When Ener-chi kindly invited me to have a full body massage at one of their salons on Monday, I grabbed the opportunity with worn-out hands.
I’ve been a very busy bee lately juggling freelance work, meetings, blogging, reviewing, attending work events and lots of travelling in between. Not to mention, fitting in time with family, friends and Phil. While I enjoy what I do, my schedule doesn’t give me much to relax. And even if it did, I’m terrible at it. I always have to be doing something!
Ener-chi was established in 2003 in Penarth. The business has gone from strength to strength and in 2008, they opened a second salon in Radyr. They provide an extensive range of treatments and services as well as stocking a variety of beauty, aromatherapy and herbal products, including Dr Hauschka, L’Occitane and many other leading brands.
I went to the Penarth location, which is a short walk from Penarth rail station. It’s perfect if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Cardiff city centre but don’t want to venture too far out.
On arrival, I was greeted by a very friendly and welcoming member of staff who took my coat and offered me a tea, while I briefly waited for my appointment. I was given a choice of Pukka herbal teas, which complemented the holistic feel to the salon. I chose a green tea and took in my surroundings as I waited for my therapist Lara.
The interior is bright, spacious and modern. Fresh white walls and simple wooden floors are contrasted with colourful beauty products and pretty gifts.
I was led upstairs to the treatment room by Lara. Upon entering, I was met with the scent of candles which were relaxing rather than overpowering. The room had a tranquil atmosphere with low lighting and soothing music, softly playing in the background. I felt cosy and comfortable already. Lara sat me down beforehand and explained the process of my full body treatment, which included an express facial.
Lara started on my upper back and worked down to my lower back using warm oils blended to soothe both mind and muscle. I have had back pain for years so it felt nice to give it some expert attention. My favourite part was when Lara used hot stones. The heat of the stones warmed and relaxed my muscles, which allowed her to apply deeper pressure. I found this element of the massage extremely calming, I was almost falling asleep!
Then, Lara concentrated on my neck and shoulders. I am often called a “bag lady” by my family and Phil because I’m constantly lugging around a massive handbag and a massive gym holdall wherever I go. My poor shoulders suffer with the weight so it was nice to relieve some tension from this area. When Lara had finished with my neck and shoulders, she moved onto the arms, working on one at a time.
Next, it was time to massage my legs. Lara gave each leg a couple of long, relaxing strokes to begin with, all the way from the calf to the upper thigh and then focused on one leg at a time. I do lots of running in the gym so massaging them was a good way to help my muscles recover.
To finish my treatment, Lara massaged by feet, starting with the soles and paying special attention to the arch of each foot as this area tends to accumulate tension. The heel and ball of each foot was also massaged. Bliss.
Last of all, it was time for my facial. Lara used a range of Dr Hauschka and Caudalie products which left my skin feeling soft, smooth and glowing.
The treatment was a truly unforgettable experience. For an hour and 20 minutes, I forgot about the outside world and completely relaxed. It made me realise how important it is to make time for myself because it is just as rewarding as being productive. All the staff were fantastic but my therapist Lara was particularly knowledgeable and caring. I was even given a cute little goody bag of products as I left so I could indulge at home!
I highly recommend visiting Ener-chi wheather you’re looking to spoil yourself or someone else (there are seasonal specials, gift packages and vouchers available). I felt revitalised and restored after my treatment – and I’m sure you will be too.
Ener-chi Penarth: 31 Hickman Road, CF64 2AL. Tel: 02920 707356
Ener-chi Radyr: 57 Heol Isaf, Station Road, CF15 8AH. Tel: 02920 214012