In less than 5 minutes I took pictures of at least eight spas as I walked down the streets of Shanghai. They are everywhere, so if you are ever in need of a massage, facial, manicure or pedicure you are just minutes from them no matter where you are. It is always an adventure when entering a spa. They all serve fruit and a drink, some use elbows and knees, while others have tried to pick me up and roll me on their backs. One even used a “cigar” to hold near my pressure points as a form of therapy.
It is hard to get a bad massage here, but getting your nails done is a bit of a different story. Though several of the spas I have visited have done an OK job with my manicures and pedicures, none of them quite equal the Asian nail salons in America, or my friends Shelly and Shawna in Tulsa who both give terrific manicures, and both of whom my nails and I miss greatly! Shellac nails here just don’t hold up to shellac nails in the states.
A simple foot massage in China doesn’t mean just a foot massage. It includes your legs, neck, shoulders, head and back. Often times the masseuse will be behind me in my chair digging her knees or elbows into my back. There are many types of foot massages available such as chocolate or peppermint, perhaps even lemon. Sometimes even Chinese medicine may be added to the water.
A full body massage can be up to 90 minutes or more and only cost 250RMB. That is about $37.00. There are many types of massages too, like massages to promote weight loss, athletic/sports massages, relaxing aromatic massages and I would imagine other types of massages are available too, where girls in short skirts stand in front of the “spa” to lure in men who may wander by. A guy friend of mine did wander in one of those, (by accident, he said) but that is a different story.
With the language barrier, it is sometimes difficult to convey just what type of massage I want. A friend and I wandered in a massage spa after a long days walk around Changdu and asked for foot massages. Before we knew it, they were escorting us to a pool and asking us to get in. We said we didn’t want a swim, only a foot massage. We played Charades to demonstrate what we wanted. They said, “Ok, Ok.” They proceeded to give us pajamas and a locker for our clothes. We didn’t know why we needed pajamas for a foot massage so I decided it was time to call for backup, a/k/a Chinese Translation.
I phoned a friend and asked him to tell them we only wanted a foot massage. After a short discussion between the two of them on my phone, my friend asked, “Where are you? Why does some man want you to spend the night there? You need to get out of there!”
I asked him again to speak with them and tell them we did not want to spend the night, only a foot massage. Translation: Successful. They lead us downstairs to a really nice massage area with really nice big chairs each having their own TV for viewing. We noticed there were people in pajamas down there, so I guess they were there for the night. They all had hot tea and fruit at the little tables beside them. Soon they brought fruit to our table along with a cold Coca Cola. How is that for stereotyping? I didn’t complain, I much preferred a cold Coke to hot tea anyway.
An hour and a half later, we were done and left wondering what it would have been like to spend the night there. It was cheaper than the hotel. Next time? Definitely!!
Today’s massage was equally an experience. I only went in for a full 60 minute body massage, but left with that and acrylic nails, French pedicure, an additional 30 minute foot massage, and a 70 minute facial that included Wellbox. All for less than $100.00 US dollars.
Wellbox apparently is used in the states by many of the Hollywood Stars, or so they say. It is designed to stimulate the skin’s surface, generating deep biological responses. The treatment consists of micro pulsations that boost the fibroblasts activity smoothing away lines and wrinkles, while toning and firming the face. There is no pain, or heat just an odd feeling as the wand sucks on your neck and face. It left me wondering whether I would have to wear turtlenecks and scarves this week to cover up any marks on my neck. I guess I will know tomorrow!
I must say, after using Wellbox on ½ of my face I was handed a mirror and I was impressed. It was amazing the difference I saw in the two sides of my face. One side was definitely lifted and smoother. If you haven’t experienced Wellbox, I would recommend giving it a go. I will be back for four more sessions! I wonder how long each treatment lasts before the sags and wrinkles re-develop? I wonder how many I have to do before any one else notices? I wonder…..if I should buy a Wellbox unit for myself? Stop by No. 7 Beauty Studio on Meihua Rd in Shanghai for your Wellbox experience and see what you think! They even give you a “surprise” on your birthday!