Slim Gel Body Wrap
I could count the number of beauty treatments I have had on the fingers of one hand so I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to experience a Slim Gel Body Wrap at Absolute Beauty, particularly as I was going to an 80s Ball at the Racecourse two days later and the treatment promised ‘instant inch loss’.
Absolute Beauty is owned by Alison Gore, who comes from Cheltenham, but trained at Chichester College where she qualified with an HND in Beauty Therapy. She chose Chichester because there were very limited options where she could study at HND level.
That was over 20 years ago but since then it has all changed. When Alison was at College it was just the basics – facials, manicure, pedicure etc and a few electrical treatments. These days the courses have expanded to include many other treatments including nail extensions, fake tanning, eyelash perming and many new electrical treatments. Alison has, since college days, put herself through many more training courses to add to her repertoire, though she prefers to stay with the minimum of electrical treatments - microdermabrasion and electrolysis as they are the most popular.
On the day of my treatment, I arrived at 11.30 for the wrap which is designed to firm the tissue and remove toxins from the skin using lymphatic drainage. It is very important, Alison told me, to keep drinking lots of water or herbal teas for the next couple of days to complete the flushing process. No caffeine or alcohol. Otherwise you can feel a bit fuzzy the next day.
Having filled out a brief health questionnaire we went to the treatment room where Alison took my measurements. These would be compared at the end to see how many inches I had lost. No weighing - it’s not about losing weight, she told me, it’s about losing inches and the results can last indefinitely if you are eating sensibly, drinking plenty of fluids and exercising regularly – or as in most cases for a few days until they go to a “do” where they eat rich food and drink too much! Toxins and excess fluid will start to drain away leaving you feeling toned and invigorated and your skin will look and feel smoother and firmer.
After the measuring, Alison applied a warm gel containing sweet fennel essential oil, seaweed, herbs, distilled witch hazel and mineral salts to the skin, first over the legs, then torso and finally arms and bust.
Bandages are then wrapped firmly – very firmly – around the body covering the gel and I have to admit I felt as though I was an extra in The Mummy. I was having the full wrap rather than the half wrap (lower body only). Most people opt for the full wrap as it gives a better result due to the lymph nodes under the arms and behind the knees.
Moving across to the couch to lie down was no easy feat but once accomplished and I was covered in a snuggly blanket, I felt remarkably warm and comfortable. We chatted for a while and Alison told me how she formed Absolute Beauty on The Promenade with another successful local therapist in 2003.
In 2006 they parted company and Alison moved Absolute Beauty to new, bigger premises in Prestbury Road and expanded the variety of treatments on offer.
She has a great team of therapists, including a reflexologist, chiropractor, lash technician and permanent make-up artist, all of whom are freelance, plus a part time beauty therapist working for her.
After about half an hour she left me to my own devices, having chosen a selection of classical music for me to listen to over a mug of Peppermint and Nettle tea, while I read my book – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – and reflected on whether a story about a serial killer was really conducive to relaxation. You are wrapped up for an hour and many people take advantage of this time to enjoy a facial, finger and toe nail painting or scalp massage, so including the initial consultation the application of the gel and the unwrapping, the treatment takes around 1 ½ hours.
When Alison came back, she removed the bandages and re-took my measurements. Altogether I had lost six inches and she gave me the card which showed exactly where from. As I have always exercised and don’t tend to retain fluid from areas such as knees and ankles, the loss was not as great as for some people, but I was happy and my skin felt lovely and soft.
Absolute Beauty: 10 Prestbury Road.
Tel: 01242 579600