When it comes to a good treatment it isn’t just about the products, it’s about the tools that go with them. Proving faith in history, we spoke to Assistant Spa Manager Lyudmyla Nagirnyak at the K West Hotel and Spa where the Mohom: Indigo Art of Healing is a favourite, and the herb poultice is king.
What exactly is the Mohom treatment?
It starts with a foot ritual – we put aromatherapy oils into the foot bath and wash the feet to cleanse the energies and as a gentle introduction – a breaking point between the therapist and the client. During this time we chat to the client to find out a bit more about them and what they need. The main part of the treatment is a deep tissue massage using a poultice, which is a warm, damp cloth containing herbs used to relieve aches and pains by targeting pressure points. We also use oils in the massage and incorporate stretches.
What is it supposed to do?
It is a holistic treatment working with the muscles to release tension on a physical level and also on an emotional level through aromatherapy – depending on the oils that you use which will help make you feel a certain way. We ask clients at the start of the treatment how they are looking to feel – energised, relaxed, detox … we can adapt the treatment to deliver the goal more effectively.
Where does it come from?
‘Indigo healing’ refers to the dark blue colour of the poultice which is a symbol of the healing Buddha and was used by Hmong Shamans through history to improve muscular tone and drain away toxins. The massage with the poultice is taken from Royal Thai massages originally created for the royal family whose skin was not supposed to be touched with bare hands, so it was done over a towel and aimed at particular pressure points.
Why does it work?
They key is in the poultice – it contains lots of herbs, which are then heated in warm water. The steam helps to release the aroma into the skin and the blood stream which increases blood circulation and is also aided by the massage itself to relax the muscles and stimulate blood flow. The aroma from the oils then has an impact on the client’s mood – depending, as I say on which one you choose.
Is there anything you recommend clients do before the treatment to make it a bit more effective?
Using the wet spa before a treatment is a good idea because the temperature changes help to prepare the skin for absorbing all the products – it’s less beneficial afterwards because it will wash off all the oils, which are a great moisturiser.
How about afterwards?
I always recommend that clients take time to sit in the relaxation lounge after their treatment to come back to their senses a bit – it’s a ninety minute treatment and can leave you feeling a bit spaced out! I also usually ask them to describe in words how they feel afterwards because it really helps you to remember the feeling and make it last longer. Also, use any of the aromatherapy products at home – especially the oils, which I love because they really work – they are all natural and have a great effect, physically and emotionally and you can use them any time – after showering or in the bath – they get into the skin and work faster than creams which can sit on the surface.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t have the treatment?
It is very stimulating, so it isn’t suitable for pregnant women, people with epilepsy or diabetes. If you are concerned then it’s best to discuss it with the therapists though because the oils are organic and for most things we can alter them to suit the individual’s needs.
Is there anyone you particularly recommend it for?
Men often like it because of the deep tissue massage, and it’s very good for someone who wants a treatment that gives them a little bit more than usual – it’s really not for someone looking for a quick treatment because as well as being quite long itself, you should take time before and afterwards to prepare in the spa and then readjust.
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