Smooth to soothe: Kick out winter kinks with an exotic body massage

The Ritual Treatment is a combination of Indian Head massage, hand massage and foot reflexology
The Ritual Treatment is a combination of Indian Head massage, hand massage and foot reflexology
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HOW DO you feel?” asked Sadna Sohda. I’ve just spent 90 minutes flat on my back in my knickers while she administered the OMH

Ritual Treatment. I can’t summon the precise words to describe how I feel, so I extend my hand, palm down, and move it back and forth making smoothing motions. “I feel like that,” I tell her. “I feel ... balanced. And rooted.” Trust me, those are not my default settings.

OMH might be familiar to frequent fliers, for they used to have an outpost at Edinburgh Airport, soothing away people’s kinks before they folded themselves double in uncomfortable aeroplane seats. Now they’re based on the city’s Thistle Street, in a peaceful space, where the cubicles are formed by joined-up carved wooden screens (have no fear, your privacy is preserved).

The ethos is straightforward: “We pride ourselves on delivery of what my colleague terms as ‘Mr Benn moments’, where you can just forget the hustle and bustle of the outside world and simply be present in the moment,” says Sohda. “Everything you left outside the door is still there when you return to it, just maybe it feels lighter and easier to deal with.”

The Ritual Treatment is a combination of traditional 
Indian Head massage – which uses deep kneading and compression movements, and stimulates pressure points on the face – hand massage and foot reflexology.

It works with meridian lines and chakras, to unclog and open them. Sohda tells me: “We are all going through transformation right now, and we all need extra help, especially if we are feeling emotionally low. When chakras are out of balance, we feel unwell and unsettled. We need stillness in order to find out what our inner self wants from life. The treatment stops you so that you can think.

I chose to strip right down, though you can keep your trousers on and roll up the legs, because the treatment only involves your feet, with some massage of the calves.

But it all starts up top, with facial and scalp manipulation that goes down across the shoulders and the upper chest, before moving to the hands. Oil is used, so don’t go just after you’ve had a cut and blow dry.

After Sohda’s ministrations, I feel like a lump of clay on a potter’s wheel. When the clay is uncentred, it doesn’t matter how fast you spin, whatever you try to form will come out wonky, misshapen and off-kilter. But if you’ve centred your clay perfectly, you can make the most exquisite, useful items. What a wonderful sensation.

• Omh Therapies, 35 Thistle Street, Edinburgh (0131-220 1301,