How a Perm can change the world.

As I sat in the staff canteen eating my plate of veggies and barley; I saw a man sitting at the adjacent table.

Tony 2

His picture above can show the features that drew my attention. His curly hair, his wrinkle-less skin and his smile. I had to ask, “do you perm?”  The unbelievable answer that came, was, “yes.”

Not a word that we shared would be understood by either of us, as he speaks only Cantonese and I do not. But the inspiration that came from meeting him taught me valuable lessons.

Beauty is for everyone. And healthy skin comes if you sleep well, eat veggies, and are happy.

Tony works in the laundry and no matter if the towels are piled higher than the ceiling, his smile will remain. He is 51 and born the year of the Ox. He told me that he believes that his skin is so good because he is good. Wow. I am overwhelmed. If only a perm could do that to the rest of the world.

What is the Meridian System?

acupuncture_meridians

What is the Meridian System?

Chinese medicine believes there is a distribution network for the fundamental substances of Qi, the body.  This distribution network is called the Meridian System and it looks like a giant web, linking different areas of our body together. Its pathways make up a body map that supplies vital energy to every part of the body.

The Chinese meaning of the word Meridian

“Jing luo”, the Chinese term for meridian has two interesting meanings. These meanings date back several thousand years and are reflected in the ancient Chinese medical text, Huang Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine), which says:

Jing meridians act as the interior. Those which branch off horizontally are luo meridians. Jing means to pass through or pathway and refers to the vertical channels. Luo means network and refers to the networks that branch off from the vertical channels (Jing). Both Jing and Luo mean link or connection, and they are bound closely together to form channels.

Classification of Meridians

The Meridian System has 12 principal meridians that correspond to the yin and yang organs and the pericardium. (Yin organs are usually those without an empty cavity, and include the liver, heart, spleen, lungs, and kidneys. Yang organs are organs with an empty cavity such as the gall bladder, small intestine, stomach, large intestine and bladder. In TCM, yin and yang organs are physiological functional units that incorporate a much broader meaning than common western thinking.)

Meridians linked with yin organs are known as yin meridians; if they are linked to yang organs, they are known as yang meridians. In addition to the12 principal meridians, there are eight extra meridians and smaller network-like luo meridians. Among the eight extra meridians, the Governing Vessel and the Conception Vessel are considered the most important channels, because they contain acupuncture points which are independent of the twelve principal meridians.

At the Spa at Four Seasons we use this knowledge for a treatment called The Forbidden Rice.  We use the wonderful organic products of Ling New York and combine them with the knowledge of East.

Forbidden Rice Treatment

This full-body treatment is the essence of East meets West. A rice and ginger body scrub exfoliates the entire body and is then removed without you having to leave the treatment bed. A two-phase massage follows. First, a rich butter of organic ginger, lotus and fennel is used to stimulate blood circulation. This is followed by a lymphatic drainage massage using a warming oil blend of cinnamon, ylang-ylang and black pepper. This truly indulgent treatment is inspired by old and new Hong Kong.

The Art of Observation

dandelion-field-floriana-barbu

As I am not born Christian, there is space for me to watch as the world goes into a “one day craziness” filled with the need for glee, the craving for presents, the gift of fleeting happiness.

It as if all my spiritual teachers have given me the gift, every year, for one day, to be an observer. Now, the question comes: how can I create that space into my daily life. Why is it that I can remove myself from the “madness” on this day called Christmas, but not on every other day.

So today starts a new pattern, along with my diet to lose 5 kilos. An added goal. Observation.

“Self-observation brings man to the realization of the necessity of self-change. And in observing himself a man notices that self-observation itself brings about certain changes in his inner processes. He begins to understand that self-observation is an instrument of self-change, a means of awakening. -Gurdjieff

2 Best Holiday Gifts

rag and bones 1I love this company. Every thing is handmade. I use the first journal to write all of my deepest thoughts to get my head straight and the second to record my best recipes.

Rag and Bones Journal

receipe journal

Karma Creations are selling like hotcakes. Every piece of jewelry signifies a way of protection, creation, love, and wishes.

Karma C.

 

Spa Rant: Separation anxiety

Separation anxiety by Karen Fong

“The therapist will be with you at all times” is not a phrase I used to take very seriously. I didn’t used to think it was necessary especially when there are times when there isn’t much for them to do, particularly during facials.

Masks are a big part of facials and we all know the importance of having them on, having the goodness of the ingredients soak into your face, while maybe taking a little nap. It makes sense that this is when a therapist might step out for a bit but PUH-LEASE, come back soon!

Waking up in the middle of a mask, particularly the hard, solidifying types is a surreal, absolutely weird feeling. Usually your eyes and your mouth are covered, so you’re effectively mute and blind. What was worst, was that no one was there to answer my mewling sounds of confusion.

The most recent time this happened (today), it was even more annoying by the fact that there was drilling outside the spa. So in addition to being blind and mute, there was a never-ending stream of Armageddon-sounding destruction going on outside. It just makes for a very surreal experience where you lie there, and wait (and time seems to pass way slower when you can’t see or talk), until finally someone comes through the door, whips off the mask and “reveals a whole new you.”

Spa Rant-Protection First

Protection first

Once I went for a massage (I know, this seems to happen a lot), and it was seemingly going well. It was soothing massage, so there was oil involved and things seemed to be going well until I noticed a really odd scratchy/squishy sound. This was followed by some odd snapping sounds until I finally looked up and turned and realised my therapist was wearing rubber gloves.

Rubber gloves. For a massage. Seriously? In all my years of spa-ing that has never happened to me before. It was so surprising I asked my therapist why she was using gloves. Her answer was “it’s for your protection, and mine.”

Well this was another stunner. What did I need protection from? I assumed she washed her hands before starting the massage…and I didn’t think I was particularly germ-ridden.

To be honest, it didn’t feel THAT different getting a massage through rubber gloves. It was just the sound! All that pulling and sucking and squishing and snapping. Well, not exactly what you’d call soothing. And of course I was a bit offended that the therapist needed to be “protected” from me.

When the massage was over, I asked the spa manager what was the reason for the gloves. She said that some clients prefer it (I want to meet these people!). When I pressed further she just promised me it wouldn’t happen again. So I never got an answer beyond the whole sanitation thing. I know Hong Kong can be oddly paranoid about sanitation post-SARS, but this was probably the strangest experience of it I’ve ever had.