In 2013, as many of you know, I was diagnosed with cancer. It isn’t something I mention all that often on the blog. The Beautiful Truth was started as a distraction from being sick. My blog has always been my escape. My cancer free space. It was and still is my place to talk about stuff that is frivolous and a bit of fun. Yet, when the Ice House in Ballina contacted me to review their cancer wellness centre, my interest was pipped. This was something I could talk about on the blog and hopefully help someone!
When you’ve cancer, it is a time in your life that your energy levels are usually low. You might feel pretty crap about yourself and getting from one end of the day to the other can sometimes be a struggle. It is a time that you 100% need a little bit of pampering and TLC in your life. However, most salons or spas won’t take you for much more than a manicure of a little facial.
It is thought that many treatments are not suitable for cancer patients for fear of spreading the cancer further. Or at least that is what I was always told! Many salons and spas, for obvious reasons, won’t do treatments on Cancer patients for fear of causing any issues. There were several occasions when I was invited for a treatment but when the therapist found out I was sick, the treatment had to be changed. When this happens, it can be a bit of a kick in the gut. It felt there was no escape from being sick.
The Ice House in Ballina might just be the answer to a cancer patients need for a little bit of pampering. Nestled along the banks of the River Moy in Ballina Co. Mayo. The Ice House is a beautiful Boutique hotel, that fits subtly into its surroundings. This 32 bedroom hotel really is a gem! It has a little bit of old and a little bit of new mixed together with beautiful architecture that doesn’t take over the tranquil surroundings. In fact I nearly drove by it on the road, as it doesn’t look like a traditional hotel from the outside.
Our bedroom was a two room suite with floor to ceiling windows. The use of these massive windows made it really feel like the outdoors was in the room with you. The room was incredibly relaxing and while lying on the bed, you really could feel the mood of the river in the room! The view on the river first thing in the morning really was breathtaking. I was raging my phone was dead, as I couldn’t get a picture. I will say however, the only down side of the windows was it made the room a little on the hot side!
We brought the baby with us and I was pleasantly surprised at how baby proof the room actually was. The fact that the room was quite big meant that he had plenty of space to move around. It also meant that the travel cot that the hotel provided, didn’t take over the room!
As beautiful as the hotel is, it’s the Spa that is the real gem. It screams luxury and pampering and the outdoor hot tubs and steam room really make for a very special experience. I have visited many spas but the Chill spa really stood out for it’s tranquility. Maybe it was the fact that yet again, that have maximised on their location with lots of floor to ceiling windows, but if it is peace and relaxation you’re after, you will 100% get it here.
So where does the cancer wellness part come into things? Well the staff at the Ice House Spa have recently trained with the director of Cancer for wellness centre. Now the staff at the Chill Spa can tailor the majority of their treatments to suit anyone undergoing treatment or in recovery from cancer. Finally you can go somewhere and not have to worry about explaining yourself over and over again!
It turns out there is a common misconception that when you have cancer you have to avoid all types of treatments that involve massage. The therapist in the Chill Spa explained to me, that cancer patients can’t have a light massage or a deep tissue massage. Instead they need to opt for a medium pressure massage as a light massage moves fluid around and can cause issues. It also turns out that anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer should also avoid deep tissue massages!
If a someone has a port in place or any part of their body is tender from surgery, the therapist will avoid that area and tailor the treatment to make sure that you’re comfortable. You just need to let them know the situation during your consultation.
Speaking with the therapist about treatments for cancer patients, really brought it all back for me. When you’re sick, you really are at your most venerable. To know that you can take time out in such a fabulous place like the Ice House for not only a little pampering but to also feel normal again! You really lose yourself when you’re sick and crave some sort of normality. Or at least I did. Maybe not all cancer patients feel this way, but it was honestly like I couldn’t escape my illness at times. I honestly wish that I had of known about somewhere like this when I was sick!
If it is a relaxing weekend you’re after, you will 100% get that at the Ice House Hotel. You can check out all the offers for overnight stays and spa treatments here.