Release your stress
PENNY McCORMICK visits the Mandarin Oriental Spa in London and “let’s go” during the signature treatment MOSST which is the perfect start to the New Year
Images: Courtesy Mandarin Oriental Spa London
It’s traditional at this time of year to embark on a new diet or attempt a detox.
Possibly more beneficial than either is booking a session at the Mandarin Oriental Spa in London. I started the spa year with their signature therapy – called MOSST. Typically I arrived late and therefore did not get to enjoy the relaxation process that is the sanarium (sauna), vitality pool or amethyst crystal steam room but I need not have worried.
For the two hours I spent in the relaxing surroundings of my cubicle and their special zen colour therapy relaxation room were part physical pampering and part education.
In addition to the usual health checks, the therapy started with an innovative questionnaire to assess whether I was Yin or Yang. Sample questions asked were how I reacted to stress, how I expressed frustration or anger.
My scores did not tally firmly on one side of the divide so to further refine the process of diagnosis, I was asked to choose which aromatherapy oil (from Aromatherapy Associates) I felt most attracted to.
My therapist Rachael had already narrowed the choice, after asking me to pinpoint in general how I was feeling about life/work/health and my lifestyle in general. This incidentally was done in a professional manner – each therapist is a specialist in traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) so questions were intuitive rather than prying.
In the end I opted for an oil which equated to Release or the Chinese element of metal which represents Letting Go. How appropriate for an old and new year.
After a foot massage I was given an all over body scrub – specific to the Release choice – which helps the massage oils penetrate the skin and psyche better.
After a brief shower I then had a thorough body and head massage which focussed on acupuncture meridians. Once finished Rachael presented me with an information sheet about Release with dietary suggestions for healing foods and those I should avoid. The list threw up some interesting suggestions.
As a holistic therapy this one is hard to beat and is keeping with the spa ethos of booking out time rather than a specific treatment which they call Time Rituals. In the end you get a bespoke service, with no sense of urgency.
My sense of well-being lasted much longer than a traditional or ‘cosmetic’ massage and rather than slump home and go straight to bed I felt energised and dare I say excited about the year ahead and its unknown possibilities…
• Cost £240, one hour 50 minutes
• The Mandarin Oriental Spa also offers Gayla Kristensen products and treatments, while the well-stocked boutique offers a tempting range of Aromatheraphy Associates gifts and healing jewellery.