After having my precious darling Sophia just over four months ago, I felt it was time to tackle those postnatal aches and pains resulting from the constant strain of carrying my baby, picking up toys, nappies, you name it. I really try to remember to bend my knees and not my back (squat, squat, squat), but I do forget, and I know my Pilates instructor would wince at the thought of me not positioning myself correctly (I’m a new mum so surely I can be forgiven?!)
With this in mind, I visited The Sanctuary on Arbuthnot Road to see if they could pull me apart and gently put me back together again. I had initially planned to go to a sleek and shiny hotel spa, to allow the subtle aromas and designer decor to take me on a journey where I would forget about the bustling city outside and the strains of being a new mum and allow myself to be totally immersed by the gentle massage & soft music. However, when I came across The Sanctuary I started to think twice about what I actually wanted from my postnatal massage. The Sanctuary has therapists who specialise in abdominal therapy, better understand the female body after childbirth, and are sympathetic to each individual case rather than providing a generic massage (which I would never turn my nose up at as I still love a good spa massage – I’m only human…).
My first piece of advice would be not to judge a book by its cover. When I arrived at the Universal Trade Centre, there was a notable absence of any tell-tale indication that you’ve arrived at a sanctuary. However, once the lift doors opened at the 29th floor I soon felt reassured when I was greeted by the super friendly Jenny, my therapist, and was guided through the urban oasis to my hushed treatment room.
To begin with, I had an initial consultation to discuss any issues I had or if there were any complications with labour. I explained that the main target areas were my lower back and my stomach (standard right?!). I’m quite petite and, to everyone’s surprise, had an extremely large baby, so you can probably imagine that I have a few war wounds to show for it (which I am currently wearing as a badge of honour). After our little chat, I was left to get comfy on the bed and embark on my holistic journey; I immediately felt a nap coming on – hurray!
Jenny was incredibly gentle, and by the end of my massage I had ventured over to the good old land of nod. There was one part of the treatment that felt slightly alien, which was when Jenny used the Arvigo Maya Massage technique on my stomach. I hadn’t been paying my stomach much attention due to having abdominal separation, so it was nice to know Jenny was targeting this area and treating my uterus to a warming ‘hug’ to help stimulate the area.
Once I had come round from my hour of bliss, we discussed the massage and Jenny passed on some fantastic tidbits on how I can treat my stomach at home and help stimulate this area that has been through the wars during the past nine months.
Jenny is a certified Arvigo Maya Abdominal Therapy Practitioner, Pregnancy Massage Therapist and Holistic Aromatherapist specialising in Natural Fertility & Pregnancy Support. If you have any concerns regarding the reproductive system or simply want to treat yourself to a well-deserved pre- or post-natal massage, I could not recommend Jenny more. Her calm personality immediately puts you at ease, and if anything was more important to me during those ‘testing’ times, it was to have someone around me who sympathised with what I was going through and genuinely wanted to help.
After leaving this holistic hub, I felt very much in touch with my spiritual side and revitalised. After I confessed that I am sometimes saddened by the appearance of my stomach after giving birth, Jenny constantly reassured me that my body is amazing and incredibly strong to have gone through pregnancy, and this provided a much-needed boost of comfort and self-confidence. I’m not quite ready to dust off those long lost bikinis, but I feel proud to know what I went through and am truly blessed and proud to have such a beautiful, happy and healthy daughter.
So ladies, go and treat yourself to a well deserved massage before your beautiful little bundle arrives, or hand the parenting duties (along with that jam-packed nappy bag) over to the hubby and go visit Jenny for a holistic hour of bliss and some much needed R&R. If you do fall asleep, don’t be ashamed; that’s one hour of guaranteed sleep, so take it without hesitation (and I’m sure Jenny won’t mind the dribble on the pillow that you leave behind, she won’t tell!).
The Sanctuary, 29/F, Unit 2905, Universal Trade Centre, 3-5A Arbuthnot Road, Central, Hong Kong
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 9:30am-7pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday by special arrangement