Muddy tries Ayurvedic Shirodhara
I’m always amazed by the volume of beauty salons in each town around here – how do they all survive? I know a lot of it is customer service and loyalty, but wouldn’t it make it so much easier if they offered something properly unique?
Serendipity in Beaconsfield has no such issues. The salon opened last year and since then has been flying for, I think, two reasons. Firstly, it has the most lovely relaxed, calm, spacious feel to it. The main treatment room is beautifully appointed, and massive – they have clearly put wellbeing and relaxation well ahead of finances because if they were greedy there could have been three rooms here instead of one.
The other reason for its success is surely specialism in Ayurveda, the ancient holistic Indian system of medicine. Ayurveda means ‘the knowledge or science of life’ (since you asked!) and salon owner Teresa, massively into Ayurveda since it turned her health around years back, is passionate about using natural products and focusing on well-being rather than just beauty.
Now tis true, I am not a woman who doesn’t look deeply for self-knowledge or isn’t particularly careful about looking after the Muddy body. I do like to try a new treatment though (yeah I’m shallow, sue me). Serendipity is the only salon not only for miles around but also in the surrounding counties that performs Shirodhara, a deeply relaxing, 45 minute de-stressing treatment that starts with a back massage and then you lie face up while a warm stream of oil is rhythmically poured on your ‘third eye’ on your forehead to release tension and create an almost meditative experience.
I know you all think I waft around trying new treatments and scoffing pub lunches (um, well, OK, mea culpa) but with a lot of computer work, three kids and Muddy to run sometimes you know *sniff* I do get a bit tense and stressed so actually I was very curious to try the Shirodhara.
As you know I quite like to go to reviews and try treatments ‘blind’ so that I don’t make up my mind before I try them, and it was interesting that the back and head massage used a very different technique to what I’ve experienced before. Instead, the therapist went around anticlockwise in small movements to release tension from the chakras (I think!), and it felt really fantastic, perhaps helped by the fact that Sam, who was doing my treatment, has double jointed thumbs so is able to perform massage feats other therapists can only dream of.
After about 20 minutes, I turned over, and hauled myself higher up the treatment bed so that the oil could drip on my third eye and run down my hair into a receptacle underneath the table. Here I am pictured below, suddenly rather more attractive than usual and twenty years younger. The power of Ayurveda!
I’d been warned that I might find the sensation strange, but it didn’t bother me at all. The oil dropped rhythmically across my forehead and back again in a kind of tick-tock way. I suppose the effect is mildly meditative – you are about to feel verrrrrrrry sleeeeeeeeeepy – and the Muddy snore did surface so I guess it did its job.
In truth it was hugely relaxing – I loved it – and I definitely felt something a bit different with Shirodhara (besides greasy hair). Perhaps it was a deeper sense if calm and de-stressing than a regular massage, I can’t quite put my finger on it. But if I was feeling properly tense I’d definitely come back for another one.
The salon also does a Abhyanga full body massage (60 mins, £57), Chakra balancing hot and cold stone massage (60 mins, £60), Ayurvedic facials, and my favourite, a full body two therapist massage (60 mins for £100). Wouldn’t that just be amazing? It also does ‘normal’ treatments, your usual gamut of manis/pedis, waxing, threading, facials and Environ wrinkle busting if that’s what you’re looking for.
Serendipity is slightly off the main drag if you’re wondering why you haven’t spotted it, further down the road from The Crazy Bear in a lovely grade 2 listed building. Give yourself an extra 10 minutes to find some parking (it can be slightly tricky but not insurmountable) and then take a deep breath, enter the white rooms and…… relax.