Recovery Retreat at Ragdale Hall

When you're going through treatment for cancer, finding a spa that caters to your needs is harder than you'd think. Sunday, 10 March 2013

By Janine Brook

When you're going through treatment for cancer, finding a spa that caters to your needs is harder than you'd think.

Having breast cancer means I'm very limited when choosing a spa, especially one that understands my specific cancer and the treatments I'm having. Once you inform most spas you have or have had cancer, you're deemed high risk and aren't allowed treatments. Why should I miss out on a relaxing experience because I have cancer? Surely this is when I need pampering the most?

Thankfully's Recovery Retreats offered me a solution to this problem at Ragdale Hall, set in the beautiful Leicestershire countryside. All the beauticians here have undergone extensive training from the cancer charity Macmillan, meaning they're equipped with the knowledge to advise guests with cancer on which treatments are most suitable.

This made the booking process for my spa day stress-free as staff were sensitive to my situation and knew which questions to ask. I informed them of my medical history — I was first diagnosed with breast cancer at aged 32 in 2010, had a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and herceptin. Unfortunately my cancer returned at the end of 2011 in the other breast and in my skin, and I'm now receiving further chemotherapy treatments every three weeks. I was then emailed several treatment options from which I chose reflexology. Leading up to my spa day I was contacted to see if I had any concerns or questions.

For me this was about more than a nice day out; it was a day without the children, the constant reminder that I had cancer and the chance to spend some quality time with my husband in a relaxing environment where I could try to forget everything I was going through.

On arrival at Ragdale Hall staff went through our schedule for the day over a drink and we were given an informative tour around the facilities. I couldn't wait to get started as the candle pool sounded so inviting.

My treatment wasn't until the afternoon so we had plenty of time to try out the gym, eat a delicious light lunch in the Veranda bar, sample the extensive pool facilities and get comfy in our fluffy dressing gowns. By the time I was led into the treatment room, I was already feeling relaxed. My therapist was very welcoming and fully aware of all my medical history, meaning there were no awkward forms to fill out or embarrassing questions.

This hour-long treatment was wonderful — perfect for leaving my stresses behind for a short while. I departed feeling more relaxed than I had in ages and with my two small children, part-time work and chemotherapy seeming far away.

For those who don't live near Leicestershire, offers Recovery Retreats options across the country and are a real lifeline to cancer sufferers like me. Many spas are not willing to offer advice or give treatments if you have a serious medical condition, but works closely with venues to create a completely stress free package to provide some well-deserved pampering and escapism. For me time is so essential — this day out at Ragdale Hall was a real tonic and next time I'll definitely book in for a weekend stay.

A two-night Recovery Retreat at Ragdale Hall costs from £349 per person including all meals, two 25-minute treatments and full use of the spa and gym facilities.

Good to has launched its Spa for All programme, offering spa break options for people with disabilities, from impaired hearing and vision to restricted mobility. It also offers spa packages where carers can join customers on a spa day and use the facilities free of charge.


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