I went to Middle Piccadilly at the weekend. It’s a place that’s been floating around my aura for decades. One of the old school retreat places. I’ve always wanted to go but somehow never did. When I had the dosh, I didn’t have the time and when I had the time, I didn’t have the dosh. Anyhow…I was asked to review it, so off I went.
It’s a curious place – not quite the serene middle-of-nowhere spa I’d expected. To be honest, it’s caught in a bit of a time-warp – part seventies hippyshake, part eighties pinefest. I itched to give it a makeover, to pull out a powerhose and to fill a few skips. The raw food was amazing though (that might merit an entire separate post, come to nibble it) but what really blew me sideways were the treatments.
Now then. Some (good) places have one or two amazing therapists. Most have okay ones. And some (often the big anonymous hotel spas and day spas) have pretty mediocre ones. You know the type I mean –their hands might be busy on your body but their minds are necking cider or having a snog with someone else’s boyfriend. Anyhow, I think MP has bagged an almost rudely unfair share of the seriously awesome ones.
I had been prescribed three sessions by co-owner Lisa and first up was one of the best therapeutic massages I’ve had – serious deep fascial work, delving down into pressure points, hitting the ‘ouch’ button (in a good way). Angela read my body like an orienteerer and went for the icky bits like an All Black making a dump tackle. Then, while my physical body was still sighing with relief, caught quite unawares, I had my energy body opened up by Claire. While Angela was all no-nonsense, down-to-earth and practical, Claire was an earth mother, soothing, nourishing, comforting and…so tender. She performed a lovely chakra-balancing nurturing treatment called Hand on Heart (using organic products from the fabulous Cornish company Spiezia. Check them out, I’d forgotten how good they are).
‘So, what’s the verdict?’ I asked at the end.
‘Your feminine side is very depleted,’ she said. I nodded. That made sense.
‘Your throat is closed. I wonder what it is you’re not saying?’ I remained silent. J
‘Your heart and solar plexus are out of sync. Oh, and your crown is fuzzy.’
‘Right. So basically, the only bits that are okay are my bottom bits and my third eye?’
‘Pretty much.’ And she shhhed me and took me next door to my bedroom and wrapped me up in bed with a mug of chamomile tea. ‘Rest.’
And I did. I slept. And slept.
But really, these were just the (very fine) support acts for my final treatment, a shamanic healing session with the wonderfully named Maya. Now, I’ve done a fair amount of shamanism in the past – I’ve had healing sessions and I’ve done workshops and trainings. So I thought I knew what was coming. Wrong.
I’ve often wondered about my shamanic experiences. They’ve been powerful but cerebral somehow. Just more mind games? Just vivid imagination? Sometimes it feels that way. So I went into the session feeling, not sceptical but without huge expectations.
But the sage smudge was heady and the drum beat was soft, rhythmic, mesmerising. Maya called up guardians, spirits, call them what you will, to guard the space and I waited, my energy body tingling with anticipation. As she took me down the tunnel to the lower world I felt my third eye convulse. I strained for ‘seeing’ but Maya caught the trick. ‘Not in your head,’ she said. ‘Feel it in your body. Feel where you’re holding.’
My hands crept to my solar plexus. I couldn’t deny the feeling – as if I had a huge stone lodged in my belly.
‘Go inside it,’ she said. ‘What do you see?’
It was a large space, like the inside of a vast yurt, a domed ceiling, a floor made of dry compacted earth, the air thick with dust.
‘Is anyone there?’
‘No. I’m alone.’
And the ceiling began to crack, like an egg, and the floor started to crumble away and pinpricks of light appeared and I was caught in the dance of stars. The entire universe inside my belly and me twirling and tumbling like an acrobat.
‘Now blow it all out into the fire beneath your feet,’ said Maya. And I panted out the stone, my body convulsing like I was giving birth to a black hole. And it moved, from my solar plexus to my womb and a wave of regret swept over me, for the neglect of my feminine (both earthly and divine), and I wept, big heaving sobs, tears streaming down my face. And then it went altogether, leaving a lightness in my body, a space.
And other things happened (she removed bits I didn’t need and put back bits I’d lost, some made perfect sense and others were well weird), but I think I’m stretching you too far anyhow, already. You’ll either roll your eyes and go ‘yeah yeah’ and move on (and I wouldn’t remotely blame you), or you’ll go ‘Yeah’ in which case I’d say, go, go… try it yourself. J