I have a strange relationship with my stomach. It's a bit like the one I had with my first boyfriend - I really love it, but I treat it mean. Since hitting 30, it's being mean back. I've noticed a circle of flesh around my belly button that feels like a doughnut - come to think of it, it may be a doughnut.
In an effort to be nicer to my stomach, I am now depriving myself of wheat, fizzy drinks, my beloved white bread and even my hangover cure of choice, sparking water (all famous stomach-bloaters). Beauty wise, there's not help out there for tummies but Mama Mio (they of 'Boob Tube' fame) offer a spa treatment called Bootcamp for Tummies, (there is also one for boobs, bums, and a full body bikini bootcamp). The aim is to help to slimming, firming and toning on this troublesome area. I went to Natura Day Spa in Hampstead, London (http://www.naturadayspa.com/). They charge £68 for the 55 minute treatment.
If 'bootcamp' puts you off then don't worry - this is more yoga retreat than Full Metal Jacket. Some of the massage feels quite intense - your tummy is a tender area, and one that I'm used to a masseuse skipping over. It feels strange but the idea isn't to lull you off to sleep, this is results driven so it's all aimed at stimulating circulation and improving elasticity to tighten and tone the skin. In turn, they say, improved circulation helps "detoxify and debloat". After the massage, there is a double exfoliation to smooth and refine the skin's texture. It all feels pretty good, and takes less than an hour.
My favourite part was at the end of the treatment, when a thick green rubbersising mask (think Incredible Hulk) was brushed on over my stomach and sides and left to dry. It set very quickly and was peeled off, to reveal a tighter, firmer, more toned looking tum. The results aren't jaw dropping (don't expect to walk out with the abs of a Victoria's Secret model) but my skin definitely looked and felt amazing. Not quite crop top ready, but after years of abuse, I felt I owed my stomach some TLC.