Lacking energy? In need of a pick me up? Or suffering from disturbed sleep?
If the daily rat-run and indulgent festivities have taken their toll, now could be the time to ‘heal’ yourself, the natural way.
In search of some much-needed rejuvenation I was in good hands at Aromatherapy Associates in Knightsbridge.
This boutique aromatherapy shop has been teaching, practicing and blending essential oils since the 1970s. And after passing their immaculate first floor shop, I went down to their basement spa rooms to road-test the ‘Ultimate Aromatherapy Experience.’
With a pen in hand, I was presented with a spider-diagram in which the centre point read ‘How are you feeling today?’ ‘Go with your instinct’ my therapist said. I followed her instructions and began ticking ‘need to unwind,’ ‘lacking energy’ and ‘needing a confidence boost’. I also opted for ‘in need of a pick me up’, ‘worried/anxious’ and ‘in need of an energy boost’. (Yep, I was feeling particularly stressed that day).
I carried on ticking ‘disturbed sleep’ and ‘long hours at computer’. How would my therapist tackle such a long list of ailments?
After filling in a health questionnaire, she asked me lots more questions. I was fascinated to see how this lengthy consultation would direct my experience.
Classical music calmed my mood as I lay in a dimly lit treatment room filled with oil-filled glass bottles. Sadly, the room was a bit chilly (the bed was meant to be heated) which took away from the experience. However, the massage itself was good and she began by applying high pressure to various points of the occipital point of my head where the skull meets the neck, which is part of the sympathetic nervous system. This, she explained, has strong links with the hair, skin, digestive system, and overall relaxation. I trusted it was all in the name of revival.
A muscle gel containing ginger, lavender, black pepper and rosemary was then worked into the skin, up and down the spine. And blends of frankincense, lavender, petrigrain and rosemary were used – the most effective in fighting stress.
I couldn’t compare the technique to anything I’d had before. It involved interesting muscle manipulation and squeezing of the limbs. Admittedly, the pressure bordered on extreme discomfort at some times, especially across my knotted back. But the therapist explained that these techniques worked on the main vital organs. The treatment was methodical and non-indulgent, but left me with a sense of renewed energy. And after 60 minutes, I relaxed with a peach herbal tea and dried fruit in the lounge area feeling a lift of mood.
Aromatherapy is said to aid cell renewal, blood circulation and improved physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. So if there’s one thing you do this year to help improve your life, I recommend expert-led aromatherapy. It left me feeling much more in tune with my body, and ready to take on the new year.
The Ultimate Aromatherapy Experience, 60 or 90 mins from £90
Aromatherapy Associates, 5 Montpelier Street, London, SW7 1EX, 0207 838 1117