17 February 2017

The Good Hour Treatment at Lush Spa

You know how people have these big goals in life? Climb a mountain, see the northern lights, run a marathon? Well some of mine are much more simple, one of them was just to get a treatment from a Lush Spa, the Lush spa blog events in Leeds always entice me to try it out and last year I finally did it.

Cast your mind back to May, you might recall in my Solo Birthday post that I was in a position when I spent the whole of my birthday completely alone. Well, if you're in that situation what do you do? You treat yo’ self! And I sure did by booking myself in for The Good Hour treatment at the Lush Spa on Oxford Street.

Appointments for this place are pretty hard to come by, especially on a weekend, but thankfully the amazing Lush staff rallied around to try and squeeze me in on my birthday. I later found out they had brought someone in from their Liverpool Spa to be able to fit on more appointments, which I was deeply thankful for.

There are plenty of different and totally unique treatments at the Lush Spa, so why did I go for The Good Hour? Well ever since I have worked a manual labour job I have found that my muscles tense up quite easily and I get killer knots. Hunching over a desk in my current job hasn’t helped and I knew I’d prefer something more intense that tackled that then one of the more relaxing options. Plus there was the promise of sea shanties, who can say no to that! Here’s how it described on the Lush website:
70 minutes of full-body, deep-tissue massage to set you free from long-term areas of tension.

A firm pair of hands rings out tension in time to the music, stretching and straightening you on the tide. Sea shanties fill the air, low and haunting before a gentle crescendo, always tempered by the steady pressure of your therapist’s hands grounding your body.

Hands anchor and align you. Ripples of pressure are soothed with layers of hot and cold, unfurling your limbs like sails in the wind. Stretch, refresh and emerge revived from the sea.

What you'll love:
Delivers relief from knots and reawakens the muscles.
Particular attention paid to long-term areas of tension enabling you to feel more flexible.
Be free in body and mind.

What to expect:
Full-body, deep-tissue massage treatment using trigger point techniques and jelly discs.
Uses medium to hard pressure depending on your preference.

What you want to know:
Duration: 70 minutes long with approximately a 15-minute consultation.
State of undress: Down to your underwear, beneath a cosy sheet.

I arrived at the spa early, which they recommend you do to adjust from the hectic outside world to that of the relaxation of the spa. Oxford Street is one of the busiest places in London and the Lush store is always full of shoppers so I was surprised by just how cut off you feel when you walk through the spa door. It is on the lower floor, with just a door separating you and the store, but the warmth , smells and soundproofing do a wonderful job of letting you leave all your cares behind before you even begin.

One thing I noticed most about this spa in comparison to others I have attended is that it doesn't feels as though the staff are clock watching and doing everything to routine. You are given plenty of time to acclimatise and it is not unusual for you not to even see other customers who are in different rooms during your time there. The spa purposely pace out their guests so there isn’t someone waiting to jump onto the massage table as soon as you leave.
I was greeted with a glass of fruit water and allowed to look at some of the literature available at the spa. Just being in here is calming, it’s all dark wood, soft music and gorgeous lush scents. Soon my masseuse came out and introduced myself, talking me through the treatment before she showed me a range of massage bars I could choose for use on me during my treatment. She thoroughly explained the different benefits and placed some of each on me to smell and feel before I made my choice, I went for the Wiccy Magic Muscles because of it’s blend of oils that are said to warm the muscles and increase blood flow to help get rid of those pesky knots. She then showed me a jelly disc she would be using that is kept on ice to tackle deep knots. The alternating of the body's temperature from the warm massage oil to the cold disc is supposed to help the muscles release and work out the tension, defiantly something I could benefit from. I was also shown the Big Blue Bath Ballistic that would be used during my treatment to scent the room to make me feel like I was right on the seafront! I went to the bathroom before heading to my treatment room, which might be a strange thing to mention but the bathroom was super cosy, just like everywhere else, and filled with lots of lush products that you were welcome to try. I had a bit of a play with a few of them before heading to my treatment room, I am really impressed by how much attention to detail there is in everything to keep you in the same ‘zone’ as you are in the treatments rooms, even the bathroom aesthetics matched the rest of the spa, no white tiles and stark lighting here!

The treatment room was large and warm with dimmed lighting, candles, really fluffy towels, a bath and the sound of the sea and creaking floor boards to get me in the mood for my treatment. As I entered my therapist placed the bath bomb in water under the massage bed so it could start releasing its scent, then the next thing I knew the room was filling with dry ice! It spread out from under the bed and filled the whole room, adding to the maritime atmosphere, it felt totally magical! I was left on my own at this point to change ready for my massage, and I had a bit of fun playing in the dry ice surrounding the floor before getting onto the bed and ringing the bell to let the therapist know I was ready.
Then of course, the massage began, and it’s hard to really explain it other then 70 minutes of heaven, I felt like I was on another planet! Whenever the therapist came upon a knot she would use a number scale to judge how much pressure I could take upon it to help with it’s removal (1 being too soft, 10 being too hard, 5 being the ideal). I really loved this as so often I find that in massages the therapists are too soft with me, as they are worried about me jumping off the table in pain. This was a great, simplistic way to get exactly what the client needs from the massage and it was performed in time with sea shanties which were now filling my ears, mixed with relaxing sea sounds. It sounds strange but it really did work! In fact 9 months later and I can still sing along to one of them in my head so it must have made an impression on me. Again here it’s the little details that really transform this from your standard spa massage, like the masseuse wearing slippers so the sound of shoes walking around you is eliminated, allowing you to be completely immersed in your relaxation.

All too soon the massage was over, now I’ve had many massages over this years but this blew them all out of the water! I often find with messages that the masseuse is going through the motions, timing everything and onto the next client, but not here. Everything felt tailored to me, nothing was rushed and it involved all your senses!
‘All your senses?’ I hear you cry! ‘What about taste?’ Well that is actually involved too, after the massage I when I slowly came back down to earth (again in my own time, I was also invited to have a shower but I didn’t want to ruin the effect of the oils on my skin) I was back in the welcome area for tea with optional rum and a stack of ‘ship's biscuits’ to go along with the sea theme as I slowly came back to the real world, in truth I never wanted to leave! I was given the lush massage bar they used on me and I still have some left now, just smelling it takes me back instantly.

Now when I review anything on my blog I always like to give a balanced review, I try to find negatives and positives in everything, however with this I just couldn’t find a negative. The whole experience is amazing and I’d go back in a heartbeat! The pricing is a bit on the steep side, this massage costs £90 (it might have been slightly cheaper when I had it) which is double what I would usually pay for a massage up north, however in my opinion it’s totally worth it. Let’s hope I can save up to go for my birthday again this year.

Have you ever been to the Lush spa? What treatment did you have?
All images courtesy of Lush, I was too busy enjoying myself!

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