Seashells by the seashore

By Janetta Mackay

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We try an indulgent treatment perfect for gift-giving

Pure Fiji warm seashell massage. Photo / Supplied
Pure Fiji warm seashell massage. Photo / Supplied

Sadly, that's not a picture of me lying seaside, but I did travel to Mairangi Bay to try the Pure Fiji Warm Seashell Massage on a sweltering summer day. Entering the welcoming About Face salon just a block back from the beach was a respite from the heat and computer-sore shoulders.

The treatment is a new take on a hot-stone massage and, to my mind, the clams used to rub over your oiled skin are an improvement on stones in that they hold heat much longer. This means there isn't that annoying pfaffing about where the therapist goes back and forth to a warmer, interrupting the rhythm of the rub.

(The trick, I'm told, is that these large Tiger Clam shells, sourced from the Philippines after the seafood is harvested, are chosen for their even shape and are smoothed before being resealed, with a little heat-activated gel pad within.)

Therapist Louise used long fluid strokes of the shells along my limbs, which were first anointed with Pure Fiji's Island Bliss oil, which has a light uplifting fragrance.

She thoughtfully offered to wipe off the oil after the massage if I preferred not to leave it on to condition my skin. I opted for a light towel-down only, keen to ensure some of the silky feel remained, along with the languorous feeling of well-being that a good massage creates.

Recommended for people who enjoy hot stone massages. Those who prefer the firmer feel of fingers may wish to stick to other styles, but this is a fine relaxation experience.

•The 60-minute Pure Fiji Warm Seashell Massage has a recommended price of $140. Treatments are available at selected spas and resorts nationwide, ph 0800 Purefiji or see Viva went to About Face's North Shore skin clinic, 1 Montrose Tce, Mairangi Bay, ph (09) 479 4147,

- NZ Herald

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