I was never much of a massage-haver in my youth, but since becoming a parent and realising the importance of ‘me-time’, they are my go-to for a treat when my body/mind feel in need of a little repairing and ‘self-care’. When I was invited for a massage in Bristol at Osna Therapy Centre, Gloucester Road in exchange for a review, I leapt at the chance.
Pregnancy massage in Bristol
I must have walked past Osna Therapy Centre many times in my life, but yesterday was the first time I’d ventured in. Conveniently located on Gloucester Road (near Joe’s Bakery and Boston Tea Party) within a 10-minute walk from my house, this one-room, pint-sized therapy centre offers massage (including pregnancy massage), reflexology and pampering sessions for groups.
I had chosen to go for a pregnancy massage (at 33 weeks) and to say I was excited for a proper chunk of relaxation was an understatement. What with 7 months of nausea and sickness, forever-tight shoulders, historic back issues and the toll of 2020 in general, somebody showing my poor aching body a bit of attention was just what I needed.
I was greeted by Bridget who has been an aromatherapist for 30 years and started her own practice twenty years ago. The shop felt festive and smelt soothing thanks to the various ointments, soaks, candles and creams from their own Bare Skin by Osna skincare range.
Immediately ushered out of the cold into a toasty room, warmed by two electric heaters and feeling cosy with ambient music playing, Bridget offered me two options for my pregnancy massage – lying on my side with a cushion for my neck and another between my legs, or sitting up so I wouldn’t have to turn over half way through. I opted for the lying down option so I could get extra sleepy!
I was impressed with Bridget’s experience treating pregnant ladies in the third trimester. She offered to concentrate on my lower back and hips which is often a tense spot due to the extra front-load weight. I was totally happy with this, as this has been a problem area for me as the baby has grown.
The massage table and cushions were covered with paper and I was offered the choice of wearing my mask or taking it off for the massage. As Bridget was wearing a visor, I took my mask off as I didn’t want it to hinder my breathing or get too much of a face sweat on.
Bridget went to wash her hands while I got ready and then followed half an hour of zenned-out bliss. It’s a bit tricky to get totally comfy lying down when pregnant, and of course only half my back could be done at once with the position I’d chosen, but I still felt extremely relaxed and could have easily have fallen asleep. I normally like my massages very ‘strong’ and almost ‘sports massage-y’, but while this was a softer approach, it still felt like my shoulder had been loosened up and the tightness in my hip eased. I mostly enjoyed the general feeling of being super blissed out.
After the massage I was given plenty of time to enjoy the moment, have a glass of water and get dressed again. The only downside was that the massage wasn’t long enough!
Osna Therapy has a strict 15-minute cleaning regime between clients with the whole couch sanitised, bedding changed and Bridget washes her hands before and after the treatment.
They strictly get clients to fill in the Covid Pandemic Hair/Skin/Body Treatment consent form, which must be agreed to, questions to consent and to confirm no contact with anyone with or exposed to Covid (although this was forgotten with me, they assure me it has never happened before).
For anyone crawling towards the end of pregnancy, this massage is a welcome therapy. For anyone living near Gloucester Road it’s extremely convenient and there are some lovely gifts/personal treats to pick up inside the reception area. Bridget is friendly, chatty and knowledgeable about what she does and the treatments are very reasonably priced for Bristol.