What exactly is the COMO Shambhala Prenatal Massage?
It is a 75 minute treatment in which we use body support cushions from America, which has different attachments and supports so that it can be adjusted for the individual depending on the size of their bump and their personal needs. We start the treatment with a foot bath using COMO Shambhala milk, which is very light. We add fresh limes and the only oil we use is grape seed, which is gentle and safe. We do a consultation with the client to establish any special requirements, or if they have one of the key 25 conditions that are common in pregnancy, with a therapist who is specially trained. We then proceed with the massage, starting on the legs and avoiding specific pressure points around the ankles which can be dangerous in pregnant women. We include the glutes in the massage, and while we are careful, it is still a medium pressure massage – the knowledge that our therapists have is key. We also include the shoulders, neck and scalp, and lymphatic drainage massage on the face. We don’t massage the stomach, but if the client is comfortable we do sweeping movements to rub in the oil which can help with stretch marks. We finish with a body balance where we place one hand on the client’s stomach, and the other on their forehead and do a polarity hold, which brings the focus onto the baby.
Where does it come from?
We have a trainer from Bali who comes twice a year to train our therapists and teach us new techniques and research to support the treatment, so it is completely unique to us. We also take a lot of care to listen to feedback from clients, and develop the treatment with the help of midwives so that what we do has medical support. We also work with leading industry experts and Shiatsu healers to incorporate different elements. It’s important to us that it is developed with influences from the top, and it is updated every six months at least to reflect new knowledge in the area.
What is it supposed to do?
It eases out tension, aches and pains, but it’s important to remember that we are also treating the emotions. Therapists have to be quite intuitive because this is about enhancing wellbeing and making sure that a client leaves feeling better about themselves than when they arrived – whatever that means to them.
Is there anything you do to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment?
We focus a lot on aftercare, providing ginger tea and plenty of water. It’s important to give pregnant ladies extra time to acclimatise after the treatment. All guests are special, but pregnant women need a little extra care. Some ladies are very confident when they visit, but others are quite cautious, so a lot of what we do is making sure therapists know how to make clients feel comfortable and safe. We talk them through the treatment and make it clear that they can move or go to the bathroom and things at any time. It’s important that they feel at ease. We also recommend having something to eat afterwards, and have prenatal suggestions in the restaurant at the hotel.
Is there anything you recommend clients to do pre or post-treatment to get the most out of it?
We do recommend stretching in the gym or doing one of our pregnancy yoga classes. It’s important to keep active (within reason) during pregnancy. We also recommend having other treatments – scrubs, massages, personal training – as much or as little as you want to help prepare for having your baby. We work with a team of specialists on site including an osteopath and an acupuncturist, who are helpful with targeting specific conditions.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t have this treatment and why?
Anything major will be flagged up in the consultation, and we are very aware of the problems that can occur. If you have any serious conditions you may need a note from the doctor, but because of our knowledge and support system, if you are able to let us know in advance we are usually able to adapt the treatment and make sure that your needs are supported.
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