Treatments we love: ESPA Strength & Resilience Massage
If we’re not much mistaken, resilience is going to be the mind/body buzzword for 2018. With everything that's going on in the world, both at home and on the world stage, the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties of all sorts – physical, mental and emotional – will stand us in good stead.
ESPA founder Susan Harmsworth, who we have known, loved and respected since the launch of this stellar brand, is clear that tending to our bodies and minds is paramount. Thus this new signature treatment, which – wonderfully – takes its inspiration from the Painted Lady butterfly… the epitome of fragility belying its strength, stamina and determination.
Come July each year, the Painted Lady leaves the exotic warmth of Morocco to give birth to her offspring in the cool green of England. Once the young slip free from their cocoons, they return south in the autumn. It’s an extraordinary series of demands for these exquisite creatures.
The Strength & Resilience Massage reflects the life journey of the Painted Lady (we rather love that idea… seems apt). So, after deeply inhaling pure aromatherapeutic formulas of eucalyptus and menthol, the treatment starts by cocooning each client in warmth and softness, acupressure points up and down the body are pressed through your swaddling, and as it goes on, the gentle strokes and stretches become progressively swifter and more significant pressure.
The continuous To Do list in Sarah’s head subsided when her (totally wonderful) therapist started on her feet, expertly deploying reflex zone foot massage to stimulate major organs – lungs, colon, diaphragm and sinuses (the latter much needed on a very congested day) – which are said to have a direct link to the body’s resilience.
Next comes a really invigorating back massage – this is not the sort of treatment where you are soothed into relaxation and slumber: it’s a wake-up- and-confront-the-world-on-your-terms treatment. (Just the thing for those #TimesUp A-listers, by the way.) Knots in shoulders were ironed out without compunction – no half measures there.
Then a blissful sinus release – which resulted in wonderfully clear sinuses, the first for days – and a scalp massage that Sarah longed to go on all day (well, nearly…). By nightfall, as she writes this review, Sarah felt as if everything was wonderfully in order: sinuses clear, brain ditto, shoulders loose - everything just as it should be. Which is pretty darned amazing!
This is a treat of a treatment, worth every penny, but – if funds just don't permit – you could give yourself an ESPA treat with some or all of the products. We highly recommend the Muscle Rescue Balm/£30 for 70 g, which you apply to muscles before and/or after exercise, massaging into your legs with upward movements, going round and round for arms, neck and shoulders. The bonus is that this aromatherapeutic blend of pepper and eucalyptus, clove bud and West Indian bay oils also focus your mind and – hallelujah! – clear your sinuses. But just take yourself to the website espainternational.co.uk and have a browse. Whatever you choose, you won’t go wrong.
The ESPA Strength & Resilience Massage launches from February 2018. Available at ESPA Life at Corinthia from £195 for a 90-minute treatment and at selected ESPA Spas and Salons nationwide from £80 for an 80-minute treatment.