When the hustle and bustle of Cairo traffic seems too much to bear, and your body is aching with the stress of hard work, long hours of commuting and poor sleeping patterns, get thee to a spa.

In the heart of Mohandiseen on Aswan Square, Manuela Thai Spa is located just round the corner from Kriss hair salon on the second floor of a residential building– you can’t miss its flashing red sign at the entrance.

Once inside, you will find a dimly lit room filled with heavy Thai accents, plants, comfortable wicker couches and a glorious little fountain in the centre of the room, filled with rose petals and tea lights. A small, smiling Thai woman will bring you a pair of flip flops and gently coax you into taking your shoes off as you browse through their large menu book.

The spa offers massages and hydrotherapy, as well as body wraps, facials and scrubs. Prices at Manuela Thai are midrange; not as sky-high expensive as the Four Seasons spas but not dirt cheap either. A 60-minute full-body massage averages at 300LE, and the most expensive massage – Manuela’s Touch – costs 490LE, though you do get a 100 minutes worth of a body massage with an aromatic floral bath.

Cheaper massages are also available: you can try the foot reflexology (190LE for 30 minutes), highly recommended for anyone suffering from strained calf muscles or weary feet: the massage therapist focuses more on the calf and lower leg muscles than the sole of the foot itself, kneading your muscles fluidly with warm massage oil.

Once ushered into a clean and tidy room with wooden shades and soft ambient music playing in the background, you can leave your clothing in a small cupboard, though at the time of this review, no bathrobe was offered to change into. The wooden floor carries one high massage bed, with another mattress on the floor. An oval white bath lies in a corner and all of a sudden, their milk & honey bath (200LE) or sea salt & lavender seeds bath seem very tempting.

The tension relief massage (320LE for 60 minutes) starts with the therapist rubbing scented massage oil onto the backs of your legs. Focusing on one side of your lower body at a time, the therapist kneads, presses, twists and circles her thumbs up your body, relieving any tension and improving blood circulation. Once finished, she then presses a steaming hot cotton herbal compress against your skin.

If you’re really stressed, she may have a field day with your upper back and shoulders. She might use her elbow to loosen the knots in your shoulder and neck muscles, which can be painful; so be sure to tell her if she goes too far, however, her resilience in conquering those knots should be admired.

You will leave the spa exhausted but with a looser, lighter feeling in your shoulders that could last for days, as long as you manage to avoid getting stuck in traffic gridlock again.