This super soothing massage treatment at Essence Hair & Beauty in Wedmore involves water – but you don't get wet!
On the corner of King Alfred Mews and Church Street in the heart of the village of Wedmore. Essence Hair & Beauty is not one but two salons, with the beauty salon on Church Street run by Becky Fowler and the hair salon headed up by her sister, Sharon Lewis, around the corner in Alfred Mews itself. Very handily, there’s parking for clients behind and another car park close by behind The Swan.
Cool, calm and collected, with pale blues, greys, off whites and rough hewn stone walls in a characterful period building recently re-furbed.
The salon’s main space is dedicated to manicures and pedicures with treatment rooms off to the side and back.
As well as manis and pedis, the salon offers a full range of beauty and skin treatments, from express facials to dermaplaning, body and holistic therapies using Katherine Daniels products, waxing, tanning, eyes/brows, make up and more.
My therapist was the lovely Emma. When she’s not carrying out treatments, she can sometimes be found picking up awards, like Best Beauty Salon in the Somerset Muddy Stilettos Awards 2019 – that’s her on the left.
Not to be confused with other massages that have ‘hydro’ or water in the name – like the Vichy Water treatment which involves spraying your body with jets of water – a hydrotherm massage doesn’t use water in the massage itself. The water – which is heated – is inside a pad placed on top of a regular therapy couch.
You lie on your back on the water-filled pad, with your knees slightly raised. The pad supports your body, aligns your spine correctly and allows the therapist to slide her hands between you and the pad to reach all parts of your body, even though you’re lying on your back.
Emma used smooth strokes and sweeping movements and although she did set to work on some knots in my shoulders (too much hunching over a keyboard), it was a super-relaxing and gentle massage, rather than fiercely firm.
It feels like you’re lying on or in water and you can feel the water moving underneath but it didn’t feel as unsettling as lying on a waterbed. Originally devised to help prevent therapists from putting too much pressure on their hands when they were massaging, it’s a therapy with benefits for us too. I loved the fact that the entire massage was carried out on my back as I often feel stuffed up or sinus-y after a massage lying face down. The warmth of the heated pads is really relaxing. And you don’t have to scramble to turn over half way through the massage!
Good for: A truly relaxing full body massage without any painful pummelling. The heat from the pads make it effective at relieving stress on joints, stiff muscles, lower back or neck pain. Anyone doesn’t like lying face down, or maybe can’t – like pregnant women. People recovering from cancer.
Not for: Those who like their massage to be fiercely firm – this is super soothing.
The damage: Worth every penny. Signature treatment (90 mins) £80; full body (60 mins) £60; Back only (30 mins) £40.