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Spa Betty Series: News Flash, Reflexology Is More Than Just Foot Rub

December 11th, 2007 · No Comments

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After the supremely pleasurable experience at Kenko’s up in Ubud, I’m seriously digging the foot reflexology. I also thoroughly enjoyed the hair crème bath I received at Tugu Hotel on my wedding day, so I hunt the internet to find a place around Legian where I can indulge in both.

Spa Flowers

I come across Secret Garden Spa. Their website looks good. It’s informative and thorough and I see they even do Japanese Thermal Hair Straightening for a very affordable price. I wouldn’t risk it personally, since you’re not supposed to get your hair wet or even sweat for a couple days after the treatment (impossible in Bali). But, this all convinces me that I should hail a quick cab to Kuta and give it a whirl.

The spa looks kind of blah when I arrive and I turn out to be the only customer in the joint. Not at all what I expected from the polished website. But, the women are nice enough and the price is definitely right, so I sign up for my two treatments.

I am led upstairs to a sterile room with a lone massage table. Now, I’ve noticed over the past week or so that my back aches having to lie down flat for extended periods on these tables. But usually I’m getting a full-body massage, so eventually, the technician rubs my back and it goes away. For reflexology, however, I should be sitting up or reclining. At least that’s how I’ve experienced it in the past. Already I’m not anticipating the same professionally soothing experience as I had at Kenko’s.

The technician starts to rub and lotion my legs. I give her a few minutes before passing judgment. It’s a fair enough leg massage, but it is NOT reflexology. There is no poking or prodding my pressure points and no real technique. So, with an aching back, I decide to just alter my expectation and enjoy the experience for what it is.

Next up is the hair creaming. Back downstairs, my hair is shampooed and my head massaged over a typical beautician-style sink. Then I am seated in a chair facing a mirror (a little nerve wracking when someone is massaging your head and you are forced to watch yourself—kind of like during sex.) The hair technician slowly works a bowl of what smells like drugstore conditioner into my hair. Her hands are strong and she gives my head a good pummeling. It feels good though and I pride myself on the fact that my pain tolerance is increasing throughout this entire experiment.

After the creaming, she wraps my head in a towel, wheels over a big old hair dryer like you see in 1950s movies where the hood comes down over your head, and hands me a big, thick book of classic Australian jokes for me to entertain myself with as I stew. Quirky!

It takes me a while to notice that nothing is really happening with the dryer hood. I don’t hear any sound. I don’t feel any heat. I’m about to go up front and tell her the thing is broken when thick white puffs of smoke start billowing out. Before I can yell, “Fire!” I realize that it’s steam. Ahhhh, I’m an idiot! I sit back and allow it to penetrate my towel so that my hair can be extra lustrous for this evening’s activity of eating alone at a local restaurant.

By the way, don’t think I haven’t wondered if all of this spa pomp and circumstance is just bullshit. I’m pretty sure most of it is, (as far as claiming to strengthen, tone, perk, invigorate, smooth, etc.), but I also do believe that there is value to taking time out for yourself, slowing down and distressing. I mean, sure, I wish my cellulite would disappear or my hair would shine like a pony’s mane once I step out the door. But I’m happy just to zone out for a short while and have a little human contact. I mean really, isn’t that something we all could stand to do a bit more often?

Travel Betty Basics

Secret Garden Spa
Jl. Legian #363, Legian, Kuta, Bali
Telephone: (62-361) 76 72 76
Ambiance: 1.5 out of 5 Passion Fruits
Treatments: 2.5 out of 5 Passion Fruits
Cost: 65,000 rupiah for crème bath (5,000 less for short hair)
60,000 rupiah for foot reflexology (aka. just a massage)
What that means in U.S. Dollars: $13.45 total

Tags: Bali · Spas

Related posts you may enjoy:
  • Spa Betty Series: Another Trip to Kenko Reflexology In Ubud
  • Spa Betty Series: Indulge Your Foot Fantasties At Chill Reflexology
  • Spa Betty Series: Boreh Boreh


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