Spa Treatment: Muscle Release

Spa: Spa in Dolphin Square

Reviewer: The Spa Novice

Therapist: Grace

Time: 1 hour

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As a man who has never experienced a spa day, the concept of treating myself to a spa treatment is alien. Hearing talk of see-through pants, communal massages and walking around semi-nude filled me with panic. That said, and despite feeling rather apprehensive about what was to come, I headed to The Spa in Dolphin Square for what was to be my first experience within a spa – and I’m thankful that I went. No see-through pants came to fruition (as I was allowed to wear my own underwear throughout) but a comfy dressing gown was provided to protect my modesty and I didn’t have to share my spa treatment with anyone!

From a varied list of luxurious-sounding treatments, I chose to have the ‘Muscle Release Massage’. As I spend a lot of time in the gym, and am currently training for a half marathon, I’d been recommended to have this particular treatment. I’d heard that the massage can be quite painful but Grace, my delightful masseuse, reassured me that, similar to a sports massage, the muscle release treatment helps alleviate stress and tension which builds up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity… by that time my eye had wondered to the shelf that stacked an array of potent products. Forget about the pain was I to be smothered in floral potions?

The answer to that is no! Two sumptuous Aromatherapy Associates products were applied during the treatment, both ideal for muscle recovery and reducing pain. The first, De-stress Mind, contains warming properties that enhance the healing powers of rosemary, black pepper, lavender and ginger. The second, Light Relax, acted as a coating layer, infusing the restful notes of lavender, ylang ylang and petitgrain to help make someone unwind after a busy day.

My treatment began in the steam room, where I spent 20 minutes enjoying the intensified heat and soothing vapour. A benefit of the steam room is that the heat from the mist soothes your nerve endings and relaxes your muscles. They also minimise joint pain as well as migraines and headaches that can at times be incurred by intense exercise – something I often experience.

Feeling re-hydrated, Grace walked me to my very own massage room and talked me through the treatment as well as the routine health checklist before starting the massage.

Pressure was applied to the skin, specifically along the areas of my neck, back, arms and legs to help blood circulation. Unlike the common full body massage, the muscle release treatment targets muscle groups by stretching, kneading and applying intensified pressure – I’ll warn you, it can cause a temporary sense of discomfort. But the niggles soon disappear and I started to feel an immediate sense of relaxation as it went on, especially when Grace began massaging the aromatic De-stress mind and Light Relax products into my skin. The only disappointing element of the day was just how short an hour felt at the hands of Grace, but all good things have to come to an end, I suppose.

I have always held tension in my lower neck and shoulders but since having the massage, I’ve experienced no such aches or pains and can even use the lap pull down machine without having to adjust my position for comfort (something I would frequently have to do.) I highly recommend the muscle release massage treatment. I’m booking my next one now!