Right, I know this sounds like an odd starting point on a quest for physical and spiritual well being, but last week I watched Jodie Kidd's documentary Crystal Therapy - I Believe in Miracles and it really intrigued me. Crystals are so beautiful to look at, and I think the idea of them really brought me back to my childhood. Jodie suffers from anxiety and panic attacks and the crystals and the therapy really helped her cope and re-centre herself. Now I wouldn't say I have anxiety, but I am a worrier and if I feel I haven't achieved enough in a day then sometimes I can get quite stressed out.
Aged 6 I loved anything pretty and shiny, and I remember on trips to the seaside I would pick up any colourful and shiny pebbles from the beach and bring them to my dad and he would tell me what they were... that's amethyst, that ones quartz. I can't say that I have thought much about them in-between then and now. My fascination with pretty crystals, like the habit of always wanting to wear red shoes, and only wearing dresses that lifted up when I spun around; I thankfully left in my childhood, where they belong.
This weekend however, when I was feeling particularly stressed, quite lacking in motivation and in serious need of a lift, my mind wandered back to the documentary. I did a little google research to see where I could go locally that would provide something similar. I hit upon Equilibrium complimentary therapies and opted for a crystal wand massage.
Diane the owner runs Equilibrium from a small room in her immaculate house. I have had massages before, granted not in the UK, but on my travels in Thailand, and I found they relaxed me and released tension from my muscles but they didn't lift my mood or have much of a lasting relaxing effect once I'd got off the massage table/grubby mattress/plastic chair. However, this small room for me was complete bliss, a total escape from the world outside.
The wands were heated slightly to take the edge off their normally cold temperature and used as massage tools - like the Jaguar to the Volvo of body shops wooden massage rollers- the spherical ends for firm use on knotted muscles and the pointed end for work on pressure points. If you believe in the other stuff, the crystals draw negative energy out of the body with the ball end of the wand and can transfer positive energy into the body with the sharp end.
It was a really chilled out massage and for the rest of the day I felt almost sedated I was that mellow. The nearest experience I can offer in comparison would be... accidentally eating space cakes, but minus the low level paranoia.
I can't say I got a caffeine type energy kick that I expected, but I did feel I had a balance and a contentment that I didn't have before. I have felt less stressed, less inclined to worry about things and generally more able to take a calm approach to everyday life since he massage. Now, whether that was because of a really good massage, or if it was the benefits of the positive energy from the crystals, who can say.