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Sun 14 Dec 2014 12:18 PM

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Do slimming massages really work?

In a perfect world slimming down can be as easy as relaxing on a massage bed

Do slimming massages really work?

Referrals really do go a long way, and that's why I find myself driving toward the Palm Jumeirah on a Friday morning for a massage, even though there are dozens of beauty centres closer to my home.

My colleague insisted that I should try this one, claiming she's been having regular slimming massages at La Roche Beauty Salon for months and it's the only thing that has helped her with the problem of water retention and cellulite in her legs.

My only problem is that I tend to skip the gym and my not-so-perfect lifestyle has started to take its toll. Reason enough to give it a shot.

The chosen saloon is nice and cosy, located at Shoreline Apartments Building 3 Clubhouse 2 entrance, which is just next to Costa Coffee. During our short consultation, the team is very pleasant and seems to be well-trained for what is about to happen.

In a minute, I'm already lying face down on the massage bed hoping to relax with a soothing soundtrack playing in the background. However, as soon as the therapist starts, it becomes apparent that I'll only relax when I get back home.

She starts gently but soon switches to circular and strong hand motions for 10-15 minutes for each leg. After half an hour, I turn to the other side (lying on my back) and the cycle continues. The intense treatment is intended to reduce the appearance of cellulite and increase circulation. Those who suffer from water retention or post workout cramps claim it helps with that as well.

However, the traditional hand massage is not all that they do - the second part includes massaging the back, sides and front of my legs with a massager, a small and angry unit which performs a deep tissue massage through strong vibrations to help tone your body, tighten your skin, in addition to reducing cellulite.

It's already been more than an hour but my treatment is not yet done. After she whisks a part of my bed from under me, she envelopes me with a thermal blanket and zips the whole thing up to my neck. I'm prepared to start the last segment of this treatment, during which I'll be lying for 20 minutes in the thermal blanket with the heat cranked up at 60 degrees Celsius. It's not a pleasant experience at all but as you start to sweat, you hope that the toxins are slowly being removed from your body.

After nearly 2 hours, I do feel ultimately pampered and accomplished. I think I've noticed an improvement, or maybe it’s because I genuinely feel blissful. The effect would definitely be more apparent if I stack on a few more sessions. However, I'm sure that this therapy would be a perfect companion to a good workout regiment and together they can render the ultimate toned legs.

It is not your typical relaxing massage, but it’s certainly worth a shot, especially given its reasonable price point. And as they say - no pain, no gain!

La Roche Beauty Salon and Spa is located at Shoreline Apartments Building 3 Clubhouse 2 entrance, next to Costa Coffee. The price of one slimming massage is AED250 ($68) and discounts apply for packages.

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