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    Beat the heat and get your monthly dose of detox with the treatments at the new Respa.

    It is said to lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease and fight free radicals. But I recently discovered that Bhutanese red rice is good for you whether you eat it or just lie on a spa table, coated in a thick layer of it. At Respa, the three-month-old salon and spa at The Residency Towers, the red rice massage is one of their signatures, along with a detoxifying spirulina. Since the weather is warm, I opt for the former—which promises to reduce my body temperature, improve the skin’s elasticity and give it a much-needed boost of antioxidants.
    Spa manager, Mozhin MS, explains that while they use the Swedish technique, I will not be getting a deep tissue massage (ground rice and strong pressure can make for a very painful 55 minutes). Instead, my masseuse—who applies the scrub with a generous mix of yoghurt, turmeric and essential oils—uses the bliss massage, a milder and more pampering form that targets all the pressure points. Using products from Serena Spa (an all-natural brand), the next one hour goes by in a haze of relaxation, punctuated with the surprisingly floral scent of the rice. The only negative side: my skin feels a tad too dry by the end of it. So I recommend a spot check before choosing your scrub. “The spirulina is also a very popular choice, despite the algae being a little smelly. Rich in vitamins like A, B-12 and E, it detoxifies and helps treat flabby skin,” Mozhin says. So maybe that can be my next treatment.
    Red rice massage at Rs 3,500 plus tax. Details: 28156363

    —Surya  Praphulla Kumar

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