Since moving to London a year and a half ago I've discovered that finding time for yourself to relax and unwind is nearby impossible, and after coming back from holiday recently all it took a trip through passport control, followed by getting on the tube at rush hour the next day to push me back into my usual stressed-out self. Which is why when I was offered the chance to try out the services at Spa & Massage this week, I jumped at the opportunity.
Over the past four years Spa and Massage have successfully built up a reputation as the go to place for Londoners when it comes to peace and relaxation. With five locations in the city, the Bayswater branch is my closest and also happens to be the sister company of Boutique Spa where I had my holiday-ready manicure done a few weeks ago.
I was booked in for a 60 minute aromatherapy massage and upon arrival I was offered a lovely cup of herbal tea before the different oil blend options we're explained to me. To help the release stress and tension a lavender oil is offered, while for other needs such as circulation improvement, toxin removal, and stimulation of the mind and body, blends called 'muscle care', 'detox' and 'energy' are available. All the oils are organic and made in the UK.
After explaining I was coming down with a dreaded 'change of the seasons' cold we decided on the energy blend which is described as an uplifting mix of bergamot, eucalyptus, thyme and lavender.
After selecting the oil, my physiotherapist, a lovely lady called Noi, introduced herself and led me to one of the the small treatment rooms. Starting with my back and applying a light to medium pressure it soon became apparent that I was carrying a lot of stress in my shoulders and after discovering one particularly massive knot in my left shoulder Noi asked me if I wanted the massage to be a bit harder - similar to a deep tissue massage where more intense movements and pressure is used to target knots, release chronic muscle tension and relieve the pain.
I'm definitely glad I said yes to this as after a few days of feeling sore in that area (a completely normal side effect) I'm now more aware of when I'm putting too much strain on my shoulders with my massive tote bag or when I'm hunching over my laptop and not sitting up straight which probably caused the problems to begin with.
After working on my shoulders, Noi treated my neck, lower back, legs, feet, and arms with the usual light to medium pressure aromatherapy massages are best known for and I admit to nearly falling asleep on the table as I was so relaxed and worn-out from the onset of my cold. A head massage finished my treatment and left me feeling sleepy, not stressed, the whole tube ride home. In addition to making me feel a million times better, I'd also like to mention how great I smelt as well thanks to the energy oil, and the lovely bergamot scent soaked into my skin and stayed with me all day.
I'd definitely recommend Spa & Massage to a friend, and though I hope Noi has cured my shoulder for now, I'll be back in the future, probably to try the detox oil when I've over-indulged after party season!
Thank you once again to the amazing team at Spa & Massage for taking such good care of me.
Notes: Spa and Massage is open seven days a week from 10am to 11pm and operates a no appointment needed service. Offering a range of different massages, every client is able to personalise their treatment whether it’s a Swedish massage, deep-tissue or the Spa and Massage signature four-handed massage.