What’s the first thing you want to do when you fly out for a vacation, especially when heading towards the Far East? You want to indulge in a massage. People tuck in quick massages at Bangkok Airport, head over to the beach-side for quick fixes when in Phuket or Koh Samui (and these ones come really cheap) and book themselves into expensive spas and resorts when they really want to treat themselves to something beyond average. Massages come in all forms; there’s even a snake massage available in Singapore for the adventurous and brave at heart.
Recently at The Standard resort in Maldives for a working vacation with designer Zainab Chottani (for her Lawn 2020 campaign with celebrity-muse Hira Mani), I of course, had read up on the spa menu even before we landed. And the most interesting and unique massage on the menu was a CBD oil infused variation of the standard. There was a CBD-Honey facial as well as a body massage that guaranteed hemp-fortified value addition.
A quick introduction to CBD for the uninitiated: CBD is the medical abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of the primary active compounds, or cannabinoids, found in cannabis plants. Cannabis plants, of course, include marijuana and hemp. According to health websites, “experts estimate that there may be over one hundred active compounds called cannabinoids, but the two main ones are CBD and THC. While THC is famed for causing a high, CBD is non-psychoactive and is instead said to be an excellent health supplement.”
There are several primary benefits of using CBD oil, which by the way is legal in many parts of the world and is even available in Pakistan. I opted for the CBD massage for some additional relief for my aching legs and feet as well as anxiety (the gift of working in the twenty-first century) and I can’t say whether it was just a placebo effect, but I slept on a cloud of bliss after my 90-minute session.
I opted for a leg and foot massage, which began with a cleansing ritual that involved a Himalayan scrub and warm water. It opened up the pores, making them more receptive to the benefits of the CBD oil. Let me also draw a picture here: the private massage room was ocean facing, which meant you looked out onto endless shades of blue, which would have worked their magic even if the CBD didn’t.
Gentle, soothing music played in the room as Kamila, the magic masseuse from India, started kneading out the knots and aches and I think I fell asleep somewhere between my ankles and calves. It was 90-minutes of heaven. The CBD resume has a long list of accomplishments but the most vital for me that day was easing inflammation in the joints and muscles, reduced water retention in the feet, aches and overall exhaustive pains. It felt cool on the skin, and had a delicate aroma that helped clear the head as well.
I’m hypertensive and was happy with the idea of a massage that would calm my nerves a little more than usual and I have to say it was better than expected. Of course, the endless expanse of water around the spa helped; the soothing white aura against the shades of blue was pure pleasure. It felt like one was on an oasis within an oasis.
- This article was first published in Instep on Sunday, February 23, 2020