After travelling to Kingston-Upon-Thames from rural Cornwall at a time so early not even the birds were singing, I was desperate for a hot stone body massage. By Neal Dakota
When I discovered that delicious high street cosmetics retailer Lush had opened Spa’s, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience their treatments. I arrived at the top of a narrow staircase and was greeted with an arrangement of armchairs, coffee tables, ambient lighting and a chalkboard of fourteen emotions. It felt familiar, like I was visiting a beloved grandparent – Founder Mark Constantine has definitely succeeded in creating a cosy British spa.
They offer a choice of eight treatments. I chose the full body massage, Synaesthesia. I was encouraged to choose the emotion that jumped out at me; mine was “enlightened.” Below the chalkboard was an arrangement of bottles filled with essential oils that looked as if they were plucked from Willy Wonka’s factory. All had verbs attached and once again you were to choose one. I chose “achieve.”
I was told my treatment would be designed around these two words. ‘Enlightenment’ would determine the movement of my full body massage and ‘achieve’ would be the essential oil used. Synaesthesia is a condition that founder Mark Constantine himself has. It’s a condition where the senses are mixed, you may hear a sound and then experience a taste, or see a shape and perhaps a word comes to mind.
The entire treatment has been designed to mix the senses. The treatments even have their own soundtracks (which you can purchase from any of the Lush stores) specifically designed to work alongside the movements and dynamics of the treatments you have chosen.
I was taken to my private treatment room and encouraged to take a steam shower to relax me and cleanse the mind and body. Candles surrounded the room with the smells of my chosen essential oils. I got comfy under a cozy blanket on a heated massage bed, (it was like being wrapped in cotton wool). My treatment began with a facial and scalp massage. The massage soon transitioned down my arms and upper body as the tempo of the soundtrack changed. I mentioned the top of my back was feeling incredibly tight after a stressful Christmas working in retail, no sooner were my therapists hands dancing across my shoulders. It got to the part of the treatment, which I was most excited for, the hot stones! Carefully placed across the pressure points of my body it was a strangely comforting feeling. The warmth from the stones and the precision of pressure from the weight was almost like getting a somewhat rocky hug.
I began to experience a sense of Synaesthesia. Even though only for a matter of seconds I had this vision of flying over dancing colours and as far as I was concerned, in a total state of euphoria. The rest of the treatment flew by and I couldn’t believe it had been 80 minutes! I was left to get dressed which was a mission in it self after being so relaxed. I was the most calm and docile I think I have ever been.
The Spa’s are dotted down the spine of the country, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Chelsea, Kingston and Poole. Treatments offered include massage, exfoliation, a sound based treatment using tools like tuning forks, reflexology and more. The Synaesthesia treatment costs £125 and takes 80 minutes and I cannot recommend it enough.
For more information on Lush Spa’s visit: http://lush.co.uk/spa or call 01202 668545.