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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A Spa Break in Warwichshire

The Walton Hotel in Warwickshire is a self-contained 4 star hotel and venue, perfect for holidays and short breaks near Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick. The Hotel is situated in beautiful countryside and shares the site with the beautiful historic Walton Hall. The hotel is just 10 minutes from the M40 and seven miles from Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick. Walton has a long and fascinated history that goes back at least as far as 1086. The village today is a nature reserve and part of the site claims to be the first reserve ever in the world. With the river Dene and the Barmsley canal running through the valley, the area is extremely beautiful and ideal for a weekend away. Walton Hotel is ideally located for exploring Warwickshire and the Cotswolds. The Hotel is quite big and boasts 130 roams but is spread out enough to give it a quiet feel even when full. On site, just a few dozen yards from the hotel reception, there is the Walton Hotel Health Club. A pool, saunas, steam room, fully equipped gym and also what is called the beauty rooms. The venue is set up really well. As guests come in, they are brought to the relaxation room where they are offered a glass of water. This room is a large quiet room, cosy with dimmed lights where you can relax and get in the mood as you wait for your treatment. Similarly, after your treatment, you are brought back here to get ready to leave or visit the pool area at your own convenience. Which is quite nice. Your therapists comes and gets you from the relaxation room and escorts you up to the treatment area which is formed of a corridor of cosy and very quiet treatment rooms. There is a whole array of treatments to choose from including massage, pedicure, facials, etc. Next to the health club, this Warwickshire hotel has a, lounge bar, roof terrace and an orangery restaurant which opens out onto an alfresco dining area (weather permitting) and the Victorian garden. The historic towns of Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick are only a short drive from the hotel, and offer plenty to see and do. In Stratford-upon-Avon you can explore the birthplace of Shakespeare, visit Stratford Butterfly Farm, take a stroll down the River Avon or browse the many shops. Visit Warwick Castle for a great family day out or explore the town of Warwick. We visited the hotel on a Sunday afternoon on one of their special all in packages which included bed & breakfast, dinner and two 30 minute treatments in the health club. It was a very pleasant experience, the treatments where very good and the hotel’s restaurant serves excellent food. Overall, this was very good value for our money.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Coco Sun Lounge and Massage Centre

A little spa worth visiting in North London is Coco Sun Lounge and Massage Centre. Situated on Finchley Road in Golders green, Coco is the kind of place you cannot miss. It is on a corner and has an amazing amount of window advertisement going on. Don’t let this put you off though. Coco’s is more than a tanning salon. They have a wide range of massage therapies available, Shiatsu, Reflexology, deep tissue, hot stone,… you name it. The quality of the massage depends of course on the therapist, but both times I went, I had a very good massage. Next to the massage Coco’s offers different sauna treatments. They have three different types of sauna, which is remarkable for such a small venue. Next to traditional sauna and steam room sauna, they also have an infrared sauna which does wonders when you want to get the tiredness out of your mucles. If you want to really pamper yourself, there are a number of beauty and health treatments available. Arasys slimming machine, facials, body scrub, waxing, etc. as well as acupuncture and different herbal treatments. Coco’s is a no nonsense place. At first glance it does not look very chic or anything, but it is an efficient little place that does the job. If you have a couple of hours to spare and you want a good massage and or sauna session at an affordable price, Coco’s could be the right place to go.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Infrared Sauna and Professional Sports

Far infrared saunas are becoming more and more popular with professional athletes around the world. It is not uncommon to walk into a gym or training facility and bump into one of them. Now why is this? We all know that having a sauna in your house which is easy to use and cheap to run is a fantastic luxury. Similarly, most people are aware of the many health related benefits that the regular use of an infrared sauna can bring. Arthritis sufferers or people with bad backs, sore knees, etc. will tell you all about the soothing effects that regular infrared therapy can have on sore muscles and joints. 

An infrared sauna in your house improves your quality of life, you relax, de-stress, it gives you an endorphin boost, your skin glows, scars and cellulite fade, but that still doesn’t explain why professional athletes have turned to them in their search for that little extra edge.

As with a lot of new developments in sports science, the early adaptors can be found amongst cyclists, long-distance runners, triathletes, etc. In other words: endurance sports. They use infrared therapy for different reasons:
  •  Recuperation and recovery during intense training periods.
  •  Injury recovery
  •   Heat adaptation while preparing for competition in a hot climate
  •   General heat stress conditioning. Being exposed to high temperatures makes the body work very hard to try to cool itself down.
  •   Warm up before training to improve training efficiency and prevent injury
  •   Relax and wind down after training and refocus.
Most of these apply to any sport and not just endurance related sports. It is not surprising that far infrared therapy cabins are slowly making their way into more and more sports clubs.
Below are a few links to interviews with professional world class athletes and their coaches. We hope you enjoy them.

Interview with Jonathan Brown, Canadian Triathlete coach:

Interview with Simon Whitfield Olympic triathlon gold medallist:

Interview with Jurgen Van den Broeck :

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Ayurvedic Treatment in Islington, North London

A good place to start the search for London Wellness gems is the borough of Islington. Often referred to as the most European of all London boroughs, its cafes, bars and brasseries do give it a bit of a continental vibe. With so many eateries and coffee shops around, there must be plenty of people living here who know how to wind down and take a little time out of their busy day to look after themselves.It is not surprising that the area has a number of spa’s, private gyms and holistic health and wellness centres. There are too many to mention them all and today we will focus on the ones that offer the fine and ancient practise of ayurvedic medicine and ayurvedic massage

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical system that aims to maintain the health of the mind and spirit, tailored to each individual person. Ayurvedic therapies use oils, movements and techniques chosen especially for you, your body and your skin type. It is based on principles of health, wellness and lifestyle that emphasize the treatment of the whole person and not just the particular symptoms the person might be having at that point in time.

Some of the different types of Ayurvedic spa treatments are:

  • ·         Ayurvedic Indian head massage
  • ·         Abhyanga: An individually prepared herbal oil massage
  • ·         Abhyanga-Garshana: A dry lymphatic skin brushing followed by a herbal oil massage
  • ·         Pizzichili: A two-therapist massage using warm herbal oils
  • ·         Shiro-Abhyanga-Nasya: Deep head, neck and shoulder massage, facial lymphatic massage and   aromatic steam. Normally had while sitting down
  • ·         Padaabhyanga: Ayurvedic lower leg and foot massage
  • ·         Ayurvedic Shirodhara: A treatment using oil poured on the forehead
  • ·         Ayurvedic face and marma therapy: A facial using a herbal mask and individually prepared oils

Below you will find a list of 5 businesses in Islington offering ayurvedic treatment. If you know about other places or you have experience with any Islington based ayurvedic practitioners, please share. We are all keen to find out.

Shakti Ayurveda offering a whole range of ayurvedic massage treatments.                                       website:
The Bodywork Studio offering: Ayurvedic natural facelift massage and Ayurvedic foot massage.     
LCICI is a holistic massage training centre offering ayurvedic massages to the public.  
The Light Yoga Space: a yoga centre offering ayurvedic massage treatments like full body massage and pregnancy massage.        website:
The healthy Living Centre offering ayurvedic medicine.