Body Treatments


Since I gave birth in July, life has been pretty busy. When you’re your own boss, there isn’t such thing as maternity leave and each day with a newborn is a steep albeit very rewarding learning curve. People say nap when the baby naps but that theory goes out the window as a working mother; a term that feels all grown up as I write it.

So when I was invited to review the treatments at Mermaid Maternity Retreat which is located on the King’s Road, just opposite the Town Hall, I leapt at the chance. I had been invited to their press day a couple of months back but that was also the day when baby boy decided to come into the world. The irony of the retreat’s opening on the King’s Road and baby boy’s arrival at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital wasn’t lost on me. It all seemed like perfect timing! And how zeitgeist with the royal birth and a few other celebrity announcements.

On the page, the Mermaid Maternity Retreat seems like a good idea. But in reality it is a godsend. The concept for this centre is to help new mothers in their first few months with their baby. Services include picking up the mother from hospital and taking her with baby as well as partner to the retreat. The retreat offers rooms for mothers to stay in with their babies where there is round-the-clock expert care on hand. Imagine a health spa for new mothers. Sounds blissful, doesn’t it?

Mermaid Maternity Retreat

There are also drop-in services at the retreat: from beauty treatments to post-natal (as well as pre-natal) workshops on offer, which I am planning to write more about in future posts. But for now, I’ll focus on the post-natal massage which I can confidently say was one of the best massages I’ve ever had.

The purpose of the post-natal massage is to help the body along in its post-natal recovery, mostly in the name of drainage. Needless to say during pregnancy and birth, my body took quite a battering and now it needs a little assistance to get working like it used to. But aside from the technical benefits, this massage was also pure magic when it came to relaxation. Priscilla was amazing! By the time I walked out of the retreat I actually felt like the last several months hadn’t happened. I felt that good, as I wheeled baby boy in his pram along the King’s Road. I felt like I had gone on holiday and was now arriving back.

It also helped that during my massage, baby boy was left in the expert hands of the Baby Room where a wonderful midwife seemed to have cast her spell on him. I had turned up to the retreat with a grisly and hungry baby who probably didn’t fancy being parked elsewhere whilst his mummy went off for some pampering, or that’s how I saw it when I reluctantly left him behind. But when I returned to pick him up, I found a very content baby in his cot. He looked so happy that I had to ask the midwife, ‘what did you do to him?’

It was at that point that I completely understood Mermaid Maternity Retreat. Whilst baby boy comes first in all that I now do, what I was reminded of is that mummy has to look after herself too. And guess what? The world isn’t going to fall apart if mummy takes an hour out of her day for some pampering. In other words, that old adage ‘a happy mummy is a happy baby’ can be true.

I’ll be returning to the retreat a few more times over the next month when I will be reviewing the retreat’s nutrition, exercise and routine workshops, because not only does this mummy want to get back to feeling yummy but as I’ve discovered, the key to a healthy work/life balance is routine.

See Mermaid Maternity Retreat’s website for more information on their services.

I don’t know about you but I find that living and working in London can sometimes require the need for a sanctuary, especially if time is an issue and heading out of town isn’t an immediate option. There are some places I like to go, such as to the gym for a long swim or for a walk around my favourite museum, the V&A. But most times, there’s nothing like a long soak in the bath with my favourite aroma burning and some self-pampering products to hand.

Branche dolive lit candle

That is why I was so pleased to have been introduced to the Branche d’Olive range. When I opened the soap tray, which was sent to me to review, I inhaled the various scents of luxury in a box. And I immediately understood why I could find Branche d’Olive at Fortnum & Mason and Liberty, as well as throughout Raymond Blanc’s Michelin- starred hotel: Le Manoir aux Quat’Saison.

Branche d'Olive soap trayThe trademark fragrance, Garrigue is a refreshing combination of citrus, bergamot and lavender that remains the brand’s bestseller whilst I also like the idea of the lavender diffuser which would be perfect for the bedroom, to help me fall asleep at night.

Branche d'Olive room diffuser.

But there are other aromas to choose from, depending on your taste and need. And there are other products, such as lotions and other types of soap in the Branche d’Olive fragrance range.

Branche d'Olive hand wash

So if you are looking to treat your bathroom or bedroom to delicious scents and pampering products, sourced straight from local Provencale producers, I suggest you give Branche d’Olive a try. They would make for great gifts too.

For more information on Branche d’Olive’s gorgeous products, see their website here.

You know that time in the year when the sun comes out (for longer than a day) and the tights and jeans are replaced by short skirts and dresses? But then you think dang, my legs and arms look too dry and dull to come out? Well, even though we’re not having the most inspiring springtime I’m already thinking about this moment in hopefully the not too distant future.

I’d prepared my legs and arms for some winter sun before heading off on my Christmas holiday and whilst I continued to moisturise daily upon my return to London, especially after a swim, my skin hasn’t managed to maintain its sun kissed glow from my sunny holiday earlier this year, for obvious reasons: central heating, layers of clothing and the cold weather. So when I was offered a chance to review QMS MediCosmetics‘s Body Performance Duo pack,  I jumped at the chance.

QMS MediCosmeticsYou may have already read my post about my facial at QMS MediCosmetics, so it’s probably not a surprise why I was excited to try more of their products: Dr. med. Erich Schulte’s work in bringing his expertise as an aesthetic skin surgeon to the commercial market has meant developing a skincare range that focuses on skin regeneration without the need for surgery. You can read more here.

The Body Performance Duo package comes with a Pro-Body Exfoliator and Lift-O-Firm body cream …

QMS MediCosmeticsI’ve been using the Pro-Body Exfoliator once a day for almost a week now and my arms are already very smooth and ready for short sleeves. I think my legs need a couple more days for a completely smooth appearance but there is already a vast improvement in their feel.

After using the exfoliator I make sure I rub Lift-O-Firm body cream onto my body and as well as the feel of the products I must also point out that I love their scent. Given the technology that underpins QMS MediCosmetics’s creams, you could be forgiven for expecting a more medical experience but I actually find the aromas very pleasant: there is something quite aqua about the exfoliator and the body cream has a simplicity that is both reassuring and not fussy.

QMS MediCosmeticsSo what is my conclusion from trying these products? Not only am I impressed by the speed at which my skin has recovered from the winter blues but the experience of lathering and moisturising is quite enjoyable because I know I am putting quality ingredients onto my skin. In short, when the sun decides to come out I know all my hard work in the gym can be confidently put on show.

*The products were complimentary for the purpose of the review.*

Last week I popped into Lush King’s Road Spa’s launch party for their new scrub treatment, The Comforter.

The essence of The Comforter is to give you a wrapped-up in warm marshmallow duvet feeling and to take you on a hot chocolate scrub journey. And just like Lush’s signature Synaesthesia treatment, music plays an important role.

I didn’t have a chance to try The Comforter but if Lush’s ability to deliver on its promise with the Synaesthesia treatment is anything to go by, then I’m sure this too will be a sure winner.

The Synaesthesia treatment was such a great experience that surpassed any expectations I had. And since then, I’ve been reliving it in my bathroom with the help of the bars I was given to take away.

At the moment, Lush are running a Twitter competition where you have the chance to win an opportunity to try the The Comforter treatment. All you have to do is tweet about your childhood comforts, including #LushTheComforter hashtag and mention @LushKingsRoad in the tweet. See Lush’s Twitter timeline for more information.

And to finish off, here are some photos of Lush’s store which I took on the night. Don’t their products look scrummy? x

Last week ended with a Synaesthesia treatment at the Lush Spa on King’s Road.

Before I had been invited to try this 80-minute massage, I had no idea what to expect. I had watched the video on Lush’s website and read the rave reviews but still, I wasn’t too sure how such an experience could be available at Lush’s King’s Road store, which has one of Lush’s four spas in the country.

I had never stepped into the Lush King’s Road basement before Friday and if you haven’t either, believe me when I say it couldn’t be any different to the bright colours and bright lights of the shop floor.

The spa area downstairs resembles a kitchen in the country and the treatment rooms differ according to the type of feeling you are looking for as a result of the Synaesthesia treatment.

During the initial consultation, I had to choose the effect I was looking for from the treatment. I chose Mind Cleanser, which seemed ideal given the non-stop activity of my brain. With social media being accessible wherever we are and whenever we want, as well as the juggling of work, blogging and a personal life – it is usually difficult to switch off at the end of the day or during the weekend. So what better way to end the week than by clearing my mind?

Next, I had to choose a scent for the room. I chose ‘Hugs’. It was so cold outside and I wanted to feel wrapped up in something warm. I wanted a proverbial hug to make me feel snug.

The therapist filled the room with the scent of ‘Hugs’ and I lay myself on the table whilst specially designed music played in the background.

The 80-minute massage from head to toe also included the use of hot stones and the time passed quicker than I had anticipated, probably because I had fallen fast asleep during the treatment. I had completely switched off.

It turns out that 80-minutes was an ideal amount of time because it follows our natural sleep cycle, so it wasn’t a surprise when I woke up from my slumber that I felt completely refreshed.

After the massage, I was offered tea as part of the taste element of the treatment. But the charm of the Synaesthesia treatment didn’t really hit me until much later. True, I felt relaxed and my mind did feel clear but that night, I also had the best sleep in a long time. And on Saturday morning, I woke up with my mind completely clear. It didn’t matter that I had reached for my mobile, to check my Twitter thread as soon as possible: social media addiction self-admission. 😉

It also didn’t matter that there was as much going on yesterday as there usually is most days. My mind still felt like it had gone on holiday.

Two days later and on a Sunday night, I feel more ready for next week than I could ever expect to be. And now I wonder how I would be feeling if I had chosen one of the other words from Lush’s kitchen board: Ambition? Humour? Uninhibited? Perspective? How would these work with the treatment? I’m so curious now!

All I’m certain of is that I can’t recommend Synaesthesia treatment enough. I feel like I’ve got a new brain. It feels completely refreshed and clear: completely uncluttered. 🙂

More information on Lush’s Synaesthesia.

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