Hair & Beauty Style & Beauty

What does a slimming massage actually do?

By: Melissa Stevens

When I first heard about the slimming massage offered by popular Hong Kong salon and spa Emmanuel F, I was intrigued, to say the least. The idea that any weight loss regime could be augmented by time spent in a day spa sounded pretty appealing!

As always, when you arrive at Emmanuel F you’re greeted by the friendly staff and offered a drink. I happily sank into a chair with a coffee and let the calm envelop me. My therapist Alfa came out to greet me and we discussed the areas I wanted to focus on and how the session would unfold.

Emmanuel F Spa has a slimming massage

The treatment is a specialised massage designed to split fatty enzymes – it’s the accumulation of these enzymes that gives the appearance of cellulite. The team at Emmanuel F uses the French “palper rouler” technique, where the massage is done by hand, rather than a machine. All their treatments take the best of French beauty expertise and combine that with certified organic skin care products made of 100-percent natural ingredients. Alfa warned me that, although this is a massage that uses oils, it can be a little painful at times.

She began by working on specific “problem” areas – starting with my stomach, followed by my thigh area and then finally my upper arms. Her warning about pain proved to be prudent, but her experience meant she was adept at knowing when I was reaching my threshold and adapting the intensity appropriately. While carrying out the massage, she explained that she was breaking down fatty cells in the targeted areas and creating a smoother appearance on my skin. Apparently, many Emmanuel F clients book a series of these massages to prepare for a key event, such as a wedding, to ensure they’re looking their best.

Emmanuel F Spa has a slimming massage

And the verdict? To my surprise I felt lighter, and it wasn’t just my imagination! My jeans were definitely looser and sat better around my waist. While the massage won’t magically make those pesky extra kilos disappear, it will leave you feeling taut and toned and would be useful in the lead-up to a big event.

Special offer: The slimming massage is $750 for a single 55-minute session, or you can pay $7,500 for 12 sessions.

Emmanuel F is at UG/F, The Pemberton, 22-26 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan. 2167 8280 |

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This article first appeared in the February/March 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.