When I arrive for my bamboo massage at Bannatyne’s Spa I’m flustered from running 20 minutes late, exhausted (having spent the weekend moving house) and aching from head-to-toe after a nasty bout of flu.
So the fact that I emerge 55 minutes later utterly relaxed, without a care in the world and as floppy as a beanbag, is testament to the effectiveness of this treatment.
I'm here to have a full body, deep tissue bamboo massage, during which a set of bamboo canes will be used to work deep into my muscles (applying more pressure than in traditional massage) to alleviate tension and aid ‘lymphatic drainage’ -- aka toxin removal.
I start to unwind the second I get into the treatment room. It’s dimly lit, with soothing music and as I lay on the bed I feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of London. It also helps that Tiffney, the beauty therapist, has one of the softest voices I’ve ever heard and talks me through each stage of the massage.
She starts by using the largest bamboo cane to stretch my body out. First she hooks the cane behind my knee to mobilise my hip, then she flexes each foot to elongate my calves and eventually moves on to my arms, pulling each away from my body.
Then, after rubbing on silky almond oil to reduce friction, she rolls the cane firmly along my thigh before moving on to my calf, before repeating on the other side.
When the cane is pushed into various pressure points along my foot, I have to suppress the urge to giggle as I’m ridiculously ticklish. But once I manage to relax, I all but fall asleep.
Areas of the body that contain fat stores are naturally more sensitive to the treatment. I can’t help but wince as she reaches my inner thighs and underarms.
“Does this mean that the treatment helps weight loss?” I ask, hopefully.
“Yes, it does,” she tells me. “The bamboo helps to break down fat cells.”
But my dreams of walking out of the treatment room with legs like Gisele shatter when she explains that clients can only expect results after a set of four or more treatments. Back to the drawing board.
She mentions that the massage is also great for athletes as it helps elongate the muscles and can also relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
At £48, the bamboo massage isn’t cheap, but it is great for those looking to treat themselves to some ‘me’ time.
Bamboo Full Body Deep Tissue Massage is £48 and available at 33 Bannatyne Spa branches across the country. It is available as a one-off and is also offered as a course of treatments. To find a spa near you click here.