My busy morning and the buzz of surrounding cafes is all forgotten as soon as I step inside the door and am greeted by mini indoor jungle. The large, shiny leaves force me to reach out and touch them to check if they’re real; they are. I smile and think ‘a place that nurtures its plants this well is certainly going to nourish it clients just as well.’ I report my name to the receptionist and she nods like she’s expecting me.
‘Welcome. Yve will be with you soon,’ she says as she gets up to pour me a glass of water. Grateful for this, I hadn’t even realised I was thirsty. I take in the calm blue/grey décor but don’t get a chance to pick up a magazine before Yve appears around the corner to collect me. As we walk towards the treatment room, I pass a small gallery of smiling therapists and more luscious plants that dot my path.
I’m guided into the room, which is bright with natural light and peaceful at the same time. I take a seat in a corner beside a salt lamp that reminds me of cityscape. We talk about what she can do for me today. Having recently had some traumatic dental work, we narrow in on lymphatic drainage as the most useful for me today. I have had lymphatic drainage before and been surprised how effective something so gentle can be. Small circular movements with a light pressure stimulate flow. In the past, it has helped reduce oedema from air flight, and restored balance after a fall.
The small stereo provides music that is subtle enough not to intrude into my bliss nor drown out the birdsong from outside. Walls are well-insulated as the only sound I hear from the nearby train line is a toot as the train departs the station. I had been first recommended to Yve through my mother. Word of mouth is my favoured way of finding therapists. A diabetic friend has been having regular reflexology sessions as a wellness strategy for many years now. Though she started with reflexology to directly help her feet, she’s discovered a more wholistic, active approach to her health.
Yve steps out of the room while I prepare myself and lay on the massage bed. She enters and checks in with me regarding comfort, temperature, etc. A weighted eye mask is placed on my eyes, instantly calming them. I’m centred in on my body and nothing else. She begins slowly and gently, unwinding the tension in my jaw, my neck and ultimately my shoulders.
Time passes to its own rhythm. I’m only aware of the end of the session as she holds my shoulder and tells me to get up in my own time. I stretch my limbs one by one, feeling the extent of my body. I slip off the eye mask and am surprised that it’s still daylight. I don’t know what I expected. Not sleepy but rested, I feel ready to leave the retreat and face the world afresh.
On the way out, I spy posters for kids and tween yoga. If only I’d found these when my kids were young, I think. A mindfulness program, anxiety workshops, meditation sessions, and more are also advertised. I make a mental note to check out the website when I get home. When I do, I discover The Revitalise Centre provides a raft of therapies: reflexology, massage, naturopathy, podiatry, reiki, kinesiology, hypnotherapy, craniosacral therapy, lymphatic drainage and wellness coaching. I can imagine these complementing each other, making for a place that honours both the body and soul.
I pause at some shelving to enquire about the potions and lotions on display. Yve pours me another glass of water and encourages me to use the testers. Apart from the gorgeous packaging, the scents are delightful – neither overpowering nor flaccid. Uluna are a local mother-daughter company producing high quality crystal essential oil products. Appropriately, it is JOY that resonates with me this afternoon.
That evening when I climb into bed, I realise that I haven’t thought about my jaw or tooth all afternoon. And that is joyful indeed.