Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Healing Hands

Having attained my most recent achievement- a license to teach Zumba Toning- I rewarded myself with a trip to Flora’s Holistics yesterday.

 Over the weekend, I traveled to Dublin to train with the fabulous Vanessa Morris, a UK ZES (Zumba Education Specialist).  It was intense.  Zumba Fitness Instructors and personal trainers from all over Ireland gathered for this special event.  We engaged our minds and bodies in a rigorous course, which truly tested my endurance.  Every single muscle was sore afterward, but my mind was buzzing from all the information! 
Often my drive to succeed, as well as my racing thoughts, propel me at lightning speed through my days.  I can become so focused on projects and work that I ignore physical signs of exhaustion and stress.  Even when eczema, allergies, head colds, muscular stiffness, and fatigue alert me to a compromised immune system, I tune out these symptoms.  Though I’m trained as a holistic health practitioner, self-care isn’t always on the top of my list.  I’m great for advising others on this subject, but need to put my own words into action a bit more!

It felt great to give myself permission to switch off yesterday.  I had my first treatment at Flora Holistics, and can’t wait until the next time!  She offered a Bank Holiday Special, which included a herbal foot soak, holistic facial, and deep tissue massage at a great rate.

Walking into Flora’s dimly lit office, I instantly felt at ease.  It was warm and smelled of soothing essential oils.  The moment I sat down and placed my feet into a hot bath of fresh rosemary, lemon balm, and sage leaves, I started letting go of my tension.  

Since I’m a qualified massage therapist, I’m quite critical and do not always leave the table feeling satisfied.  On this occasion, I felt like I was in Heaven!  Flora has inherited her Dutch mother’s healing hands.  Their family has successfully run Hagal Health Farm for many years; it is a local gem, nestled in the Mealagh Valley of West Cork.  Flora’s new practice, however, is conveniently located in Cork City, near the Douglas Shopping Centre.

During my session, I lost all sense of time.  Flora kneaded the knots in my back, and it felt like she created space between my shoulder joints as I began to unwind.  I've been trying to improve my posture lately, and I'm sure my session helped.  Afterward I felt relief in my upper body and a greater range of motion.  By the time she reached my legs, I was in a deep state of relaxation.  I completely surrendered to her competent hands and allowed myself to be pampered.  

Flora uses the best ingredients.  My skin felt great when she applied an Ayurvedic Pukka face mask; plus the refreshing scent of Neroli oil was simply divine!  She sprayed a light  mist of floral water on my face, after she wiped the mask off, which tickled my senses.  Flora finished my session with a scalp massage, having first poured heated organic Coconut & Rosemary oil on my head.  My scalp is often dry, so I welcomed the soothing effect these oils provided.  Afterward I smelled good enough to eat!

The most difficult task was getting off the heated table when my treatment came to an end.  I actually felt a little wobbly when I stood up!  Clearly I’m not used to reaching such a deep state of relaxation...

If you are fortunate enough to live in Cork, I would highly recommend any of Flora’s treatments, which range from Holistic/ Deep Tissue Massage, Indian Head Massage, or Hot Stone Massage to facials, pedicures or manicures.  Flora (pictured left) also trained as a beauty therapist and offers waxing services as well.  To learn more, check out her Facebook page by clicking here.

Wherever you reside, you can avail of massage therapy.  Following are a list of benefits.  I hope you, too, will set aside some time to put yourself first.  You deserve it!

Physical Benefits:

  • Helps the flow of blood and lymph to eliminate toxins
  • Soothes nerves
  • Helps relieve musclular tension and stiffness
  • Provides greater joint flexibility and range of motion, reducing pain and swelling
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Firms the skin
  • Improves posture
  • Eliminates the waste products of nutrition and fatigue

Emotional/ Psychological Benefits:

  • Helps relieve stress and aids relaxation
  • Reduces levels of anxiety
  • Enhances attentiveness and ability to concentrate
  • Enhances capacity for calm thinking and creativity
  • Creates body awareness
  • Promotes a positive state of mind and sense of overall well being


  1. I've never had a positive experience with massage, but as I've read this I realized that maybe it's because I have never been to a massage therapist. I have only ever gone to the typical spa, etc. to have a massage done. I think I need to try this again with the right kind of person.

  2. That is such a shame! I hope you can find someone you click with. The turnover in spas is quick, and I think the quality of massage varies a lot in those settings. Finding the right therapist will make a huge difference, I promise! Also, massage schools often run clinics which charge a reduced rate, so students can get more practice before they graduate. That might be something worth checking out too! :)


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