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JADSpirits Travel Log

JADSpirits Travel Log
JADSpirits Travel Log

Daday's Kitchen

Daday's Kitchen
Daday's Kitchen

Relaxation: Mi Chay Foot and Body Massage

Yesterday night, I had a relaxing massage. And this morning when I woke up, I felt refresh and light…and stress-free.

Massage or “hilot” is one of the ways I pamper myself…at least once or twice a month. It relaxes not just my whole body but my mind as well, as I tend to sleep most of the time during the session.

Since 2011 until late last year I even have one “manghihilot” went to our house once in a while but it’s difficult to request for a schedule because I want to have the session after work. And she’s already a senior citizen and I worry about her going home at night.

So when a foot and body massage opened in Mabalacat…it was a most welcome relief. It was a walking distance from our house.

Mi Chay Foot and Body Massage opened last March 15, 2014. It is located at the newly built Clark Gateway Commercial Complex in San Francisco, Mabalacat, Pampanga, in between Clark Mabalacat Gate and Mabalacat Public Market. They are open from 1:00 pm ~ 1:00 am (last call is 12:00am), Monday to Sunday.

According to one of the owner, Ms. Lou Manalo, Mi Chay is a Thai word which is a direct translation of their surname. They decided to put up the business because of their love for massage and relaxation.

We’ve been to Mi Chay several times, mostly with my ex-boyfriend, my adventure and running buddy, my partner-for-life, my everything…my husband, Jonjie. On our first session, we tried Ventosa with massage. Before the session, I had apprehensions because it was during that time when an accident happen in one of the spa in Manila that caused a client a second degree burn. But we were repeatedly assured that it will not happen.

We also tried their Swedish Massage.

And then last July, right after a very tiring 10-hour trip from Bicol, Jonjie tried the Hot Stone Massage while I decided to have the Aromatheraphy Massage. I love the aroma scent, the hot pads on my back and the herbal balls that was used to massage my back.

I have yet to try their Thai Body Massage.  I need to have the courage to go for it, as it's a big NO for Jonjie because of his unpleasant experience in Thailand. He said he had fever for one week after the massage.

DSC_0786 DSC_0867

  • Aromatherapy Massage - Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses plant materials and aromatic plant oils, including essential oils, and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering one's mood, cognitive, psychological or physical well being.
  • Hot Stone Massage - uses cold or water-heated stones to apply pressure and heat to the body. Stones coated in oil can also be used by the therapist delivering various massaging strokes. The hot stones used are commonly Basalt stones (or lava rocks) which over time have become extremely polished and smooth. As the stones are placed along the recipient's back, they help to retain heat which then deeply penetrates into the muscles.
  • Swedish Massage - uses five styles of strokes: effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber or with the fibers) and vibration/shaking. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • Thai Body Massage -  combines both physical and energetic aspects. It is a deep, full-body massage progressing from the feet up, and focusing on sen or energy lines throughout the body, with the aim of clearing blockages in these lines, and thus stimulating the flow of blood and lymph throughout the body.
  • Ventosa with Massage - or Cupping Therapy is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin; practitioners believe this mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing. Glasses are the commonly used for cupping.
* Dagdagay Massage - from browsing the net is a traditional Filipino foot massage using two bamboo sticks introduced by the tribal people from the highland of Cordillera region.

It's me...for the combination Foot and Body Massage...with Dang, one of their strongest Therapist.
My favorite, especially if I felt heaviness on my shoulders, is their combination Foot and Body Massage. Its 1 hour 15 mins session with 45 mins concentration on my back…it’s so “sulit" for me.

What I love about their treatment is that it’s not just massage, they are also making use of the pressure points.

After the massage, we were politely informed that the treatment is finished and advised to rest for 5 minutes. Likewise, we were asked whether we like hot tea or warm water. It can be served at the treatment area or at the receiving area, with wet warm face towel.
Daniz with Tintin...for the Swedish Massage
Our daughter Daniz tried the Swedish Massage. The Therapist assigned to her used the mildest of touch for her. She said its good but it’s too long…and it tickles.

But she wanted to try it again. So I told Ms. Lou, the next time, it would be the 30 mins Express Back Massage.

The Mi Chay Angels (clockwise from front) - Nette, Weng, Tintin, Irene
Daniz with Nette, Tintin, Irene (L to R)
The Therapists, whom I fondly called Mi Chay Angels, undergone a 1-month extensive training held at Ms. Lou's house, all expenses paid including meal allowance. The training was conducted by a DOH (Department of Health) Personnel, and after successfully completing the required training, they became DOH Certified.

And as part of the arrangement, the DOH Personnel stayed with Mi Chay for 3 months to oversee and ensure that the teachings are being applied accordingly.
Part of the receiving area
Area for washing the feet before the session
Massage bed with a face hole (covered by the pillow) that allows the client to breathe easily while lying face down
For Thai Massage
Chairs for foot massage