I turn up 2 minutes late, disheveled hair and my coat accidentally tucked into my trousers from the quick toilet stop I made before getting in the car and rushing to Thame! I realise then, I have been racing around, only to stop to take some time out to be pampered, the irony! Stepping into Monera Beauty Clinic’s friendly, relaxed and luxurious environment gave me the sense of calm I needed.

I am here to try out their new Clarins Mother to Be and New Mother treatment.  Holly, my therapist collects me from reception where I have been eyeing up the different products available for new mums and mums to be, including the stretch mark minimiser, contour oil and energising emulsion. Holly explains which products (with natural plant extracts) are incorporated into the treatment to help energise, rejuvenate, tighten the skin and relax the body.

We enter the treatment room and I am greeted with subtle aromas, not over powering in fragrance (for those of you suffering with nausea). Clean, herbal smells that foster an eager anticipation for the massage ahead. I am left to change out of my clothes and wrap a fresh smelling towel around me.

The room is beautiful, old wooden beams across the ceiling, pastel wall colours and a comfortable couch in front of me. I have been instructed to sit on a comfortable stool and lean forward into a large pillow with my back exposed. The soft but deep pillow supports me enough that I can fully relax into it. I have a sudden empathy for pregnant ladies carrying a bump, unable to bend and move normally, what a treat to be here.

Holly comes back into the room and checks I am comfortable before applying the contour oil over my back. She starts in the small of my back lacing her fingers across the base of my pelvis. I can appreciate how good this will feel for any pregnant lady as this is a common area for tension and pain.  She winds her way up my back and into my shoulders, neck and arms. I am asked a series of questions about my due date, any particular concerns, aches and pains and any noticeable changes to my skin.

We discuss at length the hormonal changes that occur through pregnancy and how the skin care regime you were using before pregnancy may not be the same during pregnancy. In Holly’s experience she reported most ladies’ skin is usually dryer and needs further hydration, but, acknowledged too, that some ladies’ skin can become oily and break out. The moisturiser used in this treatment is tailored to the answers you give.

I am then instructed to lie on my back on the bed. The couch is heated and super comfy. I note the couch head rest is angled at 30 degrees and Holly assures me this can be adjusted depending on comfort for the client. She then begins to rub my “bump.” Holly mentions if ladies are experiencing significant cravings they should bring a snack with them so that they can focus on the massage and feel able to relax and enjoy the treatment.

I then experience a face, shoulders, scalp, hands and feet massage. Clarins have designed a holistic massage that incorporates the whole body, understanding that pregnant ladies are holding tension in many areas. The head and feet are tension points that can often be neglected. Swollen ankles and heavy feet are common problems in pregnancy and this massage left me feeling lighter. The face massage made me feel like I had benefited from a mini facial too. Holly was really helpful to advise me about my skin at the end of the treatment too and could recommend appropriate products.

Having been a loyal client with Monera for 5 years. They have been my pruner, skin advisors and life counselors!  They have listened to my journey into self-employment and the development of the Phoenix Freedom Before & After Baby services. We wanted to provide both a clinical and lifestyle experience to our clients and so we are excited to team up with Monera to offer you a great package.

For Phoenix Freedom Before & After Baby clients, you can take advantage of £10 off the new Clarins Mother to be and New Mother treatment.

For clients heading to Monera you can take advantage of 3 complimentary Pregnancy Exercise classes held Friday evenings either at 6:30pm and 7:30pm, Haddenham Village Hall. Or Baby & Me classes Mondays at 11am, Haddenham Youth Centre. Brought to you by me, Chartered Women’s Health Physiotherapist.

Oh – and make sure you use the toilet at Monera. There is a delicious poster of a man on the back of the door, a cheeky addition to the luxurious environment, makes me laugh every time! He is a pleasure to ogle at whilst spending a penny. You’ll need to go anyway, pregnancy does that to you!

Sign up and I look forward to seeing you in class and head on over to Monera for your massage!

Rachel Changer