FX Excursions

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Down to Earth: Find Your Element for the Ultimate Customized Spa Experience at Chuan Spa

by Mary Melnick

Mar 1, 2024

© Chuan Spa

February 2024

After a stressful pre-holiday season and a busy work schedule, there was no better time for a relaxing spa experience than during my recent trip to Pasadena with the FXExpress Publications, Inc. team. We headed to The Langham Huntington, Pasadena for the 20th anniversary of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, which meant a jam-packed trip, but I managed to carve a little time out of our busy schedule to visit Chuan Spa at the hotel.

After a delicious lunch on property at The Terrace, I headed to the building that houses the spa and fitness center. The friendly team at the front desk greeted me and handed me an optional survey to identify my perfect harmony among the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. This helps your therapist choose which Chuan product and sensory experience is right for your treatment. While I filled out my question- naire, I enjoyed a refreshing cup of lemon- and cucumber-infused water to keep hydrated before my treatment.

The staff tallied up my answers and revealed I am an earth element, which typically governs our sense of taste, mouth, lips, muscles, stomach and spleen. It conveys the emotions of anxiety and worry and means I may prefer mornings, late summers, humid days, sweet flavors and the color yellow — surprisingly correct except preferring mornings and humid days. After explaining my results, they asked if I was okay with the corresponding scents and sounds to be pumped through my massage room. When we were all settled, the spa concierge led me into the facilities and gave me a quick tour of all the amenities as well as pointing out water and snack stations.

spa room

© Chuan Spa

As a guest of the spa, I had access to the sauna and herbal steam rooms, whirlpool, Dream Room, Waterfall Room, and the locker room and shower area for the full day. I changed into my robe and slippers and set off to see what the Dream Room was all about. It featured three normal beds and one waterbed as well as relaxing music and a water station. I only had a few minutes before I needed to report to the designated area to wait for my massage therapist, so I tried out a normal bed with the hope of returning after my treatment to try the water bed and take full advantage of the normal bed.

In a couple of minutes my therapist met me and led me to the treatment room. I chose the hour-long Chuan Harmony massage, designed to stimulate meridian harmony, combining acupressure and a therapeutic full-body massage.

My therapist explained guests assigned the earth element typically get auricular acupressure, also known as ear seeds, which are little seeds taped in certain pressure points in your ear to target different parts of the body and mind. In order to get the full experience, I opted in, and she set five seeds in place: one to regulate the nervous system; one to promote sleep and calm the spirit; one for digestion and appetite; another for stress management and anxiety; and the last to regulate energy, pain and hormones.

Once the seeds were secure in my ear, the relaxing part of the massage began. Over the next hour, my therapist used different massage and acupressure techniques on my full body with an extra emphasis on my problem areas, including the spaces between and on my shoulders as well as my lower back. By the end of the treatment, my body was set in full relaxation mode, so I headed back to the Dream Room to savor the feeling before returning to my room to get ready for our event that night.

The spa offers a variety of treatments inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine and is designed to nurture, balance and restore physical and mental well-being. From an Uplifting Power Facial to a Chuan Stone Therapy to a Ginger Wrap body treatment, you’re bound to find a signature treatment to fit your wellness needs.

Even though I had a long night ahead, I was happy my zen state stuck with me throughout the night and into the following travel day with the help of my auricular acupressure. The seeds stayed in my ear for about three days, and I caught myself utilizing them to help with stress and other targeted areas.

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