Tag Archives: healthy spirit

Five fabulous things about Didsbury Village

Didsbury Village in South Manchester is a pretty special place to live and I’m lucky enough to have been born here. I’ve been thinking about why Didsbury is so special. Is it the parks, the people, the pubs, the sense of community or something else? 

You will have probably seen Didsbury on TV, it’s where Cold Feet is set, and it’s popped up on Queer as Folk, Coronation Street and loads of ITV dramas. Some days you can’t turn a corner without tripping over a film crew. 

Family legend has it that my family have lived in Didsbury village for over 400 years. I am not descended from titled landowners, but from carters and labourers, servants and shop workers. Didsbury is part of me, and I am part of Didsbury. I can’t imagine being anywhere else. But what’s so special about Didsbury Village?

Five fabulous things about Didsbury Village

Is it the pubs?

Didsbury is home to one of the best pub crawls in Manchester, the Didsbury Dozen. I have done it several times and it’s something of a tradition for me to do it on milestone birthdays. 

Didsbury has some great pubs, my favourite of which is the Fletcher Moss in Didsbury Village. It used to be called The Albert and my Grandad and his pals went to war from there. There are several ancient pubs in Didsbury which have in recent years been joined by glossy bars serving £10 gin and tonics and an array of frothy cocktails and craft beers. 

But the pubs in the village are among the longest running businesses in the area, The Royal Oak, The Famous Crown, The Didsbury and Ye Old Cock as well as The Station, The Dog and Partridge and The Nelson have all be serving pints to the good people for Didsbury longer than living memory serves.

Is it the parks?

Didsbury is a leafy suburb of South Manchester, fringed on one side by the River Mersey we are never short of places to walk our dogs. We have Fletcher Moss Gardens, with its untamed meadows, nature reserve, botanical gardens and woodlands to explore. Didsbury Park, a dog walking haven with a newly refurbished and extended playground, Didsbury Park is a hub of community activity. As well as Fog Lane Park, Cavendish Park, Parsonage Gardens and Marie Louise Gardens. We are spoilt for green spaces and when the sun shines we make the most of them.

Didsbury Village

Is it the people?

Didsbury has a great sense of community. Didsbury people have always looked after their own, be it the great benefactors who built schools and libraries in the area, to smaller community groups which help and support local people.

Despite our well heeled reputation, most of the imported millionaires who live here tend to lock themselves away in gated communities, ordering their shopping from Ocado and keeping themselves to themselves.

The streets of Didsbury weren’t always paved with gold, and if you look behind the polished facade you’ll find plenty of normal, every day people who have normal jobs and do what they can to support the local community. From the Didsbury in Bloom volunteers (who are currently planting up the flower bed near my house ready for judging day), to Didsbury Good Neighbours, the WI, Didsbury and West Didsbury Civic Societies as well as local churches and the mosque who collect for the local food banks and other charitable causes. 

There are plenty of opportunities for local people to get involved in their local community throughout the year. As well as the previously mentioned Didsbury in Bloom, there’s the Didsbury Festival, the Didsbury Beer Festival, the Didsbury Arts Festival and West Fest – a celebration of all things West Didsbury. Didsbury Traders support and advocate for local businesses, which in turn try to do their bit to keep Didsbury a thriving place to live and work.

The Shops in Didsbury Village

Didsbury has a strong independent streak, it’s an area which encourages and supports independent businesses. From Didsbury stalwarts such as Axons the butchers, The Cheese Hamlet, Evans the fishmongers, Peter Woolley Printers and Morten’s Bookshop who have been there for generations. To more recent and equally loved businesses like Giddy Goat Toys, Harriet & Dee, Healthy Spirit, Jo Padmore Opticians, Fresh Save and the new butchers – Three Little Pigs.

Didsbury is also known as a great place to go bargain hunting in our many charity shops. Most of my friends have at one time or another stumbled across a designer bargain or two. We are lucky to have a great range of shops and small businesses in Didsbury, but in order for them to survive we need to support them. Go forth and shop local!

Is it our Public Transport?

Reason number five to love Didsbury is our public transport. Yes I know how silly that sounds, but I don’t drive, so buses, trams, trains, planes, cycle lanes and safe pavements to walk down mean a lot to me.

From Didsbury I can hop on a tram and be sat in a bar in town in less than half an hour. I can get a bus, tram or train to Manchester, Stockport, the airport, the Trafford Centre or a hundred other destinations. The Metrolink tram system has opened up Greater Manchester to us and far-flung outposts such as Bury, Oldham and Eccles are just a tram change away. 

Didsbury Village straddles the busiest bus corridor in Europe. Wilmslow Road – the busy artery which runs from the Cheshire border to the university fringes of the city literally is the lifeblood of South Manchester.

Without the buses, trams, trains, planes, cycle lanes and safe pavements of South Manchester, it’s entirely possible this thriving and popular suburb would be nothing but a dusty neglected one horse town with nothing of note to wave a flag about.

Didsbury is a beautiful and historic suburb with lots going for it and so much going on. It’s my home and my history and hopefully my future. What do you love about Didsbury?

Five fabulous things about Didsbury Village

Thanks to Didsbury Traders for the map above.

PCA Predict are experts in email validation and are running a Postcode Pride campaign to find out why people are so proud of their postcode. This is why I’m proud of mine.

= This is a “collaborative” post =

Well-Being: Experiencing an AromaTouch Massage

Earlier this year my local holistic health centre, Healthyspirit in South Manchester added a new massage treatment to their already impressive list – AromaTouch. I was keen to find out more, and when a friend tried it and recommended it I knew I had to get myself booked in.

The massage sounded blissful, “a light relaxing massage technique of applying therapeutic grade essential oils to produce a profound whole-body experience. The many benefits of this massage include stress management, immune support, and support of your body’s autonomic balance. AromaTouch enhances essential oils activity and stimulates known body meridians and energy zones, while balancing body systems and function.”

I was shown up to the Crystal Room, a cosy and comfortable therapy room at Healthyspirit. The therapist, Helen Scott sat down and talked me through the treatment and asked me some questions about my physical and emotional health. I explained about my spinal injury and Helen reassured me that it was very gentle and the massage wouldn’t hurt me. We talked about how I was feeling at the moment and the reasons why I was feeling stressed and under pressure. Helen then left the room while I got ready for the massage and made myself comfortable on the massage table.

AromaTouch

As Helen would be touching my back, ears and feet, I lay on my front covered in a warm towel. I had taken my jewellery, clothes and socks off, but she let me keep my leggings on as I was comfortable wearing them.

Helen began by getting me to breathe deeply several times to relax me, and as soothing music played in the background she gently and rhythmically massaged a series of essential oils into my back. Her hands felt like warm waves moving from my spine to my side, very gentle, but with each application of oil I could feel some of my stresses being stroked out of me. 

Several different essential oils were used on me in a specific sequence, after each one was applied Helen would massage the oils into my back in that same wave like motion. It was blissful and I was incredibly comfortable, almost dosing off at one point. 

Helen then moved onto my feet, applying peppermint and orange essential oils to them, she massaged them using a gentle rhythmic motion and I felt incredibly relaxed, I didn’t want it to stop. I have eczema on my feet which wasn’t a problem and Helen double checked if I was happy for essential oils to be applied before she started, which I was.

The AromaTouch massage was incredible. Afterwards I felt a bit woozy so I sat for a while and sipped some water. I often feel this way after a particularly relaxing treatment. Helen suggested I have a bath the following day so that the oils could stay on my skin for as long as possible, so I went home and snuggled under a blanket for a few hours whilst I enjoyed feeling blissfully relaxed. 

The AromaTouch massage is currently £35 for an hour long massage. It’s very gentle and soothing, but I’ve rarely felt so deeply relaxed. The effects lasted for quite a few days and it was gentle enough that my rickety spine felt no ill effects afterwards. AromaTouch is so pampering and blissful, if you need some time out from life for an hour, a serious stress release or a pamper I can very much recommend this treatment.

The AromaTouch massage is available from Healthyspirit in South Manchester. For more information and to book, visit their website.

Pamper Me! A warm bamboo massage at HealthySpirit

Pre-baby I was a bit of a massage addict. I love facials and pampering and being pummelled into blissful relaxation. Then the small boy came along and suddenly there didn’t seem to be time for me, just when I needed that time for me most. This will not do, so I booked a warm bamboo massage at HealthySpirit in Didsbury, Manchester and readied myself for 75 minutes of bliss.

I arrived and Stephanie (my therapist) gave me a little tour and led me into the Crystal Room. The Crystal Room is where most of their treatments are done, it’s a lovely warm, comfortable room. The lights are kept reasonably low; pleasant, restful music plays in the background, sometimes they burn oils to enhance the experience.

bamboo massage

We sat down and ran through my medical form, due to my back surgeries last year I am always cautious and explain what can and can’t happen with my back during treatments. Stephanie was great and reassured me that any pressure around my surgical site would be minimal. She then asked me to take my clothes off and get comfortable on the massage table, she left the room for a few minutes while I did this and while I got settled on the table.

Stephanie made sure I was warm and comfortable before she began, she asked what kind of oils I liked and then applied a relaxing blend of neroli, lavender and sweet orange mixed with the sweet almond oil carrier. The scent immediately started to relax me. She then started to massage my back, shoulders and neck using the warmed bamboo sticks.

The sticks are quite warm, but in a soothing way, they’re not quite as hot as a hot stone massage, but definitely warm enough to sooth and relax the muscles they’re rubbed on. I could definitely feel the muscles in my too-tense shoulders relaxing as the treatment went on.

Stephanie checked on me regularly, ensuring that the bamboo was the right temperature, that I was comfortable and not in any pain. Although it was a relaxing massage, the heat and pressure from the bamboo meant that the massage was deeper than it felt, which is a good thing.

Stephanie really worked at the knots in my shoulders, working her way down my body. She spent some time massaging my calf muscles, apparently we hold a lot of emotional tension there, and it’s no surprise to me that they needed some extra work.

The incredibly restful treatment ended with a lovely face and scalp massage, I’d drifted off a few times during the treatment, but this is where I did actually nod off. After 75 minutes of bliss I was left to relax, wake myself up gently and get dressed. I felt utterly relaxed but energised, like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

The warm bamboo massage is innovative treatment which is said to aid lymph drainage, promote restful sleep, help sensory nerve perception and provide stress relief. It really is the best treatment I’ve had in a very long time, I’ll be booking myself in for another before Christmas, because I’m worth it.

The warm bamboo massage at HealthySpirit is £45 for a 75 minute treatment, which I think is exceptional value.

bamboo massage

Note: I was given this treatment free of charge for review purposes, all images and opinions expressed are my own.