THE BENEFITS OF REFLEXOLOGY ARE EXPERIENCED IN ONE HEALING AND RELAXING SESSION AT THE SPA

BEAUTY & WELLNESS

THE BENEFITS OF REFLEXOLOGY ARE EXPERIENCED IN ONE HEALING AND RELAXING SESSION AT THE SPA

Reggie Rullan-Borromeo, Manila, Philippines

Published in the Daily Tribune Life
September 17, 2012

When I first heard of reflexology and saw the picture of the soles of the feet with the nerve points indicated, I did not know what to make of this newly introduced treatment. Skepticism was mixed with the desire for a method of treatment devoid of artificial chemical intervention. Having grown up in an environment where alternative medicine was the primary form of treatment, I leaned toward new methods of treatment, but was wary at the same time. When I met Grandmaster Doc Fai Wong of the Plum Blossom International Federation during his visit to the Philippines at a meet-up with fellow Choy Li Fut Kung Fu martial arts practitioners, I was amazed that his first order of business was to treat his fellow martial artists and their families through acupuncture. Kung Fu masters have traditionally been referred to as “medicine men,” and I was surprised to see the practice alive and well to this date.

Acupuncture and reflexology are both feet focused and their slow but sure acceptance as modes of treatment has placed a foothold among Filipino and Chinese communities over the years. To date, many acupuncture and reflexology centers have opened all over the metro. The website of the International Academy of Medical Reflexology, a Pennsylvania State Board licensed private school in the United States, has its own patented definition for medical reflexology which states that “reflexology is a complementary, biological, integrative, blended health science, through which an exercise pressure is applied to reflex areas, formed by 7,200 nerve endings in each hand and foot, encouraging improved instruction to each and every specific organ, gland, and part of the body, thus persuading the body to biologically correct, strengthen and reinforce itself, to reach balance, normalization, and homeostasis.”

Citing the term paper of student Julia Pomeroy, RN, the Web site posted that: “Thus, by working on one part of the body (foot area) there is an effect on another. The goals of reflexology are to re-educate, re-pattern and recondition the nerves through the neural/electrical system of the body. The sole purpose of the nerves is to instruct the body (simply put, to tell the body what to do), when the nerves improve, the instruction improves, the body must improve, thus, an overall health enhancement therapy program of medical reflexology.”

According to the paper, the application of a reflexology treatment causes four reactions. One, it relaxes the targeted part of the body through the application of a highly specialized relaxation technique. Two, it improves nerve, blood and lymphatic supply throughout the body. Three, it influences the body to biologically set in motion its self-healing capacities. And four, it permits the body to reach a state of equilibrium.

Thus, the medical benefit that one may receive from a reflexology treatment is no longer speculative and anecdotal, but rather based on the science of the body in relation to the nerves in one’s foot.

Reflexology at The Spa

The Spa, one of the most distinguished pioneers of professional spa treatments in the Philippines, introduces The Spa Reflexology. At The Spa Wellness, one can experience healing and relaxation in a tranquil sanctuary complete with five-star hotel-like amenities of a sauna, steam bath and a Jacuzzi.

The Spa Reflexology is a combination of three Asian techniques —Japanese shiatsu, Thai massage and Chinese reflexology — all in one treatment. When I lay down on the customized chair convertible to a bed, I was asked what kind of movie I preferred to watch on the big screen LCD TV, if any. I felt like I was in a private theatre with relaxation, healing and entertainment in tow.

The first step was a hot foot soak that immediately put me in relaxation mode as the warmth spread from my feet to my calves then my upper leg. The slow but deep massage of my lower limbs was a treat I savored as I watched my romantic comedy movie.

The next step was a healing massage focused on particular “pressure points” of the soles of my feet, and I was surprised how my sensory nerves began responding to the gentle pressure on my feet. The therapist said that these pressure points were connected to specific internal organs that respond to the treatment.

The therapist’s hands, fingers soothed my feet along with a wooden stick that touched the pressure points. After the customized chair was converted to a bed and I lay on my stomach and my back, shoulders and neck were massaged with deep relaxing strokes that took away all the aches and pains of my upper body. The over-all feeling of wellness was unexpected as I thought the reflexology massage would only focus on my feet. The complete upper body treatment completed the treatment just as my movie began winding into its ending.

The Spa Reflexology took care of the pain and stiffness in my whole body relief caused long hours on the computer chair and over-exertion of my muscles. My stress and headache melted away throughout the session as I gave in to the healing and relaxation treatment which boosted my blood circulation.

When the therapist left I felt languid and utterly relaxed as I sipped the lemongrass ginger tea in a ceramic cup. I finished the movie with a complete sense of what a spa treatment should be like.

The reflexology massage is available in The Spa Wellness branches in Acropolis, Alabang, Trinoma and Greenbelt (Alabang, Trinoma and Greenbelt soon to open). A reflexology sparty can also be organized in any of the branches. The Spa is part of The Spa Wellness group of brands. For more information, call 656-5790 local 115 or (+63) 0917-8392517.

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Writers

Dinah Sabal-Ventura
dinah_ventura@write-experts.com

Geraldine “Reggie” Rullan-Borromeo
reggie_rullan@write-experts.com

Malu Mora-Rullan
malu_rullan@write-experts.com

HAIR WE GO

BEAUTY & WELLNESS

HAIR WE GO

Reggie Rullan-Borromeo, Manila, Philippines

Published in the Daily Tribune Life
October 22,  2012

Our writer discovers that she can take years off her appearance by having the right cut and color.

Hitting 40 meant a race to the last 10 years of my youthful life, 50 being the marker that brings me closer to senior citizen status. Realizing that, I wanted a hairstyle that I could pull off as a young-looking, 40-year-old gal.

Not willing to risk a hair disaster, I could only go to a reputable salon that services professionals who want to look as stylish yet as credible as their careers demanded.

When I heard of Elevation Salon along Pasong Tamo Extension in Makati City, with a reputation of servicing ambassador’s wives, expatriates and high-profile professionals and celebrities, I knew I could put my head under their care.

My hair was finger-combed to ascertain its texture and test its tensile strength. What I wanted was a digital perm after I got bored with my rebonded locks after only six months. A digital perm after a rebond raised many an eyebrow at many other salons. At Elevation, they only had to check the capacity of my hair strands for yet another chemical procedure before it decided that each strand was thick enough to withstand it.

What Elevation refused to do was to give me a color change at the same time. I was told that to do two chemical procedures at the same time may be too high a risk, apart from the fact that we would be unable to determine the cause of any problem should any complications occur.

My digital perm gave me the Hollywood look with all the bounce I wanted, and for a corporate look, all I had to do was tie my hair in a bun or a sleek ponytail. For an event after work, I loosed my curly waves and my hair was back in vogue. That the digital perm set so well even when the procedure was applied to rebonded hair was an amazing feat in itself. That my hair remained lustrous and shiny even without a hair treatment was another wonder to behold. I couldn’t wait to go back for my hair color after a few weeks!

With Elevation’s success with my digital perm, I was again at their salon for a change of hair color with conservative but playful highlights. I also raised my issue with the grays under my temples that needed to be camouflaged along with the highlights.

To do this a skillful combination of a base color and several highlights would pull this off. As not to damage my very processed hair, the rebond and the digital perm, Elevation had to ensure that the coloring process did not dry or kink my hair out.

A reverse process was decided upon to cause the least damage and two hair color technicians started sectioning my hair for two kinds of highlights that matched my skin tone and my preference for a playful but professional look. An ashy blond highlight and a brownish blond color were applied carefully to thin sections to create more highlights. As my hair is very thick, the highlighting process took an hour and a half.

After, a base color was applied to the unsanctioned parts of my hair, preventing a double coloring of my strands, protecting it from unnecessary damage. All throughout, the hair technicians would liberally apply the colors that a color specialist in her color corner mixed right there in a salon. Everytime more color was needed, a fresh batch would be mixed until the hair technicians were satisfied that they had applied the right amount to my voluminous hair.

The color effect on me made me look 15 years younger, as all my friends who saw me with my new hair would say. When the rays of the sun hit my hair or when flashing light reflected the highlights, a subtle yet lively ash and brown blonde created a warm kaleidoscope that reflected the brown of my eyes. Thankfully, too, the color left me looking professional yet feminine — just the effect I wanted.

Throughout the long process, I was offered iced or hot tea, iced or hot coffee, an iPad to play with and a laptop table should I want to work while having my hair done. The ultra clean salon, the comfortable salon chair, the posh bathroom and the cool cement grays that gave off an industrial but avant-garde feel all made for enjoyable and exciting afternoons having my hair done.

The most exciting part after hours of anticipation would always be the reveal after my hair is blown dry and styled and the new me faces across the mirror. The new me walks out of Elevation, giggly as a schoolgirl inside, but as stylish and cool as the young professional I want to be.

For more information, call Elevation Salon at 830-3030 or visit them at Building 3, Jannov Plaza, 2295 Pasong Tamo Extension,1231 Makati City.
Like their Facebook page at Elevation Salon

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Writers

Dinah Sabal-Ventura
dinah_ventura@write-experts.com

Geraldine “Reggie” Rullan-Borromeo
reggie_rullan@write-experts.com

Malu Mora-Rullan
malu_rullan@write-experts.com

STATUS UNCOMPLICATED

BEAUTY & WELLNESS

STATUS: UNCOMPLICATED

Gabrielle Borromeo, Manila, Philippines

Published in the Daily Tribune Life
May 24, 2012

When is a woman at her most beautiful? Most young men tend to think women are at their best physically from the ages 18 to 20. Older men, though, find women more attractive when they are over their 30s.

The world’s standards of beauty have dictated how women care for themselves. Society adores women who have taut bodies and flawless skin that equals “perfect youthfulness.” With such pressure to look youthful, women and even men have gone over the line just to have the best body and the fairest skin ever. When skin experts are questioned: “How can people avoid aging?” The answer is always the same. Aging is inevitable as every year marches in, but there is hope.

The right amount of sleep, water, food, balance and, of course, the products being used contribute to how you age. Managing to avoid looking older has all its own factors, but one of them is using the right product for your skin.
People nowadays aim to achieve the fairer and healthier skin the commercial ads portray. The very young are also hoping to stay young. Who doesn’t want a blooming yet natural image that keeps one look younger? What is the best product that can help sustain youth?

Among the most popular is Cetaphil, a line of skin care products from Galderma Laboratories that has been tried, tested and trusted. It relieves dryness and chapping and has a long-lasting moisturizing effect. “Cetaphil has been around for more than 60 years and is the most frequently used brand of cleansers and moisturizers and recommended worldwide by dermatologists and pediatricians,” according to information provided by Cetaphil.

Trusted by doctors and consumers, Cetaphil is also a brand supported by extensive clinical studies. It significantly improves signs and symptoms of atomic dermatitis. Its daily use will gently replenish vital moisture and guard the skin’s natural moisture balance. The products include cleansers, bar soaps, cream lotions and moisturizers. These are scent-free and oil-free and therefore, non-greasy and safe for all ages and types of skin, even those who have sensitive skin, dry, oily and/or acne-prone skin) because of its non-harsh chemical construction.

Cetaphil is a non-comedogenic product (products that don’t clog pores) with emollient properties (skin softeners). It is pHbalanced so it helps retain the skin’s natural protective oils and softens the skin as you gently use it. The fact that Cetaphil has one formulation per product for all age levels, even babies and may be used by all skin types is quite stupefying. The skin care market is overflowing with products for different age levels and different skin types.

Cetaphil debunks the myth for different products for different age levels and skin types and shows that skin is skin at any age and needs the same care. Moisturizers play a big role in keeping the skin smooth, healthy and supple. The three important ingredients that a moisturizer should have are humectants, emollients and occlusive agents.

Humectants are water-binding agents and emollients are skin softeners, while occlusive agents block the loss water of the skin. A sufficient amount of moisturizers should be applied four to five times a day or as often as possible. Purposely formulated with a plan to effectively moisturize, Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 contains the three very important ingredients like all the other Cetaphil moisturizers. SPF 15 sunscreen with Parsol 1789 and Octocrylene helps prevent damage caused by the sun’s UVA and UVB rays (responsible for dangerous sunburns and development of skin cancer).

Our skin being the largest organ of our body consists of two basic layers, the underlying dermis and the outer epidermis. These two are made up of the germinative layer, the stratum apinosum and the stratum corneum or the outer covering that we can see. When new skin cells are formed at the germinative layer, time after time they move through the next three levels of the skin. The skin cells start out round and plump, but later they get older and flatter as they travel. Finally when they reach the outermost layer that’s visible to us, the cells are ready to come off. Some call it shedding, but more likely it is scraped off or exfoliated whenever we scrub our faces or when we simply move around.

Obviously, the skin is an active organ that plays a huge role for every single person. It serves as a defensive barrier against toxins, bacteria, ultraviolet radiation, trauma and changes in temperature. When you wash your face, never scrub it vigorously because it will strip off the skin’s natural oil and moisture. When the skin is dry (most common skin ailment) the reason is usually caused by lack of water and not lack of oil or your genetics.

Simply, what the skin really needs is just to be properly taken care of and the results will be visible in no time. Or all the time!

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Writers

Dinah Sabal-Ventura
dinah_ventura@write-experts.com

Geraldine “Reggie” Rullan-Borromeo
reggie_rullan@write-experts.com

Malu Mora-Rullan
malu_rullan@write-experts.com

GET GLOWING

BEAUTY & WELLNESS

GET GLOWING

Gabrielle Borromeo, Manila, Philippines

Published in the Daily Tribune Life
January 9, 2012

Breaking free from the city and stepping into a natural enclave is quite impossible without having to take a long trip. Incredibly, The Spa at Fort Bonifacio makes such an escape possible. At the Global City, entering The Spa feels like teleporting. The entrance is relaxing with its nature-themed furniture, greenery and cascading water falls beside the stairs leading to the main sanctum.

Every branch of The Spa has its own design theme, and at the Fort, the different villas have their own names: Villa 1: Rome, Villa 2: Barcelona, Villa 3: Paris, Villa 4: Florence, Villa 5: London, Villa 6: Tokyo, Villa 7: Milan, Villa 8: Frankfurt and Villa 9: Beijing (Sauna only). The Loft is where a small group can enjoy Spa Parties and such.

I was brought to Villa 1: Rome, just the right size for a single excursion. It has its own tub where one could enjoy a soak and a Steam/Shower room. Half an hour for a Jacuzzi splash was a delight in the privacy of a villa. I soaked in my moment of serenity, absorbing it all like a sponge, feeling that this time spent for rejuvenation was more of a need than a want. Definitely one needs to refresh one’s body and soul, cleanse it from all grime and dirt and feel the stresses float away.

To boot, a mega volume of The Spa’s signature bubbles can make the time more playful and relaxing. I had never seen such a load of bubbles than in the Spa – not in any of the five-star`hotels I have stayed in with their luxury toiletries.

Getting out of the tub was really hard especially when staying there just felt so right, but it was all for the best as Rechelle Deontoy, the kind lady who told me to liendown on my stomach for the next round of satisfaction, gave me a full body scrub.

I was told to relax and lie down. I felt her hands like ocean waves filled with sand massaging my body, waves that just kept rolling over my skin as if I were the ocean shore. There was a certain roughness from the grains that cleansed every pore of my body. It was like a bath in bed, and how many people get baths in bed? The sand as it seemed to be was actually jojoba wax beads.

The Spa’s new body treatment Crystalline is a comforting and pampering treatment that starts with an uplifting body scrub treatment by Pevonica Botanica, a natural skincare brand offered by spas worldwide including The Spa Wellness. The Spa is committed to providing effective skincare solutions to teens, women and men of every age. The Pevonia Botanica brand maintains a harmonious balance with nature and it offers natural formulations packaged in fully recyclable and biodegradable materials.

With Pevonia Botanica, skin is renewed and polished with a natural, gentle scrub rich with components that nature has to offer, leaving it livelier, softer and fairer. The delicate jojoba wax beads smoothen and reveal baby-soft skin. The scrub is made with lemon, chamomile, rosemary, aloe vera gel and jojoba wax beads. The components used are definitely pro-nature and feels like the reawakening of the new life of my skin.

Lemon, one of the components, was used because it brightens up the skin, tones it well and has a natural fresh citrus fragrance. Chamomile calms and heals the skin. Rosemary rejuvenates and improves blood circulation. Aloe vera gel tightens and soothes and, of course, jojoba wax beads, a non-irritating natural grain, polishes the skin.

After the scrub, I was given a few minutes alone to wash away any sand-like particles and to feel the smoothness of my new skin. Yes, indeed, it felt like new skin had covered me. The smoothness was like lotion on my body but without the heaviness.

I then stood up go to my very own private shower room right in the privacy of my very own villa. Then Lilibeth Vidal, my masseuse of the day, came inside my villa and told me to lie down again. I relaxed my muscles and sank into a world of calmness as she massaged my skin with crystalline lotion. If I wanted a heavy massage or a lighter one, I was asked to simply speak up.

The Spa’s deeply relaxing classic massages are shiatsu, Swedish, combination or deep tissue. While shiatsu is a relaxing and rejuvenating Japanese-style acupressure massage that works on vital energy points to unlock and balance the body’s chi, deep tissue is for those who seek the profound relief of a penetrating massage. Swedish, on the other hand, soothes sore muscles, increases circulation and relieves body tension because of the special oil that is massaged on the body like flowing strokes.

Combination is a muscle-soothing flow of Swedish massage and a special oil, coupled with the chi-balancing power of shiatsu’s finger pressure. These massages are rendered with Pevonia Botanica’s breakthrough massage oil, a rich blend of safflower, geranium and vitamin E for ultimate skin nourishment, repair, hydration and powerful antioxidant boost.

With the Crystalline Skin body treatment, it’s one’s choice to pick one of the four preferences for the massage. Like all good things, my relaxing and spirit lifting session came to an end. I thought that after a massage, I had to get up and leave, but what a surprise, there was still 30 minutes of stretching plus complimentary cups of soothing ginger tea!

Aside from The Fort, The Spa branches are located at Acropolis-Libis (634-2709, 634-2848), Alabang (850-3490, 850-6836), Eastwood Mall/ Richmonde Hotel (709-6868, 709-7878), Greenbelt(840-1325, 840-1326), Rockwell (470-6868, 470- 7878) and Trinoma (900-8809, 900-8818).

Visit www.thespa.com.ph for more information.

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Writers

Dinah Sabal-Ventura
dinah_ventura@write-experts.com

Geraldine “Reggie” Rullan-Borromeo
reggie_rullan@write-experts.com

Malu Mora-Rullan
malu_rullan@write-experts.com

A BITE OF GENIUS

FOOD & CULTURE

A BITE OF GENIUS

Reggie Rullan-Borromeo, Manila, Philippines

NOVEMBER 7, 2014

A wave of déjà vu swept over me as I watched Grappa’s executive chef Clint Nuyda prep the fresh pasta and seafood in the Gourdo’s Bonifacio Fort Strip store in a recent Ballarini cookware launch.

He not only resembled my kitchen genius brother, Benedict, with medium locks framing a tanned face, his bespectacled face bore the same intense concentration as he bent over ingredients with a transfixed gaze.

It brought me back to our Baguio kitchen where Benedict and I jostled over counter space, a sink overflowing with both our pans, pots and kitchen gadgets and the window always blowing in a fresh breeze to cool our cheflike tempers.

The aroma of a truffle cream sauce prepped for mushroom filled fresh ravioli pasta broke my reverie. As I bit into the delicate ravioli, beyond al dente perfection, as only freshly made and freshly rolled pasta dough can promise, I was stripped of all my pasta-making bravado. Having never made fresh pasta, all my stellar pasta dishes paled in comparison. I had to look at Nuyda in another light, thinking maybe he really is my kitchen genius brother, who continuous to break culinary boundaries in our home kitchen in Seattle.

The truffle in the cream was a highlight to the mushroom, a tantalizing note to the freshness of all the ingredients. Many a chef has bribed the palate with an overpowering dose of truffles, throwing all caution to the wind. Nuyda’s judicious use of such a delicate and pricey ingredient is a telltale sign of his experience with it.

He next served the capelli d’angello al salmon, with the fresh smoked salmon contrasting with tender angel hair noodles blanketed with creamy mushrooms.

It was rustic and chic all in one bite, a squeeze of lemon drawing out the fresh, briny salmon to the fore. For a finale, the prawns all lined up like letter Cs atop mashed potatoes was visually stunning and as I bit into one, saltiness, creaminess and sweetness all enveloped my palate and the Cs single handedly disappeared from my plate.

The heady feeling one gets after an exceptionally good meal had to be replicated and, as I headed to Grappa’s a couple of weeks later, I was once again stunned by Nuyda’s corn-mousse filled ravioli.

It sounded simple: make corn mousse by grating fresh kernels from a cob, stuff it in fresh pasta and shape into ravioli then top with fresh cream and truffles. For a repeat of corn mousse pasta, I really would have to learn to make it at home since Nuyda makes different ravioli every week at Grappa’s.

If I were to indulge in a fresh pasta treat with a twist of genius, I would be better off trooping back to Grappa’s to have a taste of a new filling that Nuyda will dream up, a filling I am sure no one else has thought of.

After finishing the Hotel and Restaurant Management Extension Program at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), he worked side by side with Wolfgang Puck at the Spago’s, chef Makoto Tanaka at the Mako’s Restaurant and chef Eric Klein at the Maple Drive all in Beverly Hills. Klein brought Nuyda to the SW Steakhouse in Las Vegas, Nevada and he later returned to Beverly Hills to work with Chef Suzanne’s Goin L.A. Tavern in Brentwood and Raphael’s in Studio City. After having worked the culinary greats that side of the world, he has come back to Manila to share decades of experience and learning with local chefs.

For more of Nuyda’s cooking, visit Grappa’s Ristorante at second floor, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City.

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Writers

Dinah Sabal-Ventura
dinah_ventura@write-experts.com

Geraldine “Reggie” Rullan-Borromeo
reggie_rullan@write-experts.com

Malu Mora-Rullan
malu_rullan@write-experts.com