My life can be a little hectic to say the least. Juggling my teaching, a part-time job and writing my blog can sometimes take my stress levels to the max. Sometimes I feel like I am being pulled in so many directions I find myself withdrawing a little. This is why I have decided to take more time for myself starting now.
I believe it’s so important to look after yourself. Not only eating well, drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly; it’s more than that. It’s the things that we forget about like relaxation and switching off from the general craziness of life that I am going to focus on this year coming and beyond. Yes, I will continue to eat the right things and drink plenty of water (when I remember) but I will be making a concerted effort to relax more.
In all honesty, I find relaxing really hard. I am not one of those types of people that can lounge on the sofa all day watching Netflix. When I do sit down I am constantly thinking about the long list of things I have to do or should be doing. I quite often feel guilty for relaxing which when I sit here writing and reading it back sounds ridiculous. We all deserve a few moments of peace, quiet and relaxation, so why do I feel guilty?
I have discovered that in order to fully relax I need to take myself away for some “me time”. That could be an early night with a hot water bottle and my latest library book or it could be something a little more special like a treatment or massage.
A few weeks ago I discovered reflexology and Indian head massage with Ceri from Willow Wellbeing. Two treatments that I have never experienced before. I stumbled across Ceri by sheer coincidence. She works privately doing the marketing for a well established, independent jewellery shop in Exeter and had invited me in to talk about writing a blog post about the shop. We got chatting and I discovered that the other string to her bow was in holistic therapies. Reflexology is something that I have wanted to try for years so I booked myself in. To make my journey to Ceri’s delightful treatment room in Silverton, Devon more worthwhile she recommended I tie in an Indian head massage too.
I arrived to a warm welcome and the offer of a cup of something to defrost my cold bones after my bus journey from Exeter. It was close to freezing outside so the offer of a cup of tea was just what I needed and it gave me the opportunity to chat with Ceri a little more about the treatments I had booked in.
What Is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a deeply relaxing, safe and gentle holistic therapy that will encourage the body to heal itself. It works by applying pressure to feet, hands or the face on specific reflex points. Ceri works specifically on the feet and hands.
Reflexology works on the principle that every reflex point on the feet, hands and face represent different organs, glands and structures within the body. Stimulating these reflexes can release blockages and restore the free flow of energy to the whole body to retrieve the body’s natural equilibrium.
What Is An Indian Head Massage?
Indian head massage is an ancient therapeutic treatment that has been practised in India for thousands of years. It is part of the Hindu health system of Ayurveda. It works on the principle that ailments are caused by blockages in the energy flow around the body and massage helps to clear these blockages, returning the body to a state of balance and wellbeing.
Back To My Morning
Ceri invited me through to her treatment room. Situated through the house at the bottom of the garden, Ceri has turned a large garden shed type structure into a beautifully calm environment for her therapies with Willow Wellbeing. The treatment room is decorated tastefully complete with a massage bed. One of the first things that strikes you when you walk into the room is the scent. Ceri uses Neals Yard aromatherapy oils in her treatments as well as in a diffuser form to create the sense of well-being within the room. On this occasion, the scent was Neals Yard Women’s Balance. A balancing blend of patchouli, frankincense and geranium that works together to relax, restore and calm. It was the most perfect scent for my treatments.
After filling out a brief health questionnaire it was time to hop on the massage couch for my first treatment. I lay down under a cosy blanket on the heated couch which kept me perfectly snuggly for my reflexology.
I chose to lay back and let Ceri work her magic although if you wanted to chat through the treatment I am sure you could too. Although to fully enjoy your “me time” I suggest you take this time to zone out and completely relax into the therapy. As a dancer, I am always anxious about getting my feet out in public. They have been through many, many years of training and pointe work which has taken its toll slightly. I have developed arthritis in my left big toe joint through it too. A hazard of my career choice I guess. I also thought someone touching my feet would be ticklish but in fact, it was quite the opposite. I explained my foot fears but was instantly put at ease. Of course, when you work in reflexology you see all sorts of feet and Ceri assures me that mine were in good nick! Thank goodness for that! Ceri worked through one foot and then on to the next whilst I lay in a completely relaxed state. Using Flying Wild Frankincense and May Chang balm which is completely organic and cruelty-free for my treatment, my feet felt smooth and nourished by the end of the therapy. I didn’t fall asleep, although I can see how many people would. I would highly recommend reflexology as a way of getting away from the stresses in our day to day routines. I was in a blissful state of relaxation when it finished. The reflexology therapy lasts approximately 60 minutes and costs £30.00.
Taking a little time between treatments to hydrate and talk through what Ceri has discovered through my reflexology. She picked up on congestion in my chest which we put down to my asthma and the fact I was recovering from a chesty cough.
The next treatment I had scheduled was the Indian Head Massage. Moving from one end of my body to the other but with the same goal; complete relaxation. The Indian Head Massage takes place in a chair so you sit upright and Ceri works behind and around you. This treatment not only works on your head. Ceri takes time to massage your neck and shoulders as well as the muscles in your face which was unexpected but lovely. Taking about 30 minutes for the treatment it’s a great way to turn off from the outside world without it taking up too much time. The price for an Indian Head Massage is £20.00, though if you combine the two therapies like myself, it will cost a little less at £45.00 for the both. I left Willow Wellbeing with a sense of calm but also an energised spring in my step ready to take on the rest of the day. Thank you Ceri for providing an environment and service that is certainly something I can wholeheartedly recommend. Stress? What stress?
You can find Willow Wellbeing on Fore Street, Silverton. A short drive from the city of Exeter or the nearest large town, Tiverton. To make an appointment phone Ceri on 07531 694947 or check out her website for more details here.
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this post and all views are my own as always.
Photographs by Angel Wade Photography.