There are certain times in our haphazard, erratic city lives when our emotions get the better of us. We feel drained by punishing schedules, grueling relationship difficulties and pressing work issues. It is during such trying times that I book myself in for a good, chakra-balancing massage - and the healing hands of Abi Adams from Oolong Holistic always leave me feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the naughty niggles of life.
Abi's Thai energy line massage can be carried out in the comfort of your own home (with the tantalizing addition of homemade cakes and herbal teals) or in Abi's gloriously zen-like treatment room within her tastefully decorated Essex home.
|Massage by candlelight? Oh yeeeeeah....|
Being a norrrf west Londoner and Essex virgin, I arrived at Abi's abode in leafy Woodford slightly flustered and prone to uttering expletives after a stressful journey on the central line.Yet within seconds of entering the twinkling candlelit treatment room with its opulent, white chandeliers and glistening golden Buddha, I felt a sense of encompassing calm wash over my frazzled self.
As I lay down on a warm padded blanket and gazed at the meditative dance of the candlelight, Abi (trained by the renowned Thai massage teacher Felicity Keebaugh) expertly applied gentle pressure along my feet, calves and thighs before focusing on my stomach, chest, arms, back and neck.
The effect was instantly soothing and induced an almost dream-like state of mind. Abi's Thai massage is refreshingly different to the limb-stretching, back-cracking techniques most Westerners are used to. Before Abi starts her treatments, she intuitively feels your energy and aims to work with an intention - an essential element of any massage.
Depending on the type of energy she senses, her intention could be to soothe a troubled mind, balance erratic emotions, detoxify the skin or alleviate troubling back and shoulder pain. These problems are eased by concentrating on the seven major energy lines within the body - also known as chakras.
With me, Abi focused on the Sen Sumana, which helped balance all of my chakras - to help evoke confidence and courage. I felt a sudden release of emotion in particular when my arms were massaged and later learned that as they are connected to the heart chakra, this is quite a common experience.
Abi explained post-treatment that such emotion-releasing Thai massage is useful for people suffering from depression (including post natal) and anxiety disorders - conditions she treats on a regular basis.
After my whole body was blissfully manipulated and all seven of my energy lines invigorated, I was roused from my trace-like, sleepy state with a cup of fragrant hibiscus and cinnamon herbal tea from Organic Life - a four generation Indian tea company based in London's eclectic Borough Market.
As I stepped out into the inky black night with a tranquil mind and a positive outlook, I felt serene, happy and smug in the knowledge that my chakras had been adequately pampered.
What more could a girl want?