A new spa in Bandra offers a one-hour session that claims to relax the eyes, using cigar-like herbal sticks. Active dropped in for a session
It's funny how we think it's our feet, hands and brain that work the most. Don't your eyes deserve some credit, considering the only time they take a break is when you doze off to sleep?
I decided to give my peeps some TLC, and landed up for an eye relaxation session.
So, here I was, cocooned in a blanket, looking forward to making up for whatever I'd lost. Moxibustion is a treatment that claims to relax the eyes, and is a sure-fire hit back in China.
The massage starts with a warning: Keep your eyes shut. That won't be much of a problem, with the masseur's nimble fingers lulling you to sleep.
You realise that your skin is reacting favourably to the creams used, and by the time the focus shifts to your eyes, with careful, circular movements around the eyeballs, you feel the tension drain away. Or at least, imagine it to do so.
Blissful minutes pass as I feel the massage work wonders on my eyes, until I suddenly feel the heat. I sense the warmth near my face, try to ignore it, but can't. Add to it the slightly tobaccoish odour that now fills the room.
This in fact, is the Chinese herbal cigar (called Moxa stick) being used by the masseur. Dried mugwort, a Chinese herb is rolled up to resemble a cigar.
The stick is rotated in circles, and the practitioner places a finger next to the point being stimulated to help maintain a comfortable level of heat. The Moxa stick is primarily used to treat a deficiency of "yang" energy in the body.
The hour-long massage ends with a pampering neck and foot rub.
The dimly lit ambience of the spa ensures your eyes don't receive a rude shock when you open them to the world. If they seem a bit watery post-treatment, that's natural.
So, does the massage serve its purpose? Don't expect miracles in the form of improved vision or vanishing dark circles. But you can expect to feel the difference, especially when you are back at work the next day.