I work hard during the year, burning the candle at both ends, and it wasn’t until I took a weekend break at the Spa recently that I realised just how tired I was. Spas are great, but can be a bit formulaic and the treatment rooms are often airless (why are the treatment rooms always windowless?), and I have to confess that I’m not a fan of Spa products as I don’t like putting anything on my skin that I can’t eat. So lying there whilst I was having my treatment, I began to fantasise…
What would my perfect massage involve?
- Nurturing. I’d like time to de-stress after travelling to my appointment while I drink a cup of tea, discussing my requirements with the therapist – don’t you hate rushing and then having to strip and jump on the table knowing that every minute counts? Ayurveda teaches that a therapist should not touch a client without love, so I’ve built in a free 20min consultation so that we can get to know each other over a cup of tea before I begin the massage. And if you don’t feel like chatting, that’s fine – you’ll just have a longer massage.
- A personalised massage experience. I’d like the massage to match my mood and needs, and to be suited to my body type. I’d appreciate a few thoughtful extras like bolsters, heated towels and the lighting to be dimmed. I’d also like my feet to be cleaned before being massaged, especially in the summer when they are hot. And it would be nice for them to be warmed in the winter when my toes feel like icicles. When my back or shoulders hurt, how about a heatpack to soothe my aches and pains?
- Warm, natural oils. The oils should food-grade organic so that I don’t have to worry about chemicals being absorbed into my bloodstream. The Ayurvedic saying is that we should never put anything on our skin which we wouldn’t eat. Massage is actually another way of taking herbs, so I’d like herb-infused oils which have been warmed so that they can penetrate my aching joints, making them supple and lubricated whilst nourishing my skin. Please keep the parabens and synthetic fragrances (read Phthalates) away from me.
- Smell. I’d like to choose the oil for my massage. Smell is the only sense with a direct link to the limbic or emotional centre of the brain. This gives aromas the power to evoke vivid impressions, conjure up memories and trigger emotions. It is a powerful tool for healing and restoration so it’s important that you love the smell and the way it makes you feel.
- Skilful Massage. I’d like my therapist to have compassionate hands. You know that saying of “someone rubbing you up the wrong way”? I’ve had massages like that and it’s an uncomfortable experience. Massage strokes should follow the flow of energy channels and nerve pathways. When energy channels are congested, we feel tired and sluggish. We may experience pain, stiffness or tenderness, so regular massage can facilitate the flow of Prana (or Qi), leaving us feeling clear and energised. And don’t you just love therapists who sense when areas need a little extra love and attention?
- Music. No panpipes, dolphins or keyboard music please. Music activates the right side of the brain which nurtures creativity, intuition, receptivity, softness, stillness, silence, dreams, relaxation, imagination and regeneration – so it should be chosen with care. See my website to sample the type of music I use.
- Rest. Please don’t rush. I’d like a few moments after my massage to relax and daydream instead of jumping off the couch whilst I’m still woozy and not quite back in my body.
This has inspired me to put all these elements together in a Restorative Massage package at £65 for 60 minutes (plus 20mins free). Need more than one? Book 3 together and receive 10% off or 4 for 20% off – valid for 1 year (and they can also be given as a gift vouchers). This massage is exquisite combined with a FACIAL – £40 for 45mins.
The oils I’ve chosen for this special massage are all food-grade organic plant oils from NHR Organic. These exquisite oils each contain a base of Sunflower, Wheatgerm and Pure Vitamin E oil. Added to this nourishing base are four beautiful combinations of the finest essential oils chosen for their outstanding therapeutic qualities.
Samhadi – Organic Lavender, Organic Roman Chamomile, Organic Clary Sage and Organic Frankincense
Sensual – Organic Ylang Ylang, and Organic Geranium, Organic Neroli
Vitality – Organic Tea Tree, Organic Eucalyptus, and Organic Rosemary
Feminine – Organic Geranium, Organic Lavender and Organic Rose Otto
FOOD GRADE CERTIFIED – These organic oils are Soil Association certified organic food grade, making them the highest quality grade possible.