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ON FRIDAY, I was a little naughty as I decided to forego my usual busy blogging morning for a morning of total and utter pampering heaven instead.

It did mean not having a Friday Five post for you all (I wrote a one off Saturday Six post instead) but I hope and am pretty sure you’ll forgive me. After all, who doesn’t deserve some relaxation from time to time right?!

When I was pregnant I had a number of massage treatments to keep me and bump feeling happy and well, trying everything from reflexology to Ayurvedic pregnancy massage. I was determined to look after us both and for the first in my life, treated my body like a temple. Albeit an ever growing, blossoming one!

But since becoming a mum, in all honesty – and I know many of you will relate to this – looking after myself has fallen way down my list of priorities. Which is why when the lovely Rachael from Instinctive Health asked me if I’d like to try out a couple of new treatments, I could have wept with joy. An hour and a half of serious pampering and me time? What is NOT to love about that?!

So on Friday morning when most people were battling rush hour traffic and hot footing it to their desks, I was battling the traffic for a very different reason.

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I arrived at my appointment with Clare Slack – one of the three Instinctive Health therapists – just in the nick of the time and was promptly whisked upstairs to Instinctive Health’s calming treatment room. After a brief chat with Clare about any health issues I was concerned about, it was time to begin.

And first up, was the hot stones massage.

I’ve never tried a hot stones massage before so was just expecting to have a number of warm stones placed on my back and kind of left there to do their magic! After all, that’s what you normally see in hot stones pictures right? (Or am I just a total idiot?!)

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But I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The hot basalt volcanic stones were never placed on my back, but instead held by Clare and incorporated into her various expert massage strokes to gently heat and warm up my tired, aching muscles. The massage also included the use of coconut oil which smelt heavenly and left my back silky soft. Always a rather lovely bonus!

The massage was truly relaxing, one of the most calming in fact that I’ve experienced to date and I imagine it would be of huge benefit to any mum whose muscles ache from carrying around their wee ones on their hips or backs all day, as well as those who sit at their desks hunched over a computer.

I also love the fact that Instinctive Health offers hot stones at no extra cost to all massages. Which means if you have a different massage booked in with them, all you need to do is request the addition of hot stones, if you’re feeling a little tense or achey.

After feeling truly zen-ed out, it was time for my next massage ( yes, I was thoroughly spoilt!) and the one I’d been most excited about trying. Mainly, because I’m just obsessed by anything to do with the Far East!

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Unlike ‘hot stones’, I had never even heard of the TSUBOKI facial massage but I was certainly intrigued.

As explained by Clare, the TSUBOKI facial massage stems from the Japanese belief that true beauty comes through good health. It is a 45 minute facial massage which massages over 50 tsubos (energy points) and 8 meridians (channels) throughout the face, neck and shoulders and is designed to promote wellbeing throughout the entire body.

The facial massage is carried out in four stages and started with a massage to the neck and shoulders to increase circulation to my face and reduce muscular tension.

Next, Clare used the traditional Japanese oil camellia to do a detailed face massage which was followed by stimulation of tsubos points and meridians. And finally, the massage was finished with gentle lymphatic drainage to eliminate toxins. 

I’m not going to lie, at times the massage felt a little weird, especially when there was some occasional tapping going on at various points on the face.

But. But. BUT!

I gotta tell you, the TSUBOKI facial massage was AMAZING. Pure and utter heaven in fact. Totally relaxing – much, much than I’d ever imagined – and oddly energising too. And whilst it is possible that I may have been imagining it, I swear my face looked more glowing, more refined and less puffy afterwards. I absolutely loved it and really how I could not? A treatment that combines beauty with well being can only ever be a win win situation.

HUGE thanks to the talented and lovely Clare who carried out my treatments and to Rachael for organising them. If you live in Sheffield or surrounding areas, please do check Instinctive Health out and their fabulous services. You won’t regret it.

(Just make sure you get in there before me, because you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be back for a TSUBOKI facial massage very soon!)


Best bit?

All of it! Having one treatment after the other was not only extra wonderful, but is also a great idea for those people (like me) who are strapped for time. I felt incredibly relaxed after the hot stones massage, whilst the TSUBOKI facial massage left me feeling calm but energised and ready to tackle the world!

Worst bit?

Not really a worst bit as such but it’s worth bearing in mind that because both massages use oils, you will end up with some of it in your hair. So if you’ve got plans scheduled for after, it might be worth taking a hat or pinning it up, to avoid the ‘greasy locks’ look!

More info?

You can find out all about Instinctive Health and their services here: or connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks ever so much for stopping by. Make sure you tune in tomorrow when I’ll be announcing another very special giveaway! (If you love pretty things, you WON’T want to miss it!)







*Disclaimer – Both treatments were complimentary and kindly offered in exchange for my honest review. 

P.S Many thanks to those of you who have kindly voted for me in the MAD Blog Awards. It really made my week to discover that I’ve been nominated for ‘Blog of the Year’! Mwah! :)


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