Health & Grooming | Chronicles of a Spa Junkie

Spa Junkie at… Grayshott Hall

‘Boids’, ‘oids’, ‘toids’ – our covert reporter is bamboozled

Spa Junkie at… Grayshott Hall

Image: Jay Yeo

October 04 2011
Spa Junkie

Part: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Spa Junkie is at Grayshott Hall in Surrey, where she and a friend are aiming to de-stress and get into shape prior to the Frieze Art Fair in London.


I have my individual meeting with Alex Manos, the fitness director, for my posture analysis and fitness consultation. He actually has so many degrees in the subject I feel this title seriously underplays his knowledge and expertise.

“We will be doing a series of tests that include walking, bending and squatting to ascertain the health of your posture, and will use this machine” – he gestures to a piece of equipment that looks like a static Transformer, with a flat base like a set of scales, a large screen like a running machine and then two steel handlebars. “These bars send information to the central computer and it sifts through the data to determine your level of fitness. It measures everything, including your weight, metabolic burn rate, your fat/protein ratio – it even tells us how much water you are retaining. Hop on, and hold on to the handle bars.” Minutes later, kapow – Alex has a full breakdown of what’s happening in my body.

“This is really good; all your results are within range. Your final score is 81 out of 100, which is excellent. Your water content is also within range, and the results show excellent symmetry – almost identical development and hydration on both sides of the body.”

Yeehaw; I’m grinning. All this jaunting around from spa to spa is finally paying off.

“Don’t celebrate just yet. As far as your posture is concerned, we have some work to do…

“Your feet turn outwards; the outside calf muscle, bicep femoris and TFL [thigh muscle] are overactive and enlarged; the inner calf muscle and inner hamstring are underactive.

“You have an excessive forward lean, which indicates that your calf muscles and abdominal complex may be overactive. The gluteus maximus may be overactive also. Your arms drop forward; this means the mid/lower traps, rhomboids and posterior deltoid may be underactive.”

I can feel my eyes glazing over. “Boids”, “oids”, “toids” – what on earth is he talking about?

“And lastly” – Really? There’s more? – “your knees move outward. This means your piriformis, gluteus minimus and medius may be overactive; and the adductor complex and inner hamstring may be underactive.”

It makes no sense to me at all. He has lost my attention, and I decide not to bother with any more questions in case I get too many detailed answers.

I nod knowingly, wishing I hadn’t spent so much time ogling Johnny on the back-row bench in anatomy class.

“I will create some specific exercises to help adjust and realign the various issues; you can take this home with you and incorporate it into your gym routine. I’ll keep it simple.”

I’m anxious as I walk to hypnotherapy, my head spinning from information overload already. What mumbo jumbo lies in store? I want to believe this treatment can cure me of my sleeping disorder, that, like nutritionist Vicki Edgson said in my initial consutation, this therapist can implant an “off switch” in my head. But a little voice in there is already laughing loudly, saying that she won’t get me to fall asleep, that if she could she would be Houdini and have a big Oprah-like daytime TV show.

The door opens. “Hi, I’m Faye. I’m doing your hypnotherapy treatment today.”

Spa Junkie pays for all her her own travel, treatments and accommodation.