We all have those moments that pull us up short. For me it was an innocent remark from a six-year-old.
Walking down my road, I paused to watch a little girl blowing bubbles through her gate. We chatted for a few seconds and then, with the deadliest of aims only an innocent child can have, she asked: ‘Are you pregnant?”. “No sweetheart, I’m just fat,” I replied, and there it was – the fact of which I was fully aware, but had been avoiding for months.
I decided I didn’t want to start yoyo dieting, but I did need to change my eating and drinking habits – or, more specifically, snacking and drinking wine. Despite walking the dog each day, my lifestyle was definitely more sedentary – the perfect recipe for weight gain.
Changing habits was easier than I thought and as a reward I decided to have a lymphatic massage to help accelerate the reduction of bloating and water retention.
The lymphatic system forms part of our immune system and plays an important role in protecting our bodies. It is vital for maintaining fluid balance, removing toxins, waste products and abnormal cells, and absorbing fats and proteins from the intestines.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, drink too much alcohol and eat too much sugar and processed foods, then the lymphatic system becomes sluggish causing all sorts of ailments from minor to major as time goes on.
I found a clinic that offered a touch-free version. It listed a host of benefits which seduced me. I mean, who doesn’t want something that will boost your immune system, improve skin tone and reduce the visible signs of cellulite, aid better digestion and improve sleep?
I was unconvinced that one treatment would make me beach body ready, but I was looking forward to kickstarting the rest.
The clinic I visited was the Manchester branch of The Private Clinic of Harley Street, based in St John’s Street – the Harley Street of the North. This clinic has previously used the Lymphatic Massage (Body Ballancer) system to aid sports recovery and for pre- and post-operative conditions, both medical and cosmetic.
They are now rolling it out as a stand-alone improvement treatment. A one-off treatment tends to be favoured by those who want to be at their best for a special occasion. Most use a course of six (recommended) to get the most benefit.
So, what was my experience? The staff were very welcoming, and I had to complete a medical questionnaire. It was stressed that this wasn’t a weight loss treatment, at which point my gaze wandered over to the cosmetic surgery offerings….
In the treatment room, you have to climb into what looks like a large ski suit with wires hooked up to the latest technology. Treatment comes in one of three forms: Lower body, Upper body (targeting arms) or both. I opted for targeting the main lower body areas of stomach and thighs.
Zipped up, the therapist gradually increased the intensity of the massage until it reached an acceptable level. This will clearly vary from person to person, so this gentle introduction was much appreciated.
The massage feels like waves washing over you and was not unpleasant. I was offered the option of watching TV or lowering the lights and relaxing. I opted for the latter and I’m sure I let a few gentle snores out during the 60 minutes.
At the end of the session, I felt lighter and refreshed but agreed with the suggestion that a course would be far more beneficial than a one-off. I did feel I was in a professional clinic which would give me the confidence to consider other treatments.
The Private Clinic of Harley Street clinics can be found in nine locations across England.
1 x 60 minutes Body Ballancer treatment is £85 and a course of six is £420. 60 minute sessions can be broken up into 2 x 30 minute sessions if you want to cover upper and lower body or 60 minutes on one area.