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Just Say Spa-aaaah: Chuan Balancing Massage at The Huntington Spa

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Massage at the Huntington Spa (via Huntington Spa's website)

Massage at the Huntington Spa (via Huntington Spa's website)
This spring the Huntington Spa at The Langham Hotel in Pasadena re-opened following a renovation to make room for their new Chuan Body + Soul line of treatments.

Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, the treatments are inspired by the five elemental forces of nature: fire, earth, water, metal and wood. Using your own preferences, body, and wishes as their guide, the staff help you select the right element to use on which to base your treatment. Chuan means "flowing water," in Chinese; the Chuan treatments are meant to benefit your body and soul, and set you on a journey to your own rejuvenation and wellness.

There are two massages in the Chuan series, the Harmony Massage and the Balancing Massage. Both use acupressure, whie the Harmony promotes calm and relaxation and the Balancing helps circulation and promotes the body's ability to heal.

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Recently I was invited to visit the spa and selected the Chuan Balancing Massage to get to know the new experiences being offered to clients. Some people make it a weekly or monthly ritual to get a massage, others go as often as they can scrape together the resources, and some have yet to go. Putting myself squarely in the middle category, I was excited to try a Chuan massage to see how it differs from the massages offered at other spas.

The difference in the experience was almost immediate, thanks to the brief questionnaire you take to help you select your element, and then just ahead of the massage itself when the therapist guides you through breathing exercises tailored to your element to initiate the session. Attentive to any special physical considerations, my therapist made sure that I was at ease and comfortable at all times, and took time to focus on the trouble spots I'd pointed out. As the name suggests, the Balancing massage was perfectly balanced, with just the right amount of time during the full-body massage spent on each section, from arms to neck to legs and feet.

Massage and the spa experience is such a personal thing, and what makes a person feel good and relaxed obviously varies. The Huntington Spa is not as clinical or bustling as other popular day spas, and their Chuan room for unwinding after the treatment continues to give the guest a sense of privacy and calm. The staff are very attentive and friendly, which elevates the overall experience and helps, after the help of the massage, to send you back out into that bright, blinking daylight, feeling relaxed and balanced.

In the month of September the Huntington Spa is offering several specials. For guests booking a Chuan Balancing Massage or Chuan Harmony Massage through December 28, 2010 receive a complimentary elemental oil to take home. Other promotions this month include a Back-to-School special for moms, and a discount on their Babor Sea Creations Facial. There are a full range of treatments in the Chuan line for individuals or couples. The Chuan Balancing massage is $165 (single) for 1 hour and $235 (single) for 1.5 hours.