Now that we’re well into 2016, I’ve been working on a few new challenges and goals for the year. Last year I tried out meditation (check out the fabulous Headspace app) and lying on my Yantra Mat as ways to relax and clear my mind, as my brain seems to constantly go at 100 miles an hour. I hold a lot of tension and stress in my shoulders and, with work getting super busy late last year, I could feel my neck and shoulders needing some attention.

Last year I attended a gala for Awaken Holistic* and supported their new wellness centre by purchasing treatments in their silent auction. Although the centre isn’t open yet, the team at Awaken offered to provide services either at my home or at their current locations. Perusing their website, there are a lot of different treatment options, such as chiropractic, massage, physiotherapy, spiritual and energy healing and coaching, plus a range of classes like yoga, fitness and meditation when the centre opens.

My first session took place this week and was an Indian Head Massage with Lis Kunzi. Lis learned the technique over 17 years ago in South Africa from a traditional master. I’ve had a couple of Indian Head Massages in the past but this one was unique as it was both invigorating as well as relaxing.

Here is the description of Indian Head Massage on the Awaken website: “Indian Head Massage is a very relaxing treatment relieving stress, tension and stiffness where it most commonly accumulates. This massage is preformed with the client sitting in a low backed chair, fully clothed and thus can be practiced virtually anywhere. The treatment lasts 30 min. Indian Head Massage utilizes Marmas which are acupressure points located on the head, neck, shoulders, arms, and face to stimulate blood circulation, rid the body of toxins, re-balance energy and release blockages. This massage also promotes deeper breathing, shiny healthy hair and provides the brain with oxygen rich blood. This in turn improves your concentration, productivity and memory.”

Lis describes her technique as very “hands on” in comparison to other practitioners here in Calgary. After completing some paperwork, my session started with some deep breaths, head movements to loosen up and then pretty firm manipulation of the neck, shoulders, back and upper arms. There were various massage techniques such as kneading, pinching & pummeling. There were also a few breathing exercises designed to get the breath going lower in the body – great for singers like me! Lis then moved onto my head and really stimulated my scalp by tugging clumps of hair and then firmly rubbing the scalp before moving onto more relaxing massaging and pressure point activation of the head and face. The entire session took place fully clothed and I was sat up in a chair with a small stool under my feet.

The 30 minute treatment flew by and Lis agreed that I have considerable tension in my shoulders and suggested a reflexology and/or massage to further tackle that problem area. Soon I was bounding out the door feeling both invigorated and calm. I’m really looking forward to also having a reflexology session with Lis in the near future.

I wish I had taken a picture of my crazy hair after the treatment to show you what I looked like afterwards!


*Full disclosure that the founder of Awaken Holistic is a friend of mine and the Awaken team asked that I write about my treatments on this blog