When faced with a spa treatment menu it's easy to opt for a massage or facial. Taking the leap into complementary therapies can be intimidating, but it is well worth it. Tibetan Sound Massage blends a traditional spa treatment with principles from Ky Nyu, an ancient medical system, and will really help you relax and switch off. To find out more, The Good Spa Guide talked to Karen Jennings, treatment co-ordinator at Rockliffe Hall.
What is a Tibetan Sound Massage?
Tibetan Sound Massage is a 90 minute treatment that works on a physical, mental and spiritual level. It takes inspiration from Ku Nye and Tibetan medicine and uses traditional Ayurvedic healing, Buddhist philosophy and plant therapy.
Ku means ‘apply’ or ‘butter’ and is the application of therapeutic oils and butters to the entire body.
Nye is the physical massage, which includes different techniques such as kneading, friction and pressure along the muscles. It also uses finger pressures along specific acupressure points that are related to the function of the urinary system, reproductive system, bones, teeth and hair.
What will happen during the treatment?
At the beginning of the treatment, three singing bowls are struck individually with a soft mallet and are allowed to ring until the harmonic sound completely dissipates. The client then inhales Comfort Zone oriental blend oils while taking a series of slow, deep breathes. After this, the massage therapist applies pressure to points on the feet, hands and head.
Next is the buttering (or Ku) phase. The massage therapist starts by cleansing the face and then ‘pushing’ the Sacred Nature massage cream into the face with slow firm strokes. The buttering then continues onto the rest of the body, pushing the cream into the skin with a firm pushing-pulling motion. When the whole body has been buttered, warm towels are placed on the back of the legs with hot stones placed on top. A warm towel is then placed on the clients back and excess cream is removed before the massage therapy begins.
The Nye phase starts on the back of the body and uses deep pressure and lymphatic drainage techniques to massage the muscles. The body is melted and moulded into a state of deep relaxation.
To finish the treatment the singing bowls are placed on to the client’s back and are struck in turn. It is thought that the vibrational energy from the bowls travels into the client's cells to remove blockages and energise chakras, promoting self-healing and balancing the nervous system.
What is sound therapy good for?
The Tibetan Sound Massage is great for people who are particularly stressed or worried. Many people say that they feel a release from deep-seated emotional pain after the treatment. The treatment also encourages a good night’s sleep.
Physically it can release tension, alleviate muscular aches and pains and increase energy levels. The massage is also thought to eliminate toxins that are stored in the body.
Tibetan singing bowls are considered to be a symbol of healing. The sound vibration caused when the bowls are struck travels through the body and it is believed that this has an effect on all cells within the body, causing them to vibrate faster.
What to expect from the Tibetan Sound Massage
People react differently to the treatment. Some fall asleep during the treatment, some feel wide awake and some feel like they have drifted off to a new level! Different essential oil blends used in the treatment can affect how clients react. Rockliffe uses the Oriental blend (using Jasmine and Ylang Ylang) to relax and calm the mind and body, and the Indian blend (black pepper and cardamom) to uplift and invigorate.
Before you go
It’s a great idea to use the salt room before your treatment as it can help with skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. It can also help respiratory problems because of the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in salt.
The treatment isn’t a deep tissue massage so it won’t work on knots in your back, but it can really help you switch off and relieve tension in your muscles. It will take you to a level of relaxation that will feel positively blissful.