Gentle enough to treat babies, Cranial Osteopathy can be used to detect imbalances in the body or to treat a cacophony of problems from a fear of giving birth to chronic fatigue.
Sessions at Grayshott are usually around 45 minutes, and unsurprisingly it takes the principles of osteopathy but focuses on the head. To explain quite how gentle it’s supposed to be, Grayshott’s spa manager Elaine Williams says that it should almost feel like butterfly wings across the face.
This is a bit like yoga but in treatment form, and is used to help soothe fatigue, insomnia and headaches. Ockenden Manor’s treatment is an extended variation on the more widely used shirodhara treatment, which sees warm oil poured in a steady stream onto the ‘third eye’. It sounds strange but is incredibly hypnotic, helping to clear the mind and encourage relaxation.
In this instance it also includes a spot of reflexology and a foot scrub, which adds another layer of luxury to the experience – fitting for what is generally a very beautiful spa in which to spend time.
Not so much a treatment as a lifestyle practice designed to work with the body on general wellbeing as well as targeting specific ailments, I was first properly introduced to naturopathy by Louise Westra at Gleneagles. Working on the principle of supporting the body through a combination of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, wellbeing tests, and, in the case of Gleneagles and their ESPA Life packages, some rather nice spa treatments providing the cherry on top.
The ESPA Life approach includes everything from acupuncture, to diet and chilling out by the pool, and treats everything from sluggish digestion to depression or a general feeling of bleurgh! –Technical term.
I probably don’t really need to explain to you what a food intolerance test is, but however popular they are (don’t we all have an intolerance to something now?) it’s not always easy to know where to go to be tested. That, and most places are not as nice as Lifehouse – where they also offer the test for couples in a special two-hour consultation.
The important thing to remember is that this is about intolerances, not allergies, so symptoms that you might be having are likely to be unpleasant but won’t be life threatening. The test measures antibodies which may be linked to a range of unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, headaches, sinusitis, tiredness, asthma, eczema, depression, arthritis and weight control problems. Following the test you will be given dietary recommendations to help ease any concerns – a spa visit well spent!
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