Winding the clock back: a visit to The Orangery

Why resist the physical ageing process? On the other hand, what about those irritating body characteristics – from cellulite to liver spots – that don’t reflect the person you feel inside? Emma Clegg talks to Victoria Rawlinson at the Body Clinic at The Orangery, who has some very acceptable solutions, and tries out a treatment.

My approach to beauty has always been based on minimal to no intervention, and a philosophy of ‘natural is best: why look 10 years younger when you can openly embrace being the age you are?’

This works well when you are naturally toned and beautiful, or even untoned, unfit and under 40. But as you age, there is a myriad of things that start to irk as they build up, such as droopy jowels; belly fat that lingers determinedly; skin that has forgotten what taut is, with areas defined by cellulite, thread veins, spider veins and liver spots; and under-eye shadows that require regular concealing to make you feel more like the person you are inside. And it’s not just about ageing – those affected by injury, chronic and acute illness, fatigue or stress often find themselves dealing with cosmetic and physical issues that affect what they do and undermine how they want to look.

The Orangery Clinic – since October based in Argyle Street, Bath – is the local expert in skin health, aesthetics (minimally invasive clinical treatments to enhance physical appearance) and advanced beauty treatments. I went along to try a treatment and talk to Victoria Rawlinson, who runs The Body Clinic at The Orangery.

“We are built for evolutionary survival,” says Victoria. “When we lay down body fat, it is so we can survive in times of famine. So we need to change the way we live to use up that reserve. All our treatments are about helping support the body to achieve the best results.”

The Orangery takes a holistic approach where there are no quick fixes. “We don’t do fad diets because they don’t work. You can lose two stone in a month on a fad diet. The trouble is that once you stop taking the shakes and having the body treatments you realise that life gets out of control, whereas if you teach people to live a healthier life and look after themselves the results can be amazing.”

So how exactly do these treatments help support the body to achieve the best results? “The body is holistic, so it’s not a magic wand; it’s about working with the body,” explains Victoria. “When people come and see us we will always talk to them about their nutrition and their sleep. We have a nutrition specialist who advises on diets, and who helps menopausal women if they have put on a lot of weight, helping them to manage their lifestyle in order to manage their weight.

“A single body treatment is not the answer, unless it’s just a case of working on crepey skin. But if you have stubborn fat cells to shift, for example, you need to look at the whole picture. If someone doesn’t sleep, drinks too much coffee and has too much processed food, I wouldn’t suggest they start with a body treatment – they need to think about making a change at all levels, a regime that can be maintained.

Making little alterations to your lifestyle and then doing body treatments, that’s when you get the results”

“Sometimes you need to make a little shift in the way you live. But doing the two side by side, addressing the way you live, making little alterations to your lifestyle and then doing body treatments, that’s when you get the results. So that’s why we offer the whole package here,” says Victoria.

Trying to forget the large number of fruit gums I’d eaten earlier, I was treated to a lymph massage, called LPG Endermologie, which Victoria recommended as a good introductory treatment. This is a non-surgical procedure and the first cellulite treatment approved by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration). As well as helping to deal with the appearance of cellulite, this can improve circulation, relieve minor muscular aches and help to tighten the skin. The treatment also helps to break down fat, water and toxins, allowing the lymphatic system to drain it away.

The down side to the LPG Endermologie was the need to put on a white body stocking suit. “It’s like a pair of tights for the body – it means your skin is protected and gives you a better treatment,” says Victoria. The up side totally outweighed the down, however, because after having been ‘hoovered’ all over with the rollers of the treatment head (with a dial that can be turned up or down according to preference), I could feel my body reacting to the massage stimulation.

I tingled all over for hours afterwards, felt as if my body battery had upped its charge, and felt less clogged up (new medical term) with aches and tension. I also slept very deeply for two nights afterwards (unusual) and felt more responsive and connected.

“LPG Endemologie benefits from regular sessions, so it keeps you energised, puts your skin in a good place and keeps the fatty bits smooth,” explains Victoria.

Other options at The Body Clinic include Ultratone, using revolutionary microtechnology to electronically stimulate the body’s impulse to reshape, slim, tighten, tone, lift, shape and rejuvenate. Velashape is another choice, an ultimate body treatment combining three treatments: suction and rollering, Infrared and Radio Frequency. Skin is tightened, fat cells heated and emptied, resulting in a smoother firmer younger body shape. Another, called Hifu (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound), is used to break down fat and stimulate the rejuvenation of the skin cells. There is also a skin specialist who offers facials and can recommend products. “We all work together, that’s the idea. And there are things that people don’t know about – if you have sun spots on your face or your hand we can just zap them with the laser. It’s not very painful or expensive, and it’s completely rejuvenating.

“Our work at The Orangery is about managing the ageing process and winding the clock back. It’s the same for all beauty measures – it’s all about management and maintenance.”

Where now is the child of nature who embraces her visible physical age in each decade? Why, she’s ushering in a lifestyle with a healthier diet, less alcohol, more water, better sleep and more self-care. And she has her eye on a few more Body Clinic treatments. There may even be an absence of fruit gums.

Victoria Rawlinson at The Body Clinic offers a free consultation to establish what clients want and explain how treatments can form part of a journey. The Orangery Clinic, No. 1 Argyle Street, Bath; Tel: 01225 466851. Visit to see the full range of treatments.