On September 18 at 11am, over a thousand women had a simultaneous massage around the world for SpaBreaks.com #We11ness hour massage-a-thon. Scarlet Spy joins in at the Gainsborough Health Club and Spa in Sudbury.
Five years ago, I thought Wellness was just another internet fad. The fact it is still here suggests there must be more to it.
My colleague Savant Spy goes into more detail about what wellness is, but to put it simply, it’s about feeling the best you can in all aspects of your lives -- emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social and environmental -- not just the physical. Who wouldn’t want to feel at the peak of health, and have a more balanced and fulfilled life?
I decided to try and apply wellness to my world and see if it made any difference.
Unlike most social media trends, wellness doesn’t have to be green juice shots at 6am, sunrise yoga and hour long-meditation before work (unless that’s your thing, of course). For me, wellness is made up of a series of small things I can do day-to-day that don’t take up too much of my time.
For example, I try and be mindful when I walk to work and make my morning coffee. I make a point of concentrating on what I’m doing, instead of making mental to-do lists, stressing about that day ahead, or constantly refreshing Instagram. When I arrive at Spa Spy HQ, I feel relaxed, my mind is clear and I’m ready to take on the day!
The other thing I’m a huge fan of is taking an hour out of a day, at least once a week, to treat myself. Sometimes I’ll put on a face mask and paint my nails, other times I’ll turn my bathroom into a make-shift spa.
If I’m feeling really tired and achy, I’ll book a massage at my nearest spa. So, when I heard about SpaBreaks #We11ness hour massage-a-thon, I hot footed it to a delightful countryside spa for a divine full body massage.
The Gainsborough Health Club and Spa is in the heart of the glorious Suffolk landscape that inspired the painter Gainsborough, who lived in nearby Sudbury. The buildings are surrounded by golden fields at the end of quiet private lane -- the drive itself was a treat for my mindful eyes! The spa and health club are inside converted barns: rustic, exposed beams and large windows really bring the countryside in.
After a warm welcome at reception, I was met by Lucy, who showed me to the dimly lit, cosy relaxation room, to unwind before my massage. Each of the eight beds had their own fluffy blanket so you could cosy up pre and post treatment, read a magazine or have a quick snooze. There’s also a swimming pool and delightfully bubbly Jacuzzi to enjoy, too.
My therapist, Amy, met me in the relaxation room at 11am and showed me to our treatment room ready for my #we11nesshour massage. We had a chat about my areas of concern, my shoulders and back, and ran through what to expect. I had Sensory Body Massage (60 minutes, £68). Amy asked me to smell three different Babor oils and pick the one that stood out the most, as that’s what my body needed at the time. I chose Relaxation -- enough said.
Amy began by cocooning me in blankets, then massaged my shoulders and décolletage, before moving onto my arms, hands and the front of the legs. She used long, sweeping strokes with a gentle touch. I could feel myself relaxing into a deep slumber as my thirsty skin drank up the oil. I then turned over and Amy massaged the back of my legs. At this point, the lavender in the oil was working its magic and I had well and truly found my zen. Amy then moved onto my problem area -- my back and shoulders. She used a mixture of deep, slow motions, with acupressure and a firm targeted massage around my knotty shoulders. I could feel that tension melting away with my consciousness.
My hour-long treatment flew by. Before I knew it, it was time to cosy up in the dark relaxation room. My back and shoulders were tension-free, my mind was clear and I felt a lot more balanced.
It’s amazing what an hour out of your day can do for your mind, body and soul. It was made all the better knowing that hard-working women all around the world were joining me in taking an hour out of their day to raise money for The Willow Foundation. So if you do one thing after reading this, take time out for yourself -- starting this week. Let us know what you would do with your hour on Twitter, Facebook or Insta @goodspaguide.
21st September 2017
Beautiful interiors, luxurious swimming pools, being pampered, long massages, quality food.
Noisy echoes, overlooking facilities, thin walls in treatment rooms, cramped spa layout.
Behind the scenes