Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Utterly Spellbinding

Arriving at Lush Liverpool Spa on the 23rd of April, I was feeling excited beyond belief that the time to get my ‘The Spell’ treatment had finally arrived.

Down the Rabbit Hole...
Led upstairs to the spa area by my therapist Emily, I was transported from the hustle and bustle of the busy city centre to a peaceful English country cottage, sprinkled with a little Alice in wonderland quirkiness.

Shelves and dressers are adorned with jars filled with massage bars and an array of coloured glass vials containing oils, each inspired by and labelled with feelings and emotional states.  Nature books, copperware, pottery and various other vintage style knick-knacks were also dotted around continuing the rural feel. It’s an inviting and homely atmosphere immediately putting you at ease and providing a welcome break from the stark almost clinical looking spa waiting areas you usually come across.

Invited into the cosy kitchen area and seated at a long table made from beautiful reclaimed timber, Emily introduced me to the products that would be used during my treatment, talking passionately about their purpose during the treatment and the beneficial properties of the ingredients they contained. She went on to tell me more about the treatment itself.

Lush believe that sometimes we get stuck in life, unable to move forward and encounter new experiences due to worries, fears and anxieties that become stored up in the body. The Spell is able to rid you of these worries and help you move forward through the ancient art of treating the body through the feet.  The treatment consists of three stages; ground, cleanse and release each stage containing different elements and techniques.

The magic begins…

I was asked to write a down worry or something that was having trouble letting go of on a piece of parchment and then to place it in a small copper kettle left on the table. No one see’s what you’ve written other than yourself so you really can feel free to write anything you feel is relevant. I then witnessed a magical and profound moment as my therapist literally made my worry disappear before my eyes. It is during this stage that Lush and your therapist are giving you permission not to worry, you are assured that your worry has gone and you don’t need to think about it again.

I was led into the treatment room which was gently lit, enhanced by a number of tea lights running all the way around the room, giving a really warm and relaxing ambiance.

Before I go on to discuss the treatment I feel that it’s fundamental that I mention the soundtrack which accompanies it. You see this isn’t just some relaxation music that’s plonked on haphazardly in the background. The music to the Spell (composed by the brilliant Simon Emerson) and its narrative are absolutely central to the treatment itself taking you on a truly magical journey.  It’s all about voyaging, moving forwards, and achieving something. The tracks have a folksy feel to them, filled with soft haunting vocals, string instruments and birdsong as well as familiar sounds from everyday life.

The Spell is cast... 

As the music begins the therapist turns to a beautiful old spell book, opening it on a particular page which
portrays the narrative read out by the hypnotic voice of Lady Helen (a hypnotherapist that helped develop the Spa treatments).

Sitting at the edge of the bed your feet are bathed in a traditional pail to which the Volcanic ballistic is added. This is a brand new product created for this treatment and is exclusive to the Lush Spas. It contains grounding rosemary, thyme and sage which are known to calm and clear the mind. Your feet then get an invigorating scrub with Stepping Stone before being rinsed off and dried thoroughly.

Settling back onto bed, I was comfortably tucked up in warm towels. A hot stone was used giving a feeling of grounding and centring as I felt myself drifting deeper into the music. My feet were then treated to Volcano foot mask and wrapped up in warm towels.  This is one of Lush’s great unsung products containing healing clays, exfoliating pumice, cooling tomatoes, and warming cinnamon to stimulate circulation. 

While beautiful ingredients in the mask got to work, my therapist moved on to a beautiful temple massage using hot stones coated in Dreamtime temple balm. My senses filled with soothing aromas of lavender, chamomile, jasmine and sandalwood, providing a feeling of pure contentment and clarity of mind. The hot stones were then placed just under my shoulders, creating a strong feeling of letting go as I felt myself sinking deeper into the bed, and being carried deeper into my journey.

What followed was an incredible head, neck and shoulder massage which literally took me to another place. I could feel all the tension I was holding in my body melting away, leaving my body feeling so light and relaxed.

There are a couple of stages in the treatment where the therapist uses an enchanting technique that quite literally feels like you’re gently walking along and moving forwards in your journey.

As the Volcano was removed from my feet with warm cloths, the now hardened mask filled with pumice provided a stimulating exfoliation, removing any dead skin in the process and leaving my feet feeling polished and renewed. A beautiful foot massage followed using reflexology techniques to treat other areas of the body (including the solar plexus) in the process. Again during this massage there was a strong feeling of releasing and letting go throughout my mind and whole body. My feet were then thoroughly moisturised with cooling Fairtrade Foot Lotion, then dusted with T for Toes dusting powder to keep them feeling dry and smelling fresh.

As my treatment came to an end I was brought a refreshing drink made of hot water, fresh lemon, mint and lemon grass, all of which were ingredients which had been used during my treatment. As I sat coming round from the trance like state I’d fallen under, a feeling of contentment, lightness and pure euphoria washed over me. Once I’d collected myself and made my way back into the Spa’s ‘reception’ area,  I sat chatting to my therapist in a cosy lounge area like old friends as she asked me about my experience.

Forget your worries come on get happy...

I had a feeling that this treatment was going to be something special knowing how innovative, creative and refreshingly unconventional Lush are as a company, however I didn’t anticipate just how special an experience it would be. It isn’t just the carefully thought out products, the stunning soundtrack, or indeed the techniques themselves that makes this treatment so special, it’s the way they’ve all been cleverly intertwined with one another with such creativity and attention to detail that makes this such a magical and transformative experience.

As a self-confessed worrier held back in life this holistic treatment was spot on for me.  I can’t begin to explain how strengthening and energising it felt to be able to let go of those worries, fears and anxieties during my treatment and feeling able to continue moving forward from them on leaving the spa.

I also suffer from a lot of muscle tension and spasm, having lived with chronic pain for three and a half years. So to feel this melting away during the treatment and be replaced with such a state of relaxation, lightness and fluidity in my body was a truly moving and memorable experience for me.

There was a point in the treatment where it felt as though I dropped all the baggage weighing me down in life and continued on my journey feeling light on my feet. This exactly the transformation I feel as I leave the spa with a clear mind and a spring in my step.  

Although Lush call this a foot treatment (and I can confirm your feet do feel spectacular after this) at the end of The Spell you feel as though you’ve just experienced a full mind and body overhaul. I cannot recommend this treatment enough; I believe everyone would benefit from the magic of The Spell in their lives. To be freed from their worries and move forward with joy, understanding and courage.

With special thanks... Lush Preston for their generosity and support in making this experience possible, and of course to Lush Liverpool Spa, especially my lovely therapist Emily for looking after me throughout my treatment and for giving me such a special experience.

And last bust by no means least a huge thank you to everyone at Lush ltd, the Lush Spa’s team who contributed to creating such a magical treatment. 

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