you make those discoveries, you are enlightened. All there is left to do is to live a happy life."

- Wataru Ohashi 




My session was done by Fahdel, the spa master, and he was excellent.

He was highly recommended by the hotel management.

I ended my session completely relaxed and rejuvenated, and ready to begin my next adventure in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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