As with most things in life, timing is everything, and this particular therapy couldn't have come at a better moment. Movementum at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental London is a new kind of class and treatment at the stylish refurbished basement of the grand Knightsbridge bolthole.
We've heard a lot about functional medicine that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease.The Movementum concept is based on the Movement Health Enhancement System developed by a world-leading team of experts in movement health, led by Movementum founder Stephen Price and includes renowned physiotherapists, trainers, Pilates and yoga experts, along with breath and mindfulness teachers.
'Movementum aims to be the first spa solution – treatments, studio and products – that comes from a heritage of physical activity,' says Stephen Price, founder of Movementum.
A pro or a seasoned athlete can use the classes to help boost their competitive edge and, on the flip side, anyone who has a limited range of movement, chronic soreness and inflexibility. Alas, I am the latter. And hours slumped over a screen, early arthritis, and general post-Covid aches and pains – this turned out to be the perfect solution for my stressed tech-neck, hunched shoulders and lack of movement in my arms and back.
Focus to Move, 30-minute Movementum class:
This class focuses on postural awareness through a series of mobility and breathing exercises and is specifically designed to remove neuromuscular inhibition for improved range of motion and more significant potential to move.
We focused on stretching and movements taken from Pilates and yoga and specific breathing techniques. Here, I learned some valuable daily exercises that will help release any tension when back at home during my working day.
Functional Treatment, 25 minutes:
The functional movement treatment is a hybrid treatment experience focusing on mobility, flexibility and stability and can be used to optimise preparation, performance, and recovery as a principal goal. So, if you've tried a Thai-style massage – then it's a little similar, with the therapist performing assisted movement techniques to deeply stretch out the muscles and free up the body.
Movementum Spa Treatment, 60 minutes:
This stretches the muscles out one last time, but you are laid flat out on a massage couch, re-robed and with the help of spectacular smelling oil. (It's chock-full of muscle-easing ingredients like juniper and lemongrass and makes skin almost tingle when first applied). Through guided breathwork, lymphatic drainage, soft tissue massage, trigger-point massage, and assisted stretches, my therapist melted any lingering tension away.
The takeaway from this is that although two hours at a spa isn't going to be the instant cure-all, it pushes you in the right direction. It focuses your mind, breathing, and how you move every day. So I left the spa feeling a little less crooked and more informed about what I can do for myself at home. And taking charge of your health is priceless. So I will be back for round two to keep me on the straight and narrow.
Movementum Mandarin Oriental, from £45 per class – click here