WHAT I TRIED Facial Reflexology for Pregnant Women by Julie Greenhalgh, Al Karamah Street, Abu Dhabi.
WHAT I WANTED A soothing treatment by a qualified professional that would help to balance my rather unbalanced body and perhaps knock a rather pesky cold on the head.
WHAT HAPPENED The charming Julie Greenhalgh met me at the door and welcomed me to the treatment room. Julie has a beautifully serene manner that puts you at ease instantly. She offered me a glass of water while we chatted about the therapy and she listed her qualifications.
After getting comfortable with rather more cushions than a non-pregnant woman would require, I snuggled down for an hour of relaxation. Given that I'm eight months pregnant, Julie choose this particular therapy because it helps to regulate the body's hormonal and nervous systems, something that I'm sure my husband will appreciate. It works in a similar way to foot reflexology as peripheral nerves send messages to the central nervous system, which helps to reduce tensions and gets the blood flowing in a more active manner than I'm experiencing. When you are expecting a baby, this is particularly attractive, as the indirect route to healing and wellness is just about all that one can access.
Julie began by applying gentle pressure to some of the 35 acupuncture points on my face. Immediately I felt a sense of wellbeing and calm. She gently massaged specific areas, reassuringly explaining what she was working on and why. I succumbed to this general introduction, during which the corresponding areas of my body often had a rush of warmth and a tingling sensation. It felt like a glorious cheat to have created a full body experience despite such a small amount of flesh being pressed.
She then located the areas that needed particular attention and steadily began to massage the corresponding points on my face. Unsurprisingly, as is common with expectant mothers, my lungs and digestive system needed targeting as they come under strain during the third trimester of pregnancy and this reduces the immune system (hence my failure to fight off a dastardly cold that has lasted four weeks).
THE VERDICT As any heavily pregnant woman will tell you, to get truly comfortable and relaxed is an achievement in itself. To be more actively de-stressed by such a treatment meant that I felt refreshed, energised and much more in harmony with my cumbersome body. There was (almost) a spring in my step on leaving. With few safe, non-invasive treatments available to pregnant women, this one ticked all the boxes and I would heartily recommend it.
Facial Reflexology for Pregnant Women, Dh250, Al Karamah Street, Abu Dhabi, 050 721 2693 or contact email@example.com