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Bamboo 7

Knead to Relax


What: Aromatic Oil Massage

Why: Why not?

How Much: Between RMB 138 and 188 for 60 minutes

Where: Bamboo 7, 13 locations across town. Web:

When you walk into Bamboo 7, you could be forgiven for thinking that Sir Elton John had just minced by throwing potpourri all over the place and spritzing the air with a bottle of scented water. The smell is both overwhelming and oddly calming when you come in from the smog-laden air outside.

After leaving your shoes in the lobby, you are led up a series of stairs until you reach one of the many treatment rooms and left to prepare yourself. Once you have stripped down and put on a pair of particularly odd blue paper pants, the expert masseuse enters and the massage begins.

The first thing that comes to mind during the treatment is the lack of music. But the absence of an auditory accompaniment to the massage adds to the calming experience. It’s a welcome change from the regularly annoying pan pipes infiltrating the peace and quiet at some other spas around town.

Be warned, this is a Chinese massage and despite looking petite and feminine there is a lot of power in the therapists’ hands. Using this strength they knead your flesh with the skill and precision of a master Italian pizza chef while clambering all over you to get the perfect angle for untying particular muscle knots.

Working from your legs, up your back and along your arms, the masseuse rubs aromatic oils in to your skin. Not long into the treatment the heady aromas begin to work their magic as all the cynicism and self-loathing that this city heaps upon us every day disappear on a cloud of eucalyptus and geranium.

Unfortunately the treatment is over far too soon and you are left wondering why you didn’t spend a few extra RMB and get the 90 minute treatment. But as they say, hindsight is 20-20.



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