CRiL Reviews: massage therapy with Sarah Jane Watson

From the moment we are born & experience the loving touch of our mother, massage becomes an important part of our wellness ritual. Whether it is a light touch or deep muscle therapy, our bodies respond in kind to it and the effect can never be under-estimated, whether you are a mere mortal or an Olympic athlete. Even giving yourself a massage in the morning with the help of a loofah or a dry brush the skin in the morning or ‘dust yourself off’ in the evening, as you meditate or get ready to settle into the cosily welcoming bed, massage does you a world of good. When a professional gives you a massage, it takes the effect to a different level. Sarah Jane Watson, welcome to the spotlight.

Sarah Jane & I have known each other for a few years, united by our love of dance, yoga, natural beauty & perfumery among other things. Sarah has been really supportive of my work and while I knew that she was a massage therapist, among her other talents & passions, I never felt inclined to ask to put her massage skills ‘to the test’. Innately though, one must trust the energy that surrounds us, as Sarah Jane extended her kind offer of a full body massage at a time which couldn’t have been more perfect – I was close to running on empty, tired, grumpy & really needing one, yet not finding the time to actually book myself in.

Normally Sarah Jane visits her clients in the privacy of their homes or hotel rooms, when they fly to London for work, but on this occasion she invited me into the privacy of her own home. I arrived slightly apprehensive, as the workmen were fevereshly drilling the road outside and I could see from the look on Sarah Jane’s face, when she opened the door, that she had the same thought on her mind too.

Without revealing much about Sarah Jane’s personal space, let me say that many spas should take note of the perfect ambiance that greeted me. Sunshine flooded through the large windows, the room, where the treatment were to take place, as well as the bathroom were preteen. The whole space breathed calm, as Saran Jane does on most occasions that I see her in person. We had a quick chat, I changed into an impeccably white terrycloth robe, marvelling at the tranquility of the room and the beautiful touches, like small vases of pretty spring flowers dotted on the side table. I told Sarah Jane that I liked firm massage and flopped myself on the massage table, head down. What followed was the most blissful massage I had in a very long time. A massage that was administered with knowledge, calm & deeply professional care for the wellness of the client, lying on the massage table.

As the noise outside stopped abruptly, so did the tension that I have accumulated in my body. Sarah Jane started with gently rolling me back and forth on the table, before pausing, mixing the oils and starting the work from the bottom of my feet. Her hands are strong & knowledgable, easing the tension away from the body. In a way, after twenty odd years of massaging, Sarah Jane’s work has become deeply intuitive, as she works alongside the natural flow, rhythm & energy. No small part escapes her attention – the soles of the feet get as much attention, as do ankles, knees or the top of your head. As Sarah Jane’s hands work, you start breathing deeper and feeling like contentment is seeping back in to your body. Within a quarter of an hour or so, I felt like a cat on a warm tin roof, luxuriating in the precious time that unexpectedly got allocated for ‘me-time’. Sarah Jane is a deeply caring but somewhat reserved person, with an air of Buddha-like tranquility about her, and in her work every detail of the treatment is important, from the comfort of the couch to the quality and strength of touch. At any moment in time, from the moment you meet her, she makes sure you are the centre of her universe for the ninety minutes allocated to her treatment. Yet her work is clearly guided not just by her inner perfectionism and knowledge, but by vast experience & intuition, that play a significant part.

Every move is as natural, as it is perfected by practise & intuitive understanding of body’s physique & needs

Some of Sarah Jane’s massage moves were new to me, as at times I felt like a pelican flapping my arms, like he would do his wings, gazing at the sunset before a deserted lake. At times I also caught myself thinking that the serenity & calm that Sarah Jane imparts through her work and her hands on the body is better than many of my past experience at various spas around the world, where treatments on occasion can be too short, too rushed or somewhat uncomfortable, making me feel frustrated, rather that relaxed. After all, even an hour, let alone half-a-day or weekend away at the spa always makes us feel pampered and dreamy in our heads, but real life not always lives up to our expectations.

Even the little touches, like the warmth of the treatment bed, the softness of the towels or the discreet way that they are positioned, when you move or turn around, compliment or take away from the overall experience. Sarah Jane has perfected this art form from every angle you care to examine it. There is focus & discipline that are ingrained in Sarah Jane through her dedication to dance and in a way it only enhances her work. Her fingers are nimble, her movement on her feet barely audible. Her uniform of white trousers and tee are pristinely white, but there is more to her & her treatment that initially meets the eye or is felt by your body.

‘When we are connected to the universal energy, everything just flows’

Sarah Jane is modest & she does’t like labels when it comes to her massage treatment. Yet, when she finished my treatment and misted the air surrounding me, I couldn’t contain myself and blurted out: ‘ You do healing work, don’t you?’ As Sarah Jane looked calmly at me, I proceeded to tell her that I saw magnificent colour explosions in my mind and while it might sound ‘new age’ to you, that’s not the first time I experienced this in treatments, but colours were very vivid this time. Sarah Jane replied that she doesn’t like to narrow down her wok, preferring instead the customer be the guide, letting her know what their body needs energetically in the moment in time. This humble simplicity says a lot about Sarah Jane, who is not living her life driven by ego, as many beauty therapists are. Instead, she continues to explore different modalities & evolve as a person, bringing all this experience of a combination of dance, art, yoga, massage therapies, meditation & aromatherapy ( Sarah Jane uses oils & products created by well-known aromatherapist Michelle Roques-O’Neil, founder of Therapie and the talents of those two talented women work in perfect synergy, enhancing the effect of the treatment that you are experiencing) into your body massage. One truly needs to experience it in order to comprehend the perfectly simple, yet very sophisticated discipline Sarah Jane’s Massage really is.

I left Sarah Jane’s home calmer & more content, feeling reflective & grounded, as the day stretched ahead. The feeling of calm surrounded me like a cloak through the rest of the day & my energy, which normally flags down after lunchtime, was nicely steady, even though I didn’t drink enough water that day, after the massage, as I should. Being in the care of Sarah Jane’s therapeutic hands I got reminded how important massage is for our wellbeing & how vital it is to integrate it into our regular body care routine. It also helps to remember that when we look after our bodies, it pays us back in kind.

To find out more about Sarah Jane qualifications or book a treatment, please click here

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