If you're pregnant and weary an expert massage will give you a new lease of life

It's tough being a bladder-crushing six months pregnant, so my bump and I were more than willing to waddle to Chamomile Sanctuary in Edinburgh's West End to test out one of their Sundari Pregnancy Full Body Massages.

This impressive spa is spread over two levels, which feature a maze of therapy and relaxation rooms. The attentive staff are primed to cater to every whim with a range of treatments, from Sundari's Rooibos Tea and Honey Enzyme Brightening Facial, to Guinot's Hydradermie.

Sundari, which means "beautiful woman" in Sanskrit, was created by supermodel and yoga enthusiast Christy Turlington. According to the literature, the treatments combine Ayurvedic principles with the finest quality natural ingredients, for a holistic approach to wellness that claims to result in "outer radiance and inner serenity".

Hide Ad

This sounded good to me and, indeed, the therapeutic effect was immediate, as, once I'd been decanted into a gown and slippers, I lounged in the lavender-fragranced relaxation room, sipped my flower-scented Sundari tea and drifted off to the sound of Eastern chanting.

This respite was followed by a foot soak and pedi-scrub using healing neem and triphala oils, which soothed my swollen trotters.

Moving on to the main event, I was feeling slightly apprehensive. That's because I've already been the victim of seat-straddling, towel-propping pregnancy massages before, so I was thrilled to find that I'd be able to lie on my front for the first time in months. This was thanks to an oversized treatment "pillow", complete with a "belly nest", and two generous holes for inflated milk-dispensers-to-be.

I hate massages which feel like being tickled by a feather duster, so I was gratified to be asked my preference and, upon requesting a "firm" pressure, I wasn't disappointed. Every inch of me, from ankle to armpit, was pummelled and kneaded as if by an expert baker.

The only instance the pressure eased was when my protruding stomach was gently rubbed, so Junior could become as de-stressed as her mother.

The therapist's obvious skill combined with the Sundari oils, heated blanket and that miraculous pregnancy cushion made for one of the most satisfying massages I've ever had, pregnant or not. Post rub-down I was led to the relaxation room in a daze, so I could nibble the complimentary dried fruit and quaff more of the Sundari tea (at 14 a box, I took advantage of the gratis option).

Hide Ad

I may not have come out resembling the lithe Ms Turlington, but Chamomile Sanctuary offers an indulgent treat that is not just for a supermodel's budget.

• Sundari Pregnancy Full Body Massage, 55 for 60 minutes. Chamomile Sanctuary, 4 Alva Street, Edinburgh (0131-220 1000, www.chamomilesanctuary.com)

Sundari Pregnancy Full Body Massage, 55 for 60 minutes

Hide Ad

This article was first published in the The Scotsman on December 4, 2010

Mention the Scotsman Magazine to receive 10 per cent off this treatment