I have always been interested in complementary therapy. There is something almost magical about the idea of boosting your energy-flow with Reiki or aligning your chakras (whatever they are) with crystal healing. But if you are anything like me, you might be wondering how it all works and what exactly is involved.
And so it is that on a rainy afternoon in October, I find myself in Annie Day’s kitchen, chatting over a cup of herbal (of course) tea and browsing through her vast selection of treatments.

Annie is a holistic therapist, which means that she treats the whole person, taking into account emotional and social factors, rather than just individual symptoms. And I can’t help thinking that the word ‘holistic’ can be applied to Annie’s lifestyle too. Looking round her kitchen, with its text books on an array of different therapies, her angel figurines and her inspirational posters, it is clear to me that, for Annie, her work and her home life are completely intertwined.

Another thing that strikes me about Annie is her vitality and infectious enthusiasm, which make her seem much younger than her 60 years. And perhaps it is this more than anything else that has inspired me to try some of her therapies.

Apart from the usual coughs and colds, I have never suffered much illness in my life. But like most people, I would welcome having a bit more energy, particularly as I run my own marketing consultancy. I notice as I’m browsing the leaflets about her services that the word ‘energy’ crops up quite a lot. From Egyptian Sekhem to Health Kinesiology, most treatments seem to help eliminate fatigue and contribute to optimum well-being. And then there are some slightly more unusual therapies such as seashell healing, which conjures up images of lying covered in seashells, and tree spirit healing, which conjures up images of hugging trees… I am intrigued but a bit too reserved to try that sort of thing just yet. No, what I need is something simple to start off with – a treatment that will be beneficial but that requires minimal input from me.

I continue my search through the leaflets. I read about reflexology and am briefly tempted by aromatherapy massage. But I have had a massage before, and I really want to try something new. And then I spot a leaflet about an Ionic Detox Foot Spa, which ‘draws toxins and impurities out of the body’ and ‘offers renewed energy and a general feeling of physical and mental well-being’. Perfect! All I need to do is put my feet in some saline solution for 30 minutes and Bob’s your uncle! I think I can handle that.
“Put me down for the foot spa,” I say decisively.

“Not the sex therapy then?” Annie jiggles with her trademark mischievous laughter, making her handmade gemstone bracelets rattle together.
Sex therapy is another of the many services in Annie’s portfolio. And although I know she’s only kidding, I briefly become a female version of a bumbling Hugh Grant character before setting wind chimes spinning in the garden on my way back out to my car.

So, my first treatment at Heaven Scent Bliss is all booked, and I will let you know how I got on in my next post. I catch myself smiling as I drive off. I am looking forward to this new voyage of discovery. And maybe it is just the twinkle in her eye, but, with Annie, you can’t help getting the impression that anything is possible…

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