Escaping the busy streets of Cairo, Mariam Raymone enters Osana Wellness Centre and is captivated by a deep therapeutic massage that leaves her wanting to come back for more...
The beaming sunlight shone into my eyes and I immediately woke up; opening the window, I felt the summer breeze brushing across my face, and I instantly knew that it would be a relaxing day (especially since I knew I had a massage appointment).
Tucked away on a small street in Maadi, I headed to Osana Wellness Family to begin my journey to serenity with a deep therapeutic massage. I opened a small pink metal door, and little did I know I was about to step into what was going to be my own personal heaven. I walked through a narrow stone path only to find the most gorgeous wooden seating area with purple cushions on the right, and a sandpit with a red slide for the little ones to play, complementing it.
I entered the centre and was greeted with warm smiles before being led to my room; upon entering I opened a wooden door engraved with geometric patterns and was contented with what I saw. The room was quite small and cosy. As soon as I lay on my back, I felt my entire body sink into the cushiony mattress and the cotton sheets hugged me. Being in a room that was purely white and ivory, and sensing the fresh earthy aroma, I made an effort to quiet my mind. I could hear the masseuse’s feet shuffling and soon I entered a state of complete zen.
The masseuse was kind enough to ask if there were any areas where I was experiencing pain, so I asked her to concentrate on my shoulders, neck, and lower back. She started with my legs and worked her way up; throughout the massage she told me that my entire body was tense. Then again, who wouldn’t be in a place like noisy Cairo? With every touch I felt all my aches and pains dissolve like sugar in water, it was like I became paralysed with relaxation. The tension in my mind and all my to-do lists were suddenly lost and I felt the massage soothing my mind completely.I’ve been to a fair number of spas, but this was my first time being asked to sit up straight. I was confused, and I quickly realised I was looking at her blankly; I thought I was supposed to enter a state of deep sleep when getting a massage. Soon I understood why. After a few minutes, the oil ha settled on my skin and I could feel the blood flow in all parts of my body. She added pressure on certain parts of my back while mainly focusing on my shoulder blades – I felt all the pain escape my body. All I could think of is how my mind and body started to meld together and I became one with myself.I felt like I was in my own Neverland and soon after I felt as good as new. So fresh and pleased of how my day went so perfectly, my spirits were high. What seemed like five minutes was actually an hour of complete tranquility. I took a minute to grasp the idea that this ecstasy of a massage was over and finally stood up.
After collecting my belongings and my thoughts, I headed to the café area and drank a glass of cold refreshing water with a hint of orange, where I met the owners of the centre. “We opened about a month ago because we thought there was nothing like it in Cairo; there isn’t a place where you can attend a class then socialise with others who have the same interests. We tried to build a community around that,” said co-owner Sumaya. I was surprised by the variety of classes and treatments they provide and how they target all ages. “We have a regular schedule of around seven different types of yoga classes, kids classes, then we have special workshops where visitors from abroad can provide workshops. We also have courses for mothers and infants,” added Steve.“We’re not a spa; we offer relaxing massages that prevent diseases from happening, such as spinal issues or stress, with a proper practitioner. It’s often recommended to get weekly massages and that’s what they do in Asia,” Sumaya told me. At that point it was clear that the purpose of a massage was not only to pamper myself, but also to actually benefit health-wise. I was breathtaken when Steve escorted me to the studio in which some of the yoga classes take place; they built a room around a tree. Once I entered I felt like I never wanted to leave; I could grab my Jane Austin novels and live there forever. I’ve often wondered why gyms or spas don’t have a certain spot for people to mingle, and I finally have a place where I can peacefully escape Cairo into a good book by a tree.
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