Pigs hold a special place in my heart. As a kid, I developed an extreme fondness for these highly social and intelligent creatures when a friend received a pet pot-belly pig as a gift. I was smitten for life!
So imagine my delight when I found out I was born in the Year of the Pig in the Chinese zodiac. This animal possesses character traits such as diligence, compassion and generosity. Other animals represented in the Chinese zodiac include the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep/goat, monkey, rooster and dog.
The Mandarin Oriental Spa recently developed a service inspired by the philosophy behind this astrological system. On a recent trip to Las Vegas, I experienced a sweet treat for my feet called the Chinese Zodiac Pedicure ($130/60 min.). Therapists customize treatments based on your animal sign and element (earth, fire, wood, metal or water), which are determined by your birth year.
We don't show enough appreciation to our feet. This pedicure represents a unique way to give them the love they deserve as it takes relaxation and rejuvenation to a whole new level. Here's how it works.
SHINE: Mandarin Oriental Spa Chinese Zodiac Pedicure. BEAUTY: Pick a color from a bounty of SpaRitual bottles. I selected Strawberry Fields Forever, which is a shimmering shade of golden berry swirl. BEACON: These lovely vegan lacquers contain no synthetic dyes, dibutyl phthalate, toluene or formaldehyde.
My nail tech, Sammy, begins the pedicure with a foot bath. She utilizes a soothing signature body wash and sugar scrub.
She then pats my legs and feet dry.
Next, we move to a nearby pedi chair.
A heated neck wrap and eye pillow help me relax as I settle into the chair.
Each foot is then wrapped in a comforting towel.
Next, existing polish is removed and the toenails get clipped.
After the mask and wrap are removed...
...Sammy gently uses a foot file to slough dead skin.
When the mask is removed...
...both feet are soothed with warm towels.
Based on my birth year, a special earth element essential oil is placed on both feet for a healing pressure point massage.
Sammy's massage focused on specific earth element pressure points (spleen and stomach). Other elements represented by the Chinese Zodiac Pedicure include fire (heart and small intestine), wood (liver and gall bladder), metal (lung and large intestine) and water (bladder and kidneys).
Check out this video of my pressure point massage. Common symptoms when the earth element is out of balance include indigestion and a poor appetite. Recommended healing foods: Strawberries, squash and shrimp.
Lotion is then applied for a final rubdown.
Sammy applies it to both feet and legs.
Polish application begins with a base coat and then a layer of your chosen lacquer. I selected Strawberry Fields Forever.
The first coat is applied.
Next, my toenails enjoy a second coat.
A top coat completes the polish application process.
Pedicure sandals are then placed on both feet to conclude the pedicure.