Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, spa review: an elbows-only Oskia massage for ultimate relaxation

This brand is new to the destination, which also offers Ishga treatments
Kimpton Charlotte Square Pic: Marc Millar PhotographyKimpton Charlotte Square Pic: Marc Millar Photography
Kimpton Charlotte Square Pic: Marc Millar Photography

"All joints on the table will be carved," was my husband's granny's most famous catchphrase

However, it seems that we haven’t been equipped with elbows purely for leaning on at dinnertime and playing tennis. Therapist, Bianca, at Edinburgh's Kimpton Charlotte Square Spa uses hers, as part of this hotel spa's new 55-minute Oskia Bespoke Super Nutrient Massage.

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"I will hardly use my hands at all," she tells me, as she leads me into their low-lit treatment room.

After she's left the room, I lie face down on the marshmallow soft bed. The treatment begins with a 'bear walk', which involves Bianca pressing down on my legs over the blanket, and smoothing outwards on my back, as if stretching pizza dough.

I'm already decompressing. Then she removes the blanket from my back, and applies oodles of the Welsh luxury beauty brand's oil, which contains extracts of jasmine and orange. She smooths down either side of my spine, then uses wave-like medium pressure with elbows and forearms.

My arms are, one at a time, folded behind my back, so Bianca can work around my knotted scapulas.

Then it's onto my legs, which get a similar treatment, except with even more of a pushing and pulling movement. My knees are also bent, so she can work down my shins, then my legs are lowered and the soles of my feet are gently pressed.

Once I've turned over, an eye mask goes on, and the front of my legs are pummelled. Now that I'm lying on my back, I can really smell the citrussy and uplifting oil, which is giving me summer in the Med vibes. Bianca moves onto my arms and hands, which involves trailing her forearms along my palms, and buffeting my shoulders and biceps.

We finish up with gentle pressing and lifting movements down my neck to my shoulders. This time, Bianca is using her knuckles and fingers. However, her concentrated elbow action has already worked its magic. I feel like my muscles have been warmed and lengthened, and my circulation is whizzing. Hands are overrated anyway.

Oskia Bespoke Super Nutrient Massage, 55 minutes £85 Monday-Thursday, £95 Friday-Sunday Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel Spa, 38 Charlotte Square (0131 340 5500,

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