Lush Spa, London
So last Friday I think I may have encountered magic.
I mentioned on my Instagram a good couple of months ago now that my wonderful and ever-suffering boyfriend had bought me a Lush Spa treatment, specifically, The Spell. The Spell is a 60 minute treatment focused on the feet and head, featuring a reflexology inspired massage, hot stones and an indian head massage. The theory behind the treatment is based very much in the foundations of reflexology and that emotional and physical issues can be harmonised and re-balanced via the feet. The Spell focuses specifically on worries, clearing, cleansing and releasing blockages and negative thoughts that have left you heavy on your feet and unable to move forward down your path. The purpose is to leave you grounded, with renewed energy, direction and with freedom to move forward with positivity and lightness. Chris had bought this for me pre-op, as I was so weighed down with tiredness, depression and what felt like hundreds of worries stacked upon my shoulders. I attempted to book a few times, but there was never availability when I was free and I didn't have the energy to make my way into central when I wasn't already around there. Before I knew it, I got caught up in a whirlwind of changing jobs, having an operation and being a bridesmaid at various weddings. Though I'm sure it would have helped enormously at that point, I was still able to relish in the luxury and feel enormous benefits, now post-operation, a good few weeks into my new role and at the end of the summer of weddings.
The fact that Lush are cruelty free and use largely natural products, with a reasonable price tag, has always been appealing to me. However, and it's worth stating for others with endometriosis, they still use some preservatives and chemicals which have been linked to hormone disruption, so I only purchase their wholly natural products - so be sure to check the ingredients, they highlight any chemicals so you can google them. Yet for this treatment, I didn't worry about any of that, I decided one massage which might have included a few of those ingredients would be more beneficial to my body to experience, than not experience at all.
I entered the Oxford Circus store ruffled from the craziness of London on a Friday and refusing to get more worked up, I immediately walked up to the first sales assistant I laid eyes on and asked her where the spa was. Her face beamed as I told her which treatment I was about to have whilst we walked down the stairs, she excitedly told me how it was her favourite and how it had led to a significant change in her life. In her own words, she was a 'child of hippies' and I have a bit of a hippy spirit, so this news gave me tingles. Whether or not this was just tension release, allowing her to make clearer decisions, or the universe working with her, I was left hopeful and feeling like I was about to embark on some mystical adventure.
After a little wait, I was led into a glass room, which was not really a room at all, more in fact, like a full sized country cottage, hidden by what seemed to be sound proof glass, encapsulated in its own little world, a million miles away from the Lush Oxford Street I know. The space was gently scented and softly lit, I entered an open plan kitchen with a seating area to the left, a long wooden table in the centre and shelves full of tea, oils, biscuits and massage bars. Upon the table sat a black teapot, which I recognised from the treatment booklet, a candle, a quill, paper and some ink, next to a jug of water filled with cucumber, lemon and mint. I felt immediately transported and my body almost sagged in response to the relaxed sensation that had begun to flood through me. My therapist welcomed me and I quite quickly felt emotional, not because I was sad, but almost in anticipation of the release and the gentleness of the experience. I was taken through the products which would be used, including a foot soak, foot scrub, foot mask, massage lotion and foot powder, all with scents of lemongrass and peppermint. I was left alone to consider a worry - this was to be my release, this was the concern the treatment would help me let go of. I won't tell you the secret of how, but they will take that worry, and it will disappear right before your eyes.
I was taken next into a corridor, which was beautifully decorated, with wooden panels on the walls, and tables of wild flowers and candles - if there had been a bed for the night, I would have taken it. It was as if with each new space I entered, I let go another layer of stress that had hardened on my skin and being and had me feeling as if I was a walking statue, encased in stone. My room was dimly lit with an amber glow, with dark walls and jugs of flowers and a stand presenting a thick, old book entitled The Spell, in gold lettering. I stripped down to my underwear and wrapped in a towel, and then soaked my feet in a beautiful white iron tub whilst sitting atop a soft towel laden bed and listening to the a soundtrack of birds and haunting folk. The therapist gently washed my feet and dried them, before laying me down and beginning the treatment.
Whilst I don't want to give away the full details of the entire magical process, I will say that it was the most relaxing spa treatment I have ever had, and I have to be honest, I didn't anticipate that from Lush, with their bustling shops and brightly coloured bath bombs. I was cleansed of the old and comforted with hot stones, oils and aromas, and though I have no understanding of the real power and physiological affects of massage, I felt my body undo, relax, and renew. My mind homed into each sensation, and went on a journey with the music, which was especially written for The Spell. I wasn't quite sure what kind of magic was at work, but magic it was. Once over, I was softly brought back to reality, with a lemon, mint and lemongrass tea, alone in the room, wrapped in a towel, heated through and accompanied only by the birds and my thoughts, which were slow and light. When ready, I dressed at my own pace, marveled at the array of indulgent products available to use in the bathroom and made my way back into the glass room, where I was allowed to sit in the seating area, for however long I chose.
When finally, I could bring myself to leave, I walked through Oxford Street feeling unaffected by the sounds around me, which usually play on my anxiety. I bought myself a vegan ice-cream from Yorica and made my home, contemplating this new and unfamiliar sense of renewal. Whilst I wholeheartedly recommend this for when you are feeling your worse with endometriosis, I also feel it's so beneficial to keep treating yourself to these experiences even when well. I know if I had visited pre-op, I would have just benefited from the relief it brought me, whereas I can benefit from the new energy it has brought me. For me personally, it's important to learn and remember that healing doesn't just come from food, exercise and medicine, but also pleasure, relaxation and in this case, a little bit of magic.