Stress. It’s everywhere. It’s there when your alarm clock fails to wake you up in the morning, making you late for your morning meeting. It’s there when your heel breaks, tights tear and hair flops all in one day. It’s there when you’re lying awake at 3am, wondering if you’re the world’s worst partner/parent/dog-owner because you screamed at them for making the tiniest mess in the kitchen.
According to experts, by 2020, the top four diseases in the UK will be stress-related. Not only will it be affecting our mood and stomping all over our wellbeing, it will be directly affecting our physical health, contributing to all kinds of nasty things, from asthma and diabetes, to heart problems and Alzheimer’s disease.
So how do we help tackle it? Well, it seems that the lovely people at Neom Organics know where to start – and that’s some good old fashioned pampering in the form of four brand new spa treatments, all designed to kick stress where it hurts and provide long-lasting benefits for the mind, body and soul.
Masterminded by the brand’s team of dedicated wellbeing experts, the treatments aim to help with four key areas that many of us struggle with: sleep, energy levels, mood and, of course, stress. Available for either 60 or 90 minutes, they also include six of the most effective therapies to help calm the senses, including meditation, shiatsu and reflexology.
Rockliffe Hall Spa is one of the only North East retreats to offer all four and, one dull and drizzly Tuesday afternoon, that’s exactly where we found ourselves, ready and willing to free our minds of thoughts of deadlines and social commitments, and embark on our very own stress-busting journey.
The experience begins with Neom’s 10-second ‘Science of Scent’ test, which basically involves you gently inhaling four, specially-chosen essential oils to determine which treatment will suit you best (apparently your body knows best). Unsurprisingly, ours decides that we should go down the ‘De-stress’ route – and we’re more than happy to oblige.
Guided meditation begins soon after, as a few drops of Neom’s ‘Scent to Instantly De-stress’ oil is wafted underneath your nose and pressed into the skin around the temples, hairline and jaw. The therapist’s soothing instructions and the therapeutic smell of fresh lavender and rosewood are a winning combination: give it 15 minutes and you’ll find yourself being lulled into a heavenly, semi-sedated state.
The remainder of the treatment is devoted entirely to massage, from your tiptoes to the top of your head. The best part is that, rather than traditional massage oil, the therapist uses something far more potent and luxurious – a generous drizzle of warm candle oil.
Created by Neom’s Intensive Skin Treatment Candle (have a good sniff next time you’re in the spa’s charming shop – it’s divine), the oil, which is thicker in texture and infused with yet more essential oil goodness, melts into the skin in seconds, creating a silky smooth canvas for the therapist to work on.
After discussing any problem areas and how you like your pressure (firm for us), the therapist begins limb by limb; first at the ankles, before gliding up and down the calves and back, then switching to the arms, hands and between the fingers.
The rhythmic motion is spot on throughout – the kind that gently rocks you to sleep on the table. Sore spots are also addressed with gusto – just what we like. Tight knots around our shoulder blades are kneaded away with fists and knuckles, while any tension in our neck is soon banished thanks to firm palms and fingertips.
Things come to an end with a delicate head and face massage, during which all crucial trigger points are given some TLC. Expect plenty of pitter-patter movements to energise fatigued face muscles and spine-tingling strokes around the crown of the head, before you’re left to zone out and enjoy countless minutes of solitude and clear headspace, while cocooned in fluffy, heated towels. So blissful, you’ll forget what stress feels like.
Neom De-stress 60-minute treatment, £90. To book, call Rockliffe Spa on 01325 729999 or visit rockliffehall.com