Belinda was right. Heaven is a place on earth, and I’m about to give you the address and a discount to ease you through the pearly gates.
It is called the Chi Yu Wellness Centre. When I first walked in the doors of this little haven just off Marylebone High Street, I really didn’t feel very well. I’d been incinerating the candle at both ends and hadn’t been able to switch off for days. Most of you will know the symptoms: racing mind and racing heart, married with the feeling you spend your life racing around town in the big rat race.
Prior to my treatment I filled in the requisite health form with a cup of tea and felt myself give in a little to the surroundings – the air was fragrant with sandalwood and the chirp of birds and the pleasantries (complete with soothing ‘spa voices’) exchanged by the staff here started to erase the din of London from my consciousness.
I unwound further when I was shown the treatment room. It was unexpectedly large, not at all the usual cupboard with a table in the centre. Noriko sat me down and asked about my current state of health and accompanying concerns before explaining her suggestion to combat my sense of stress through a combination of massage and reflexology. The treatments on offer during a session here range from acupuncture to craniosacral therapy, and the therapists on hand are well trained in the best ministrations in order to support the body in regaining natural equilibrium.
This place is all about restoring this harmony between the body and mind, hence the name of the centre – ‘chi yu’ in Japanese means ‘healing’ and echoes another Japanese saying: ‘shizen chiyu ryoku’, meaning the ‘body’s self healing ability.’
I enjoyed the treatment immensely – it was targeted, clearly designed to hit pressure points to maximise results, and yet was still relaxing. In fact, by the time we got to the reflexology I had gone from keyed up and babbling to comatose – quite an achievement for a therapist (I can be endlessly chatty).
I left feeling centred and utterly relaxed, quite a feat from a 60 minute treatment. This place is going straight in my little black book of beauty – put it in yours, too.