A Sensory Delight

By Steph 

Making the Mind Body Connection 

I’ve always been curious about how different parts of the body link together… how a pain in the back can be traced to the leg or how personal trauma could be stored in the hips for example.

Years ago, I remember having reflexology and the masseuse pausing on a small patch on the inside of my foot, circling it gently with her thumb over and over… pausing just long enough to make me notice… I later found out that in reflexology, this area links to the uterus. Now, whether it’s coincidence or whether she could sense something, I don’t know, but a week later I found out I was pregnant!

 I guess there’s a lot that we don’t fully understand isn’t there? But I prefer to be open-minded and curious in my approach to the unknown… I find comfort and fascination in the idea of connection, patterns, links… And whether you believe in subtle inner connections, or not, viewing the mind and body as something which is deeply complex, sophisticated, unified, is perhaps more relatable… and seeking balance and harmony within yourself. I recently experienced the most beautiful facial in Tynemouth, and it brought to mind the idea of harmony. But before I tell you about it, I’d just like to explain a little about something called the chakras…

 What are the Chakras?

 In yoga philosophy, it’s believed that we all have chakras, or wheels, that move and spin the flow of energy round our body. These wheels of energy need to stay ‘open’ and aligned to avoid blockages, as they correspond to bundles of nerves, major organs, and areas of our energetic body that affect our emotional and physical wellbeing. This complex and ancient energy system originated in India and date from 1500 to 1000 BC. In recent years, there seems to have been a resurgence of interest in the chakras so here’s a very brief summary of them and the area of the body that they’re associated with: 

  • The root chakra – at the base of the spine
  • The sacral chakra – just below the belly button, above the pubic bone
  • The solar plexus chakra – the abdomen
  • The heart chakra – the centre of the chest
  • The throat chakra – the throat
  • The third eye – between the eyes, on the forehand
  • The crown – the top of the head

 It’s believed that each chakra has certain qualities and elements linked to it and that they subsequently correspond to feelings and emotions. For example, the Third Eye Chakra links to intuition and imagination so blocks here can manifest as headaches, issues with concentration, and hearing problems. Emotionally, it’s believed that if you’re experiencing a blockage here then you may have difficulty listening properly, perhaps giving the impression that you ‘know it all’, and stopping you from being able to see the ‘big picture’.

 What does this have to do with my Quest for Calm?

 The crown chakra is perhaps regarded as the most important when it comes to wellbeing, as it links to every other chakra - and therefore every organ in this system. Therefore, it affects not just all of those organs, but also our brain and nervous system. When this chakra is open, it is thought to bring the person bliss, health and happiness.

 With this in mind, I decided to treat my face and head (haha) by having a sumptuous Coastal Calm Facial with Helen Ray in Swiss Physio at Tynemouth Station. Helen is a holistic facialist based in London and Tynemouth with truly magic hands! I really wanted a treatment that would help my brain to switch off and that would focus on my head and temples, whilst also looking out for my skin - which has been so erratic with hormones and sleep deprivation over the last couple of years. I had a couple of hours to myself so I was very much looking forward to relaxing and taking care of my skin at the same time.

 Coastal Calm Facial

 Helen took me to the treatment room upstairs – she’s so thoughtful and caring in her approach and by the time she started, I was already beginning to feel the chords of the day beginning to unwind. What was to come can only be described as a sensory journey of beautiful aromas and sensations!

 She began by removing my make up and impurities with a range of beautifully scented products including: Caudalie Miscellar Cleansing Water, Caudalie Make- Up Removing Cleansing Oil and Chantecaille Hibiscus and Bamboo Exfoliating Cream.

I was very aware of her gentle touch and the mixture of cooling and warming sensation as she fluidly moved on from one thing to the next. During the Gua Sha section, I felt like I was literally floating in and out of bliss, simply soaking up the sensation of the smooth stone gliding over my face and neck. She varied the pressure and at one point it felt warm too… all the while I continued floating along in this haze of calm. At one point she used Rose Quartz Mushrooms (believed to open up the heart space and encourage love and forgiveness) which was a brand new sensation for me! It felt so calming and is used to relieve tension and relax the muscles. It’s really easy to carry tension in your face and head – think of all the actions we may do involuntarily if we’re feeling stressed… furrow our brow, clench our teeth, draw our shoulders up… I loved the feel of the Rose Quartz Mushroom moving over my skin, working into the areas of tension without being invasive. My senses felt like they were heightened and there was a truly delightful moment when Helen started using a Manuka Honey product. It was sumptuous and luxurious… something that I would never normally experience. There was a very lovely part where she massaged my temples, ears and shoulders and I could physically feel my body melting and sinking down.

 I really loved the creativity and the fact that I didn’t know what to expect but this was just lovely, as I was swept along on this sea of calm. For pretty much the whole treatment I floated along, in that blissful state between sleep and wake. I was conscious and aware but I was relaxed… so relaxed!

 I can say with absolute conviction that the more I practise relaxation, the easier I find it to transition into this state. Now, that isn’t to say I don’t have days where it’s challenging or difficult. I absolutely do! But, I’m more familiar with the feel and sensation of relaxation in my body and mind, so I know what I’m looking for. After walking away from the facial with Helen, my head, torso and limbs felt so light – kind of the opposite sensation to how I felt when I was lying in the treatment room where my body felt heavy, sinking down. My thoughts also felt light, floaty, and that thing happened where I realised that I’d walked through Tynemouth Village thinking of nothing… couldn’t recall the walk in fact. Suddenly I was where I needed to be and that felt just lovely.

 I was kindly offered this treatment complimentary but I would have happily paid for it and I'm looking forward to booking my next one!

Here's Helen's website if you fancy taking a look 

 

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