Sheer Indulgence In Scotland On Sunday

Trick or treat?

Published Date: 28 September 2008

By Claire Hay

WHAT is it? A luxurious 90-minute treatment that incorporates a back, shoulder and neck massage with an aromatherapy facial.
How does it work? First, Caristiona MacLellan, Aspen’s owner and head therapist, gives you a health questionnaire to fill in, then you choose what kind of massage you want: relaxing, uplifting or rebalancing. I opted to be uplifted –via a blend of Neal’s Yard Remedies aromatherapy oils.
As well as the tension knots in my shoulders, my lower back had been giving me grief. I was keen for this to be eased with a good amount of pressure and Caristiona returned to these problem areas throughout.
To create a deeper massage, an infrared heat lamp was angled above the problem area. This worked with her movements to relax the muscles.
A skin analysis means the facial is tailor-made to suit you. In addition to Liz Earle skincare products, Caristiona uses one of three blends of aromatherapy oils (in my case the one for combination skin) that she has created herself.
My face was cleansed, toned and moisturised, and I got a relaxing hand and arm massage while a rich face mask worked its magic.
Unlike many beauty salons, Aspen doesn’t restrict itself to using one particular brand – Caristiona uses whichever skincare products she rates and there’s no hard sell.
Strip off or cover up? Strip down to your pants. The heated massage bed is covered with fluffy towels so you needn’t worry about getting chilly or exposing too much flesh.
Who is it for? Anyone who likes the sheer indulgence of a massage and a facial in one.
Does it work? All too often a therapist will work to their own agenda. Not here. Caristiona listened to my concerns and gave me a treatment to suit.

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