Day spas in my neighborhood are like pubs in England – practically one on every corner. In fact you could probably try a different one each week and still not get through them all in a year (although I wouldn’t mind having a crack at this!).

Essentially though day spas do seem to fall into two different categories, the pampering focused, and the therapeutically focused. And the former tend to outweigh the latter in my area. Neither is better than the other, it all depends on what floats your boat, and whatever you may be looking for at the time, and there certainly is an overlap, however if you’re looking for a genuine, authentic, therapeutic experience then Silk Natural Wellbeing is definitely a place worth checking out.

My first visit there was a gift from my partner – I’d been holding tension in areas of my body which I couldn’t get to and work on myself, so a quality body treatment was something I was very much in need of. Having been a clinical masseur in my earlier life and being interested in the variety of body, mind and spirit therapies available, I am familiar with quite a few different modalities, however, specific, traditional, Thai massage was not something I had ever experienced, so I had little idea of what to expect, but approached it with an open mind.

The first treatment I had there was an express 30 minute neck, shoulder and back treatment – this is done seated, fully clothed and dry – as in no oils used, which are generally associated with mainstream massage. Now, I’ve never been a big fan of intense pain in massages, I know some people like it, but it can actually make muscles contract more in response to the pain, if not done properly, using precise techniques, so, as one should, I will usually ask a practitioner to lighten the pressure if something is painful (unless it’s work on acupressure points).

But I found this to be an entirely different experience, it was painful, what felt agonizingly so at times, and the practitioner, as is protocol kept checking in with me as to whether I was ok, or wanted her to lighten up, but I felt no need to stop her.

The best way I can describe it is that she seemed to have such knowing confident hands, that I intuitively felt that the pain was positive. So, although I was muttering expletives in my mind, and using my breathing to help work with the release of what were clearly tense muscles and blocked channels, I invited the pain on this occasion. Why? Might you ask? Which is a logical question. And the answer is that because although it was uncomfortable, it also felt remarkable. I could actually feel the energy start moving again and I started seeing a lot of vivid blue as I took myself into a deeper state of consciousness in order to work with the therapy (blue is generally associated with the throat chakra – which I had been having particular problems with). It felt wonderful in a way that I had not experienced before, and unlike other times where I’ve had massages and the practitioner may have been heavy handed and I’ve actually been sorer the next day, quite the opposite happened here.

When I walked out of there I felt like I was in an altered state of consciousness, and talking to one of my friends on the way home on the phone – I did apparently sound stoned. But more importantly, over the next 48 hours or so I did not experience any muscle pain, just an increase in healing energy both in the body areas that had been worked on, and the more esoteric plane as well.

Consequently, I decided to return, not feeling the need for the same treatment again, I opted for the detox treatment this time. A build up of a variety of medications in my system that had accumulated due to recent illness, had left me feeling sluggish and lack luster. So detox box time. The detox treatment I selected (and there are various options) was half an hour in the detox box and a half hour massage – both designed to complement each other in clearing and cleansing the system.

I went for the detox box, as I love a good sweat, particularly combined with meditation so this was ideal. I know the word box probably conjures up images of something dark and constrictive, but it’s actually a lovely wooden box, with a wooden bench inside and the front is entirely glass with a very easy to open door if one does feel claustrophobic, or that the heat is getting too much for them. I noticed there was a pile of magazines in there as well as a pot and cup containing green tea. I continuously sipped the green tea throughout the treatment to aid in the rehydration and cleansing process, the magazines I ignored (not that I would have been able to read them anyway, because this is definitely not a place where you can wear your glasses – I’m pretty sure they’d steam up way too much as the moisture level rises), instead taking advantage of the space and environment, completely devoid of possible distractions to immerse myself in meditation to allow the cleansing process of both body and mind.

The massage that was part of this package – and I’ve done this three times now, and each one has been by a different practitioner and has had a different individualized feel, compliments the experience perfectly. With a mix of western techniques that are commonly used, which I am familiar with from my prior practice, and what I assume are more traditional Thai methods, each one has given me what I needed at that particular point in time.

Every time I have walked out of this place, I have felt good, refreshed in different ways, and as if I have had a genuine therapeutic experience, which I’ve continued to feel over the following days.

This is definitely the place to go if you are after an authentic treatment, provided by skilled and friendly staff, along with the provision of a lovely environment, with touches like lotus flowers on the massage tables, green tea, and lovely music, all of which support the holistic nature of the treatments. I have included some photos below (used with the permission of silk natural wellbeing) so you can get an inkling of what I’m talking about. So, if you’re stuck for a gift idea, either for someone else or if you want to give yourself a gift, this is good stuff, and well worth considering.

Contact details, and treatment options can be found here: Silk Natural Wellbeing Day Spa

– Judi Reed, 2015