(Source from hellomrstan)
Ever since my post-natal masseur left after my confinement ended, I’ve been craving for a massage. One really, really good one to ease my tight shoulders and neck, and also to rejuvenate myself and get rid of the tummy flabs.
Thankfully, I managed to squeeze out slightly over an hour for a massage session at The Oriental Spa Chamber for a quick perk-me-up! The Oriental Spa Chamber offers a wide range of services, from face spa to body massage, there is definitely something for everyone who went in there. For myself, I tried out their Post Natal Body Massage (60 mins) and Herbal Steam Bath (15 mins).
There will be free treatment vouchers up for grabs so read on! 🙂
Located within Porcelain Hotel, The Oriental Spa Chamber is a mere 3 minutes walk away from Chinatown MRT Station, so I’d say it is pretty convenient, even for someone who lives up in the North.
One of the things I like about The Oriental Spa Chamber is its ambiance. Like its name, the theme of the spa is oriental, with classic Chinese dividers in intrinsic designs, red lanterns, wooden sliding doors to their masseurs dressing in contemporary cheong-sam tops.
I love that the spa area is very quiet – I saw quite a lot of people outside while I got ready to go in, but when I started on my session, I could barely hear any noises.
Apart from that, the massage beds were also very comfortable. I spent 75 minutes on the massage and steam bath and a good portion of that time I was drifting in and out of my much-craved for sleep.
So as mentioned earlier, I had the opportunity to enjoy a Post Natal Body Massage (60 mins) and Herbal Steam Bath (15 mins).
It started with a wonderfully warm cup of ginger tea, before I got ushered into the locker area to deposit my belongings. After changing out into nothing (hehe), the masseur started my massage by briefly massaging my body to loosen the tightened muscles.
Subsequently, she then used a specially blended jamu oil made of Indonesian, Thailand and Chinese herbs to massage and generate heat to keep the body warm for at least 12 hours. Generally, the Chinese believe that a mother’s body is very “chilly” after giving birth, hence the confinement food that we consume in the first month after our pregnancy has to be very heaty to balance the equilibrium.
Apart from food intake, post-natal massages are also greatly recommended because with the right massage techniques, “wind” that has been trapped inside the mother’s body can then be expelled, so that she does not suffer from post-natal backaches or body aches.
Postnatal massage also focuses on helping to restore your body to its pre-pregnancy condition by retraining muscles and connective tissues. It plays a part to realign the body weight to its original distribution, helps reinstate the uterus to its original state, eliminates excess body fluid and tones the over stretched areas of skin especially over the abdomen.
This will be exceptionally useful if you are keen to restore your pre-pregnancy figure, but can’t get into exercise routine too soon.
Post Partum massage also helps with milk production, alleviates muscle strain due to labor and delivery, balances hormones which can help decrease the onset of post-partum depression, reduces fatigue and facilitates a speedy recovery.
Personally, I really loved the massage because the therapist will work on every, single, part of my body. I loved it best when she kneaded on my shoulders and neck because… ooooh. I didn’t even realise that it was so tensed until she kneaded the knotted parts out.
My therapist also worked on my tummy, to which she exclaimed, “Wow! You have two kids and you have no stretch marks or those black lines (linea nigra) on your tummy!”
I thought it was because I am quite chubby to begin with, hence I am spared from all the ugly stretch marks, since they are already stretched. Turns out, it was not true. I think my religious application of anti-stretch mark cream during both pregnancy has paid off!
When working on my stomach, my therapist first applied pressure on my naval. This is to activate an acupuncture point in the body. After which, she applied some warmed herbs onto my stomach and continued massaging, ending with an upward push from the uterus area to “prop” the womb up.
By then, I was already drifting into dreamland. Every kneading and rubbing just puts my body into a deeper relaxation, the 60 minutes really flew by in a flash.
I ended my session with a 15 minutes herbal steam bath. A tub filled with a perfectly blended ingredients were then heated up, and a canopy spread over me as I lie down. I appreciate that I didn’t need to move around from one room to another to get my steam bath done, because I was really sleepy by then!
Basically, the herbal steam bath helps to promote blood circulation is calming and reduces pain. I felt very refreshed by the end of my steamed bath therapy, it felt like I had a good rest and suddenly, all my dull aches were gone. I was also visibly chirpier when I met Nian at the entrance after the massage.
This post-natal massage is suitable for all new mothers who have given birth from 1 week to 6 months. If you would prefer to enjoy the massage in the comforts of your own house, The Oriental Spa Chamber also provides home visits for new mothers.
If you’re at your last trimester (5-8 months of pregnancy) and feeling all tired from the additional weight, water retention etc., there is also pre-natal massage for your consideration!
There are many misconceptions of pre-natal massage, causing women to be afraid of it and avoiding it totally. For example, some people believe that if a mother were to have her foot massaged in her last trimester, she will go into labour.
This is not exactly true because while it is believed that acupressure points on the ankle, feet, shin and hands can bring on labour, it must be specific work with the set intention of stimulating the uterus, not just by massaging the feet to relieve swelling and joint pain. As long as the therapist has the knowledge of these points, gentle massage on the feet and lower legs are perfectly safe and tremendously beneficial during pregnancy.
Pre-natal massage also can:
- Increase blood and lymph circulation, thereby reducing edema (swelling)
- Relieve muscle spasms, cramps, and myofascial pain
- Increase endorphin levels
- Provide emotional support to assist in minimizing mood swings
- Reduce anxiety and depression.
Labor support studies have shown that massage therapy can improve labor outcomes such as lowering the chance of prematurity, labor complications, length of labor, use of medications, and reduced number of cesarean sections (Kennell & Klaus, 1988-1991, Birch, 1986).
HUANG AH MA The Oriental Spa Chamber
50 Mosque Street, Singapore 059528
Tel: +65 6536 1661