Liz O’Reilly found a light touch of life-changing relief with a simple massage that worked wonders.
Walking through the doors of Heavenly Spa by Westin, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more ready for some pampering in my life.
Just recently, I’ve felt as if I was aching almost down to my bones – though I hate to say it, age (and possibly a few too many late nights) coupled with the challenge of a very energetic new puppy to walk and train are taking their toll.
On arrival, I was met by my therapist, Sara, who showed me to the spacious changing area where I donned the obligatory fluffy robe and slippers – I just love the luxurious robes you find at any good spa, I have exactly the same thing at home but it never feels quite the same.
From there, Sara led me down a dark wood-clad hallway, lined with flickering candles that added to the cocoon-like feeling of comfort and, almost, protection – you just know that, no matter how unpleasant the treatment might seem, you’re in a safe place.
And, though I was simply booked for a massage, the rictus in my back did, indeed, make it an initially uncomfortable experience. With the usual instruction to lie face down, I realised that I was, in fact, unable to do so without significant pain in my lower back.
Sara solicitously placed pillows beneath my head and knees to make me more comfortable and then gently administered a special heat-giving oil, rubbing it in with firm strokes and then moving on to concentrate on my feet and lower legs, to allow it to work its magic. And work it did. In about 10 minutes I was able to comfortably lie flat and enjoy the rest of my treatment.
Unusually, on this occasion I had requested special attention to my ankles and lower legs which were feeling incredibly tight (thanks puppy). Having warmed and cleaned my feet with a moist heated towel, Sara got down to business. Using a generous helping of Heavenly Spa’s own special signature oil – for December there are treatment offers using a seasonal, apple-scented mix – my ankles were turned and manipulated, Sara’s fingers digging into the tendons and releasing a lot of built-up tension.
Moving onto my calves, I was expecting pain but the therapist continually checked with me that the pressure level was not causing discomfort and, using incredibly gentle strokes, she managed, once again, to significantly loosen my muscles to such an extent that I no longer felt pain in an area that had been troubling for some weeks.
My back and neck were the next targets which, to be honest, I was not looking forward to. But with long, even strokes and fairly strong but measured pressure, I could feel the earlier tensions easing. Sara’s agile fingers and years of training came into play to find knots in my neck that even I didn’t know were there, leaving me with an unfamiliar, but very welcome, feeling of lightness.
At the end of my massage, I can honestly say I felt like a different person to the one who originally walked through the door at Heavenly Spa. My aching joints and seriously stressed muscles now felt light and my movements were so much easier that I actually had a spring in my step as I headed for the relaxation room to enjoy herbal tea and sweet cookies. So, a big thank you to The Westin City Centre Bahrain and also to lovely Sara. You really made my day.