Champneys Bamboo Massage – have rolling pin, will relax

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The beardy guy in red has pretty much been and gone now. Gifts have been bestowed and some of you will have been lucky enough to have been visited by the version I refer to as Spa Santa. Forget knickers, jewellery or stuff with Apples on, this Santa brings exciting gifts of vouchers for day trips, or, if you’ve been very, very good, overnight stays, to health spas. Cue Xmas Day spent reading the glossy book of excitement called the Treatment Menu. On which, particularly if your spa of choice is one of the Champneys Spas around the UK you may find something called a Bamboo Massage.

‘I wonder what that is,’ you might be asking. ‘If only I knew a brave blogger who likes having odd treatments who could explain.’……..

“Why did you choose this one?’ asked my therapist – obviously expecting a sensible answer like ‘I have terrible knots in my back’ or ‘I run and so I need you to stretch out my leg muscles.’ The answer she wasn’t expecting was ‘because it’s bonkers and I haven’t had a bonkers massage since I got hit with a hammer in Chang Mai.’ If she could have reversed quietly from the treatment room I think she would have. You see, the Bamboo Massage gets its name because, in a nutshell, you’re being rubbed with a stick of bamboo wood.

To be honest, if I had been choosing sensibly the Bamboo Massage would not have been the best choice for me. Despite what the pretty picture above might indicate, this focuses mainly on the legs – an area which on me tends to hurt quite a lot when massaged. There’s good reason for why it works best here – you’re being rubbed with a large inflexible stick. This works best on flat areas on which which the therapist can roll said stick up and down. Backs have too many knobbly bits to do this easily so more time is spent on the thighs, calves and arms. As suspected it’s not a comfy process – with little fat in those area to cushion things the massage is quite deep and things really get stretched and pulled, but as a runner who doesn’t stretch as much as I should it did leave me feeling much looser. Most of the movements use rolling, but they do dig the stick in occasionally to loosen knotted bits (especially during the short section where they work on your back) and there were a few moments whre you get thwacked with the stick to liven things up a bit.

My verdict. It wasn’t a relaxing massage, but it was a good therapeutic one. I wouldn’t pick it if it’s your first massage or if your tension is more in your upper body but for sporty folk it might make a better choice than something simple like an aromatherapy massage – plus it gives you something far more interesting to talk about over dinner that night! The Bamboo Massage can be found at Champneys Spas around the country and costs £65 for 55 minutes. Other spas may also offer it.

If you’re looking to book a stay at Champneys or even just to visit for the day click to visit the Spabreaks website which offers deals from all the Champneys spas around the UK – and lots of others as well.


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