Posted by Kat Heath on 03 Apr 2023

Last Monday I was fortunate enough to attend The Wellness Event held by the formidable Complementary Therapies with Christine Michele Murray.  The day retreat was set in the relaxing surroundings of Essence Salon and Wellness Centre just a short drive away in Woodmansterne.

The smell of essential oils instantly transported me into a sense of calm and tranquility alongside a warm welcome from Christine who took me into the warm studio at the rear of the salon. The room which glistened with the spring sunshine and candles was spacious and filled with the aroma of geranium, lavender and burning sage.

Attendeees had a chance to enjoy a tea or coffee before the retreat began and gave us all a chance to meet each other and familiarise ourselves with our surroundings.

After Christine introduced herself and the fellow therapists we began with a seated meditation to allow us to be rid of any stress or anxiety and helped us all to relax in preparation of the retreat.  We were all given our own individual itinerary which included the following items:

Facial Reflexology with Sarah Taylor from SCT Reflexology:
Sarah Taylor has 10 years experience of practicing reflexology and has the most fantastic touch, the treatment was absolutely incredible, Sarah carried out a light cleanse to remove any impurities and applied a beautiful geranium oil from local business Just Be Natural (who was also at the retreat).

I was instantly relaxed and could feel my circulation being boosted with the gentle movements.
My skin was glowing after the treatment to the point that the other attendees noticed how refreshed I looked afterwards!

Arm and Hand Aromatic Massage with Louisa Pini from Just Be Natural:
As well as being an amazing aromatherapist, Louisa Pini now creates her own unique aromatherapy products which she uses in her fantastic treatments.
At the beginning of the treatment Louisa asked what blend I would like, I opted for Lavender oil (the lavender being sourced locally from Carshalton Lavender fields)
The smell was amazing and transported me to another dimension!
Louisa noticed my circulation was not great so she worked on my fingers and hands easing any tension or pains with her unique massage technique.
It was heaven!

Candle Gazing:
Candle gazing is a meditation practice which involves you to focus on the candle and flame. This is a great way to practice mindfulness and meditation and also improves concentration and clarity.
I found it very effective in helping me to divert my worries and help with relaxation.

Christine created a space for us to practice the art of journaling.  Journaling is a great way of releasing any worries, emotions or feelings onto paper.  It can be a helpful tool for planning forward or to set intentions for the day ahead.
After having time set aside to journal I felt less heavy and looked at any worries I had in a more logical way. It was a very cathartic experience.

Reiki Session with Christine Michelle Murray:
Christine offers a myriad of different complementary therapies, one of them being Reiki.
Reiki is a Japanese form of energy healing, which can help heal physical or emotional ailments.
The practitioner can carry out reiki using hands on or off technics meaning it can be done remotely if needed.
Christine applied gentle pressure to various points on my body and I felt an immediate sense of calm and warmth throughout my reiki session.

I find it hard to switch off and at the end of my session Christine noticed there was a lot of heat/energy around my head area, which explains a lot!  A truly beautiful experience.

Mindful Drink:
We often rush drinking and eating, not giving the art of either much thought.  Christine gave us an area to sit still and quietly for 15 minutes to enjoy a drink of our choice (not wine!)

I opted for a herbal tea which I drink routinely, however I was surprised at how it tasted differently when actually sitting and focussing on what I was consuming.  The flavours and the sensation of the hot tea going through my body was something I had never noticed before.

Christine explained, this technique can be used with food and applied to a weight management plan.
We often rush our food and as a result we don’t feel full after meaning we crave something else to eat. If we take the time to enjoy the taste and texture of our food we will feel more satisfied with what we’ve eaten.

After a morning of relaxation and mindfulness we were treated to a beautiful afternoon tea courtesy of another amazing local business, Tams Cakes and Cookies.  The food was beautifully presented and all freshly made, my particular favourite was the chocolate brownie which melted in the mouth. It really was a special treat and gave us all a chance to get to know each other more.

After our break for lunch Christine checked in on us and asked how we were all feeling. Obviously we were all extremely relaxed and refreshed!  The afternoon consisted of group activities which included:

EFT: Tapping Therapy with Christine Murray
Emotional freedom technique (EFT) is a complimentary treatment for physical pain and emotional issues such as anxiety or stress.  It can also be referred to tapping or psychological acupressure.
Tapping works alongside the meridian lines of your body and helps tremendously both adults and children.
Christine guided us through the technique by telling us to bend and reach our toes and to notice the point of resistance.
We then carried out a sequence of tapping movements along the different points of the body using affirmations whilst tapping.
After the end of the session we all bent over to see how far we could reach our toes and we were all amazed that we could stretch further than before, showing the effect of EFT on our physical and mental being.
A real eye opener!

Seated Yoga with Kalli Pasqualucci from This Little Yogini:
The lovely Kalli Pasqualucci from This Little Yogini carried out a seated yoga class.
Throughout the class she guided us through a meditation which made me feel extremely sleepy and relaxed.
Then we all continued with our yoga practice, seated yoga is an amazing alternative to conventional yoga and meditation practice and ideal if at a desk or immobile.
The various poses helped realign our bodies and help stretch out any aches and pains, I was surprised at how effective it was especially having practiced yoga throughout the last 10 years.
We ended with a savassna meditation at the end of the session which again sent me into a deep state if relaxation!

Chakra Realignment with Christine Murray:
We finished off the day with chakra alignment, another amazing treatment that Christine offers.
Chakra Balancing is a form of energy healing that focuses on the channelling of energy into our seven chakras.
Our body is made up of 7 chakras:
The Spine: The Root Chakra
The Navel: The Sacral Chakra
The Upper Abdomen: The Solar Plexus Chakra
The Heart: The Heart Chakra
The Throat: The Throat Chakra
The Brow/Forehead: The Third Eye Chakra
The Head: The Crown Chakra
Each of these points have a colour associated with them which can be seen during meditation or reiki and can indicate there is a physical/emotional connection or potentially a concern in those areas.
During the rebalancing session Christine guides us through a type of meditation which helps to realign the body physically and emotionally leaving you grounded and ready for the outside world (in my case the school pick up!)
This was the ideal finish to a wonderful and enlightening day!

I would thoroughly recommend this beautiful wellness retreat to anyone who is feeling stressed, struggling to sleep or just needs a little me time.  I truly felt like I had been on a mini spa break after this lovely day and Christine and the therapists were all so knowledgeable and amazing within their expertise.
As an added bonus we all received an amazing gift bag with vouchers, products and information pamphlets to enjoy at home including essential oils, candles and a chakra bracelet consisting of specific crystals relating to the 7 chakras.
This was the cherry on the cake and added such a special touch to the day.

The next wellness retreat is:
26th April
Essence Beauty Salon and Wellness Centre,
Woodmansterne Street,

For more information on the retreat contact Christine Michelle Murray on:
Tel: 07840240454

Bookings can be made here.


Kat xx

Kat Heath
Kat Heath is a qualified beauty therapist and a mum of two boys, Harry and Elliott.

Kat also has been a marketing ambassador and blogger for many on-line mummy sites as well as working as a therapist for Decleor, Clarins and Guinot within Selfridges, Peter Jones and John Lewis.

Her passions are fashion, interiors, wellbeing and food!

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