Posted by: MummyTravels | Apr 3, 2012

TLC for the tired – mum-to-be massage at the Wyndham Grand, London

In a fit of over-zealous caution, anything containing essential oils (or anything that even looked like it might have them in) got stashed away as soon as I knew I was pregnant. So for the past six months, while all my products have been bump-friendly, pampering has dropped to a bit of a minimum.

And that includes spa treatments. With so many ranges and techniques firmly on the unsuitable list, and plenty more spas that aren’t set up for pregnant pampering – unsuitable tables, no trained therapists – the options are suddenly more limited. After all, I don’t want to risk someone who doesn’t really know what they’re doing, just for the chance of a shoulder rub.

Which is a shame, as everything from an aching back and legs to outbreaks of very dry skin meant I could do with some TLC. So my visit to the Blue Harbour spa at the Wyndham Grand in London’s Chelsea Harbour was thoroughly overdue.

The very inviting steam room and sauna were sadly off-limits, but there was nothing to stop me chilling out by the pool or in the relaxation room before my treatment. There’s some nice child-friendly touches as well, including a family changing room.

But all that paled beside the treatment itself, the mum-to-be massage. My therapist Louise was a former nurse and trained reflexologist, who instantly set me at ease – when I anxiously checked she’d be avoiding any work on my ankles (which can apparently trigger labour), she knew exactly what I was talking about, as well as reassuring me about exactly which products from the Aromatherapy Associates range were safe and picking the Enrich body oil.

The 60-minute massage itself promises muscle easing and leg lightening, but is actually a top-to-toe relaxation. After lying me on one side, with a pregnancy pillow to support me, she gently but firmly kneaded all the knots from my back and shoulders, before a soothing face and head massage, light strokes over my bump, a special focus on my forearms and fingers to help ward off puffiness and carpal tunnel syndrome, easing my tight calf muscles, and finally treating my tired feet.

As I drifted off into a blissed-out state, I also got a string of tips to try at home, including techniques to use on my arms and fingers, and how to roll a towel (effectively like a long thin sausage) for under each calf, to instantly relieve the tension in my back and legs. And while the hour was over too soon, the chilled-out feeling and the effects of the fabulously moisturising oil lasted for days. Time to book another.

The treatment costs £70 for 60 minutes.

Disclaimer: My treatment was arranged and paid for by the hotel.

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