Friday, 11 September 2009

Wellbeing at The Royal Day Spa

Breathing in the sweet smell of tranquillity as I walk into the Royal Day in Tunbridge Wells, I am overwhelmed by the immediate feeling of calm. Greeted by two immaculate therapists and handed a pair of ‘indoor flip-flops,’ I know I am about to be transported to a world of absolute serenity.
White walls, slate and ivory tiles paving the way to paradise and discreet low lighting, set the scene of this once Victorian Sorting Office. Owner Shelly has transformed the shabby, decrepit building and transformed it into an open plan haven, with nooks and crannies leading off the trail waiting to be discovered. I have reviewed a vast number of spas over the years and am yet to find a spa in the South East that offers such a perfect, dedicated package. From the minute you enter, you are blown away by the sheer dedication that has gone into creating a space that is not only perfect for dead-on-their-feet commuters who favour the historic spa town, but for expectant mother’s, hen-parties and often clients who have a vast array of conditions, searching for the cure in alternative therapy.
I am one such explorer, having suffered from a bereavement earlier in the year and dealing with hereditary condition Ehlers Danlos Syndrome* and arthritis, I was desperately seeking some sort of solace in a spa I know I can trust. I was not disappointed.
Meandering into the bedroom where I reclined on a Hagrid-sized Tempra mattress and sipped mint tea, I waited for my therapist to take me into one of the side rooms behind the enormous salt-water pool, hot tub infused with Moor Mud and Sauna and Steam rooms.
Every room is decorated in an Eastern theme and as Senior Therapist and Spa Manager Hayley guides me in, she asks me a series of questions about my health and wellbeing. As Hayley begins the treatment, I am swept into such a relaxed state, I am surprised when she wakes me up to turn over – an hour of bliss has already passed!
Hayley, a trained Reiki master confides that
she would like to change my treatment and focus on a particular area for the last hour and half of my treatment. Although surprised, I trust her implicitly and ask her why she feels such a strong need to change my treatment.
I am told, quite honestly, that I have a huge black cloud of angst held in my stomach – so much so that she feels compelled to start eradicating the trouble, stress and worry from me immediately.
She gets to work, using a practiced Reiki treatment, whereby she kneads the bad energy out via my colon, focusing on incoming energy, present energy outgoing energy. Hayley tells me very seriously that I am holding onto a lot of baggage and that this distress is having a detrimental affect on my life.
I feel the need to cry and confess all of my worries to this lovely girl, but hold back and nod obediently. She proceeds to pummel my stomach with such force that I was having to breathe through the pain. When I say pain, I mean a force that I am obviously not used to on my tummy – in a weird way it felt so cathartic and I enjoyed the feeling of her pressure on my depressed little tummy. As she worked her magic, she explained that we store our emotions in our stomach and that she was getting such strong negative waves from me, it was all she could do not to flip me over and start on my stomach as soon as I walked into the room. Her explanation led to the ‘bad’ energy I was storing in my ‘present’ place. I had not got over recent, life changing events and these events had such a dramatic affect on me that I would be changed forever and it was this period of change that was causing me so many problems.
As the session began to draw to a close, Hayley recommended I start on a course of treatments and think about working on myself at home; perhaps even learning art of Reiki myself. She tells me as we part ways that she felt a lot of good energy coming my way and she felt sure that I would soon be in the right frame of mind to move on from my demons and fill my life with positive thoughts and outcomes.
I mull over her comments over a beautiful champagne lunch, complete with fresh salmon, pancetta, mozzarella, cous-cous and more and come to the conclusion that she is right.
Not having ventured near a swimming pool since 2005 (I hate, hate, hate them) I decided to take the plunge in the most flattering pool ever invented!
Black slate tiles, salt water and dimly lit, no one will see a) the lumps and bumps and b) that I cannot swim…but hey, that’s another story…
I can only describe the next few moments as…mmmmmmmm, ahhhhhhhhh
After ample time floating, ahem, swimming, I decided to venture into the Sauna. Another blissful experience that left me floating on cloud nine.
So, in light of these discoveries I will now be writing a weekly diary – highlighting my process with Reiki, the power of the mind, healing and how places like the Royal Day Spa can make you a better person.
For further information, contact
Royal Day Spa, Post Office Square
12 Vale Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1BP
01892 616191 or visit their beautiful website:

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