It seemed only right that to follow on from our facial feature we take a scrutinizing look at our body concerns. We’re talking mostly about cellulite. Cellulite is the deposits of fat deep in the skin and tissue that cause dimpling, mostly found on hips and thighs though is not uncommon to be found on the stomach too. Women, unfortunately, are most prone to this condition regardless of size or lifestyle. And it isn’t always, as most people assume, down to a right diet and exercise programme to fix- though of course when it comes to toning and reshaping our bodies, it is absolutely everything. But as with our facial evaluation, massage will certainly go a very long way.
As you know we like to do a tried and tested method here to give our best thoughts and recommendations. So aside our at home tips to take care of your body concerns on a daily basis (see our feature here), we met with a personal trainer Nadine and massage therapist Dyneal from CitySwish London and salon manager Amy and therapist Beth from award winning Cadbury Hotel and Spa Bristol to evaluate their treatments and services that can aid women across the country in tackling body concerns.
Whilst in London this weekend we met with some of CitySwish’s best. For those of you that don’t know, CitySwish is London’s on demand massage, beauty and hair services and as of this week they’re incorporating fitness into an already desirable package. No matter your location- office, home or hotel, CitySwish send out a hand-picked therapist to cater to your needs. This couldn’t be more ideal when life is seemingly becoming more complicated and time-restricted.
Firstly, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Nadine who is the wonderful personal trainer who’s recently joined the CitySwish
team as they embark on the fitness aspect of the ‘at-home’ experience. No at-home gym required, Nadine comes fully equipped to ensure you get the workout you need. On meeting her we discuss any potential issues and health concerns (the usual- bad back, neck and shoulders from hours upon hours of sitting at a desk- an extremely common issue I’m informed) to ensure that the workout she’s tailored can be completed comprehensively without aggravating any existing ailments (as she highlights, it would be irresponsible to not acknowledge areas that are weakened). Nadine advises that in addition to the initial health assessment, she would ordinarily conduct a full body assessment to determine other areas that may be weakened (muscles that should be working but aren’t) that we are unable to identify, however, as we’re seemingly restricted on time we move forward to the workout- though I would like to stress that Nadine is very attuned to identifying, at a distant I might add, the muscles that should be working to conduct the movements and which ones aren’t working and shouldn’t be working and alters the routine to encourage correct and comfortable positioning/motion. It’s at this point she highlights that sustained injuries/discomfort from working out is quite common for those that work out seemingly unaware of how their body should be working (which is why at least an initial appointment with a trainer is necessary). I’d also like to highlight that she works with other practitioners such as chiropractors to ensure a holistic approach to your health and fitness.
the therapists at the Cadbury Hotel and Spa swear by dry body brushing and is something you can't possibly do enough of- they even stress that if you do it daily for a week, you'll see instant results
Despite being in a rather warm and seemingly small hotel room we manage to successfully conduct a workout designed to target problematic legs, bums and tums but, as you should find when focusing on these areas, it’s more of a full body workout. I’m surprised with all we’ve achieved in one session and although I can tell during our session that I’m working hard, I don’t feel like I’ve worked to overexertion, rather I’ve worked within my limits of tolerance and had fun in the process. In fact, it isn’t until the last 5-1o minutes of our session that I really notice ‘the burn’ and the effects from our sessions last for days. I found Nadine to be extremely personable who made me feel comfortable and capable during her session. I also felt completely at ease with training with her one on one and felt relaxed in the knowledge that she knew exactly what she was doing and talking about.
Following on from the training session with Nadine, CitySwish sent Dyneal to conduct a full-body lymphatic massage. The perfect accompaniment to a workout, a lymphatic drainage massage is a specific massage technique that unblocks and drains the lymphatic system of toxins and waste which can boost the immune system, improve circulation, texture and tone of skin and provide an empowering energy boost (as it did with me). Initially I was concerned with having a massage after a workout but Dyneal soon eases my concerns by telling me it’s actually more beneficial to have a massage after vigorous exercise as it’ll mean that the muscles are already loosened up which will allow for a more beneficial drainage. The pressure is firm but gentle so encourages your body to cool down from the workout effectively whilst eliminating toxins, it was quite relaxing and refreshing.
Between the 5-10minutes I had between exercising and the massage, I did feel my energy sag considerably and I was beginning to feel quite exhausted (it had been an early start and I didn’t have time for lunch!) but during my massage I could feel energy coursing through my veins and by the time our session had completed I felt completely renewed and revitalised- like nothing could stop me doing anything, it was incredible. It was the perfect pairing- hard and effective workout followed by relaxing and rejuvenating massage.
Of course my wobbly bits were not instantly transformed- there is no miracle for that. Though there are some instant results from this combo. My skin had an instant, natural glow, my energy levels were renewed and almost instantly my legs and arms in particular felt more sculpted- Dyneal advises that the arms and legs are the most stubborn areas of the body for fat storage so a lymphatic drainage technique, where these areas are physically shook to shift deposits of waste, is almost instantly effective in re-defining.
This absolutely was a winning combo in my eyes and although it’s not usually possible or even ideal to have a massage following every workout (I am sure that would even be impossible for the most affluent), ensuring a regular appointment (weekly or monthly) following on from a workout will ensure maximum benefit and a renewed sense of self and improved body confidence in no time at all.
We also had the opportunity to try out the Elemis Body Sculpting Cellulite and Colon Therapy treatment at the Cadbury Hotel and Spa, Congresbury, Bristol. This focuses specifically on the abdominal, hip and thigh area with a use of drainage massage techniques and clinically proven products to aid in colon cleansing, smoothing out the appearance of cellulite, boosting circulation and reducement in fluid retention and toxin storage.
But as with our facial evaluation, massage will certainly go a very long way
My lovely therapist Beth is informative about the process; advising that we start with dry body brushing to remove any dead skin cells and begin the process of increased circulation (the therapists at the Cadbury Hotel and Spa swear by dry body brushing and is something you can’t possibly do enough of- they even stress that if you do it daily for a week, you’ll see instant results!), followed by a body sculpting serum which is massaged vigorously all over the legs. A birch, fennel and rubber peel-off mask is then smothered over your legs and left to set- the natural oils and foundation of the treatment draws toxins out whilst you skin absorbs needed natural oils to dispel the cellulite buildup. Whilst the mask sets, the colon drainage is conducted which consists of varying techniques of firm pressure and massage applied rhythmically (to your breathing) around the entire stomach area (diaphragm to top of the pubic area), with a refreshing gel- this aspect of the treatment is designed to improve and aid digestion functionality, can dramatically improve skin tone and texture (including your face), improve circulation and other organ functionality- this isn’t something that should be tried at home though and only a specially trained therapist should conduct such a massage. As we’re still waiting for the mask to set, Beth proceeds to giving me a scalp massage which leaves me in a sleepy induced trance. Once the rubber mask is removed, the treatment is completed with a body sculpting firming cream which I’m told will continue to work even when I leave.
As it is a colon therapy I did expect to feel somewhat exposed and designed to be more of a workout than relaxing but in Beth’s capable and comforting hands, I was able to totally relax and enjoy the process like I was there for a facial whilst she and the products set to work. For absolute best results Beth, Amy and the team recommend having this treatment twice a week for a month, followed by a monthly maintenance if you want to keep it up though many have it as a summer/pre-holiday treatment package. So whether a pre-holiday or on-going confidence boost, you’ll get a treatment that does some of the work for you and you get to relax in the process. Although immediate results are unlikely, I did notice a reduction in the dimples in my legs and my skin felt smoother and firmer. Perhaps most noticeable of all though was the effect of the colon therapy- I could almost instantly feel the shift, I felt less bloated and more comfortable. I instantly needed a wee but that is just a sign that I’m flushing away lots of toxins and excess water! There are some aftercare instructions with such a treatment; drink plenty of fluids to allow your digestive system to effectively drain as much of the toxins and waste as possible, eat a light meal so as not to over complicate your digestive system and if you’re feeling a little sore, just apply a hot water bottle.
Elemis have also created a product package where you can purchase the serum and cream for £62 so you can continue the treatment at home- purchase or use with a body brush for maximum effect. The kit is available to buy in salon.