I’ve often spent time musing where beauty fits in, in the world of health and wellbeing. Is it an industry that taps into our insecurities and judges us for how we look on the outside? Or is there a place we can go or an approach we can take that enables us to receive just as much nurturing on the inside as well?
People generally feel good if they are pleased with how they look, and makeup is something that many women use to achieve that. Does makeup reflect our society’s need to ‘cover-up’ and hide who we really are or is it a way to be creative and express ourselves – if you like to use makeup, which is it for you?
There is a wonderful page on Wikipedia about the history of cosmetics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_cosmetics) where they describe cosmetic body art as “the earliest form of ritual in human culture, dating over 100,000 years ago from the African Middle Stone Age”.
So if there’s evidence that body art used to fulfill an ancient, tribal need then maybe we’ve just lost our direction with how we can use it along the way.
So, if you are thinking about finding a spa or beauty clinic that offers treatments with integrity, why not shop around before you book? See what you can discover about the intention behind each of the treatments you are interested in – and make your booking once you have a sense of the ‘vision’ of the place you choose.
Katie Hill is someone that knows a lot about the world of beauty – she owns a day Spa ‘Totality’ (http://www.totalitydayspa.co.uk), which has its tenth birthday this year and co-owns ‘The Clinic’(http://www.the-clinic.org.uk) with Janet Miller (both in Tring, Hertfordshire).
Katie sees the beauty treatments she offers as a great way of bringing healing and love to a large number of people in the community. Beauty is a safe, accessible and, dare I say it, mainstream way to reach out to people – all of which serve Katie’s purpose – she can reach an audience that is far wider than most other alternative health practitioners and offers the possibility of something far more than ‘just a beauty treatment’ when her clients step through her door.
Katie says, “The starting point of Totality was to bring healing into the mainstream. We offer a wide variety of options, from beauty to spa treatments, but they all started with the same idea – to give love and nurturing to anyone who comes to see us. We also try to lead by example – we don’t offer coffee, just herbal tea or water. We don’t have loud music playing, we use healing relaxation CD’s. We also have educational and informative magazines available for our clients such as ‘Paradigm Shift’, ‘What The Doctor’s Don’t Tell You’ or a yoga magazine – maybe someone will read an article that resonates with them and it will start a shift, it changes something in them and they want to know more.”
One of the most beautiful, nurturing treatments that she offers at Totality is the “Signature Spa Ritual”.
Katie says “This really is a mini-ceremony. We take the clients to the peaceful spa room and offer them herbal tea. We then rub Himalayan salt into the feet and legs and on one of the warm beds we give them a nurturing massage which helps the salt remove dead skin and toxins. We then use beautiful oils on their face – it is such a cleansing, invigorating ritual – one that everyone who experiences it absolutely loves.”
Katie also makes great efforts to work alongside fellow holistic associates in her area and will refer her clients on for treatments that will continue to support their wellbeing (e.g. to yoga teachers, homeopaths, kinesiologists). She also sends out newsletters, not only to promote her own work, but also the world of holistic healing in general.
It is inspiring to see that Katie is bringing the two worlds together. If you know anyone else that is also working in this way please do leave a comment below – it’d be great to hear about them . How we look and feel about ourselves can be such a minefield if we look externally for approval, but if we turn our focus inside and ask what is right for us, then it can really start to change how we feel.
And whether our choice is to make our nails look beautiful, have a spa day or to go to a yoga class to stand on our heads then that is really up to each of us to decide! Following what feels right on the inside always ends up reflecting on our outside!
Photo credit: Omo tribal member by Hans Silvester/Photo credit: Zenspa1 / Foter / CC BY