Go mild in the country

Helen Annetts enjoys the benefits of Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat.

On a bright, warm September day, I found myself in the middle of the beautiful Staffordshire country side laid in a fluffy robe watching the blue skies and batting off wasps who – like me – were revelling in the lovely scents wafting from my body post massage and just like that, the memory of six (actually seven) weeks of activities, holidays, aqua parks and camping drifted away….

In July I was lucky enough to be invited to Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat to try out their new Pause & Renew Treatment aimed at women experiencing symptoms of Perimenopause and Menopause, even luckier they were happy for me to book my visit post school holidays.

Whilst my Perimenopausal symptoms are relatively and thankfully few – apart from the brain fog which comes out of nowhere and blindsides you when you find yourself in Co-Op and you can picture in your mind what you came for but for the life of you, you cannot remember what it’s called (it was Aperol!! And I had to ring my husband to ask him what I had gone in the shop for), a treatment described as offering “comforting balms to hydrate and nourish …. aching limbs” sounded bliss.

My therapist Rosie – who was wonderful – offered me two options, a cooling or warming treatment. Traditionally those suffering menopause suffer hot flushes so the cooling treatment offers some relief whilst the warming treatment can provide comfort through a cocooning feel.

I opted for the cooling treatment, not that I suffer from hot flushes – yet – but as a person I tend to be ‘hot’, I am often the person in the room with a ‘shine’ on their face so I do dread the hot flushes. Although I have some hope as I believe they are triggered by changes in hormones and in fact my least sweaty years where when I was pregnant so fingers crossed!

Once I was laid comfortably on my back, knees supported, Rosie tucked cooling stones around my body – under my hands, behind my shoulders, into my waist – I found them refreshing throughout they kept me cool through what was a lovely warming series of massages that included my feet and legs, head, shoulders, face and arms.

All my extremities felt nurtured, soothed and the oils that were massaged in and the mists that were sprayed after each limb was massaged smelt lovely and had a calming effect. I did ask Rosie what oils and scents were used, she provided a list and described everything thoroughly, but I would not do her justice if I attempted to list them here. Plus, based on questions on arrival and skin type I suspect the oils used are bespoke to each recipient.

The treatment ended with some simple, yet impactful, mindfulness. Rosie tied a piece of ribbon – which smelt of ‘sweet orange’ (beautiful) to my ring finger on my left hand. She lifted my hand to my face then my heart and invited me to silently think of anything for which I am grateful. And I have to say I have much to be grateful for, it was a lovely end to the treatment.

Following my treatment it seemed only right to try out some of the facilities at Moddershall. Whilst I could have tried more I wanted to enjoy those things I did do so I focused on just a few of the facilities on offer.

There were two highlights for me, first the Outdoor Heated Vitality Spa Pool which was blissful, warm, relaxing made more perfect with the blue skies over head. I spent some time basking in this pool, reading my book and then, wrapped in my fluffy robe, laid on one of the several sun beds overlooking the pool enjoying coffee and a bagel from the Moddershall Oaks deli.
Secondly, and unexpectedly for me, The Sleep Lounge was a highlight. Normally I find quiet spaces a challenge, I want to be chatting, but visiting on my own meant I could make the most of this space. I curled up in one of the nest like chairs post treatment and then again with my book before I left. Dim lighting, cushions, blankets if needed and a fire made it a very cosy place to be.

During my visit I also swam in the indoor swimming pool and enjoyed a pummelling from the jets in the hydrotherapy pool but I could have done more. The indoor spa includes steam rooms, reflexology footbaths, saunas and more.

I would highly recommend the Pause & Renew Treatment – I think it works if you are Perimenopausal, Menopausal or just need to take some time for yourself, a bit of tlc which is something we all need every now and again.

I will definitely return to Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat, I want to be back in that Vitality Spa Pool, I want another treatment, I want to try out the restaurant. But, next time, I think I might suggest it to a few friends so we can stay over in their Boutique Suites and spend an afternoon laid by the pool sipping a glass of something bubbly!

Helen visited as a guest of Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat. Views expressed are her own.