Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Holistic Happiness: a different take on massage therapy

Most of us dread a visit to the dentist. In fact, some of the last words that come to mind are words like “happiness” and “holistic well-being”. Yet, there’s a dental practice on the Wandsworth Bridge Road which offers exactly that. Karma Dental has been around for the past 20 years, but more recently has branched out to offer holistic well-being treatments too. And we reckon they’re on to a winner.

Ellie Blair is a massage therapist who places the emphasis on therapy. She is a passionate advocate of holistic medicine who firmly believes all her treatments should benefit mind and spirit as well as your body. Having studied various alternative therapies for the past 20 years, progressing from Reiki through to massage therapy and specialised Ayurvedic treatments more recently, Ellie has a keen sense of spirituality that manifest itself in a warm enthusiasm for her work and her patients. Not being a particularly ‘spiritual’ person myself (those that know me would say that’s probably an understatement), I didn’t find Ellie at all “hippy” and all you need to derive maximum benefit is to keep an open mind as the massages do vary slightly from the traditional model. For example, the full body treatment is less focussed on removing knots and more on deriving a holistic balance so the pressure may not be what you are used to. All treatments are started with a 10-15 minute consultation so that Ellie can tailor the procedure to you and make sure she can best meet your expectations.

In a sweet little treatment room on the top floor of Karma’s Wandsworth Bridge Road practice, Sarah and I sampled a full body massage as well as an Ayurvedic leg and foot massage known as Kansa Vatki. Both were incredibly relaxing and for those of you who take an interest, Ellie has both a fascinating story and a vast amount of knowledge about the different treatment philosophies she practices. During my Ayurvedic treatment, she explained why she performs much of the procedure with a small metal dome moulded from copper, zinc and lead. Copper is known for its joint healing properties, and is often used to treat arthritis, where as zinc is beneficial for circulation and tin aids digestion. She also showed me how the nerve endings in your feet essentially provide a map for the rest of your body, and that by stimulating different parts of my soles she was able to treat different areas of my body. After my treatment I certainly felt that my whole body had been affected, and that 5 minutes of head massage at the end definitely ensures full head-to-tea benefits. Ellie says her childhood friends always used to comment on what warm hands she had - they were obviously made that way for a purpose!

Ellie is currently planning her memoirs, so I won’t spoil too much of her life story, suffice to say her outlook to life is pretty inspirational. She believes in constant and positive change and growth, and in her 40s took the incredibly brave step of packing up her flat in London and moving alone to the mountains of New Mexico to work with some of the tribal leaders , and she stayed for 12 years. She still trains to broaden her repertoire of alternative therapies (next up is an Indian abdominal massage treatment) and recently has started writing for UK-wide magazine Kindred Spirit. As she grows older she still believes the best of life remains in store for her, which is an attitude I find very impressive especially when I think of how many friends I have in their twenties who already think it’s too late for a career change/new boyfriend/to move abroad.

If you’d like to sample some of Ellie’s holistic magic for yourself, we’ve teamed up with Karma Wellbeing to offer SouthWestSix readers 50% off a Swedish Massage treatment (usually £50) at their Wandsworth Bridge Road treatment rooms. All you need to do is contact them at and quote ‘SouthWestSix’ when you make your booking. The offer is valid until March 20th 2012 and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

We’d love it if you’d let us know how you found it by leaving a message in the Comments box!

Karma Dental Care
144 Wandsworth Bridge Road
London SW6 4UH

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