When the team at the Burke Williams Spa reached out and asked if I wanted to try their Ananda massage treatment focused on channeling energy to heal the body and mind, it could not have been better timing. Why?
Over the past few years, I’ve realized that the list of demands I could take care of in a day is just going to continue growing, all the time. I’ve learned that at a certain point, it’s up to me to put a boundaries on what I can do in a day, and to decide when I will block time for self care. In practice, this can be exceedingly difficult and I have to admit that I need help with it. As a result, I’ve become fascinated with restorative practices that focus on stress relief to balance the mind and body. Whether that be massage, yoga, or meditation I’m finally starting to truly appreciate the value of these well-touted practices.
The Ananda Treatment
The Ananda treatment is a combination of massage, hot oil treatments and a body scrub that targets the feet, hands and head. Traditionally, Ayurvedic treatments focus on these five “energy points” around the body to help re-balance electromagnetic energy. This leads to a clearer mind, less stress, better decision making, and happier living.
First, I chose sniffed a small selection of oils, and chose the one for my treatment. It turns out that I picked the oil centered on soothing and relaxation – not surprising! The treatment started with a polishing scrub on my arms and legs, which was wiped away with warm, damp towels. Next I went through a series of massages with the oil, including my head (which was heavenly). The treatment ended with a foot massage using a balancing bowl, comprised of brass, silver, and copper which are said to help balance energy in the body.
The Burke Williams Spa experience was incredibly relaxing, from check-in at the front desk to changing and waiting for my treatment. The waiting area is bathed in a low light, while a relaxing, faint herbal fragrance wafts through the air. My massage technician was incredibly friendly and walked me through each stage of the Ananda treatment as she went.
The spa offers several other Ayurvedic massage treatments, including the Shirodhara which features the warm oil third eye treatment. My friend Ashley over at A Lady Goes West tried this one and loved it – check out her post here.
How To Get The Most From Your Massage:
Sometimes we think of a visit to the spa as an indulgent treat, to be saved for vacation or a special occasion. My recommendation is to treat it as quite the opposite – something you should indulge in as a way to stay balanced during your busiest periods.
It’s easy to let your mind run away during a massage or treatment, back to to-do lists, or problems that you might be grappling with. I’m definitely guilty of this, so I try to refocus my mind on the actions of the technician and how they feel, or even practice meditation (many years ago I was trained in Transcendental Meditation, which has been extensively studied for effectiveness and involves a mantra). Stay in the moment!
Burke Williams is very centrally located in Westfield Shopping Center, in the heart of downtown San Francisco (with other locations in the Bay Area and around California). It’s easy to pop in while you’re in town, and try out one of their amazing treatments. Thank you to the team for having me!