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Treatment of the Month

Vogue, May 2001

Sitting at my desk recounting my experience of the Bodyharmonics Massage I had yesterday, I am in pain. But it's good pain, similar to a having-exercised-and-feeling-better-for-it-pain, a no-pain-no-gain kind of pain. Bodyharmonics incorporates Chinese, Indonesian and Thai massage techniques and treats neck and shoulder pain, sports injuries, PMT, stress and headaches.

Gina Mercarti, who works two nights a week at the Harbour Club, is the daughter of renowned masseur, Maria Mercarti, who developed the Bodyharmonics technique. Gina herself has trained extensively in Bangkok and Java. "It's like second nature to me," she says. "I started massaging at the age of four."

The treatment began with Tuina Chinese massage. I sat upright in a chair as Gina worked vigorously on my neck and shoulder through my clothing. Her hands worked like lightning along my meridians, removing energy (Qi) blockages. The incredible rolling action left me feeling weightless as I slumped onto the bed for the Indonesian and Thai massages. The former is a healing system which uses deep-pressure massage to break down tense tissue and stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic systems, while Thai massage stretches and relaxes the body and maintains health and vitality.

I could feel the knots in my shoulders being teased away as Gina seemed to instinctively concentrate on my problem areas. Of course, she can adopt a lighter touch. "Some clients can only bear to be stroked when they first come to see me," Gina confided. "But after several sessions, they're begging me to work harder."