Combining Chakra Therapy with the Spa

Enhancing emotional and physical well-being by balancing the chakras.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Enhancing emotional and physical well-being by balancing the chakras.

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Based on centuries-old practices, chakra work has been embraced by ancient cultures such as Hinduism and Buddhism. More recently, New Age practitioners and yoga revivalists have repopularised this training, and its incorporation into spa treatments is a complementary fit. ‘Chakra’ originates from the Sanskrit word meaning ‘wheel’. Picture your chakras as seven internal discs that run from the top of your head to the base of your spine. Each one has a specific organ/gland association and corresponding colour, and remains balanced when you're feeling balanced, emotionally and physically.

“The best way to balance our chakras is through guided meditations and breathing techniques,” says Farida Irani, founder of Australian-based Subtle Energies, a crueltyfree line of aromatherapy products based on Ayurveda principles. Integrated into a massage treatment, clients can experience incredible results. “Everyone can benefit from a chakra treatment. By using specific essential oils containing the life force of the plant, we can cleanse and balance them, bringing serenity, calmness and vitality into the body physically, mentally and emotionally.”

A leader in creating luxury aromatherapy products that specifically target chakras, Subtle Energies has designed a series of proprietary oils for Gwinganna Health Retreat in Tallebudgera, Queensland, Australia. When chakras become blocked or unbalanced, they manifest in the physical body as discomfort, unease or anxiety. The Chakra Balancing treatment was created as an add-on to their signature massage specifically to address these concerns.

“After the massage treatment, the guest is placed in a position where the spine is straight to ensure proper alignment of the chakras," says Tracy Willis, marketing and public relations director. “After a series of visualisation and mediation techniques, scanning, cleansing and programming of the chakras are performed. This uses specific techniques along with oils, concluding with a short meditation and affirmations.” Truly a physical and emotional treatment, the additional focus on the chakras after a massage will help calm the mind, release negative emotions, unblock the subtle channels of energy and promote the flow of qi.

Nestled amongst towering red boulders that date back 12 million years lies the aptly named Boulders Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. The dry, desert air here naturally encourages deep breathing while the energy from these ancient boulders is near palpable. An extraordinary location like this naturally begets wonderment, ideal for spiritual bodywork. “We have a very high demand for spiritual treatments,” says Danielle French, spa director. “I think people are starting to become more open and in tune with themselves and are turning to more holistic approaches to heal their bodies.”

The Lotus Blossoming Chakra Massage at Boulders offers a combined massagebodywork session, more akin to active meditation with elements of massage. Chakras, in addition to having an organ/ gland association, correspond to a specific colour as well. During this treatment, the client is guided through a series of visualisation exercises, focusing on the different colours as each chakra is engaged. As each one is being activated, the therapist massages the body with organic aromatherapy oils, a different blend for each of the seven chakras, so that they leave feeling deeply centred and mentally clear. “Though anyone can benefit from this treatment, I find people who feel ‘stuck’ or ‘trapped’ tend to notice a more significant difference afterwards,” says French.

To delve even deeper, find a practitioner who incorporates crystal work with chakra treatments. Different crystals have different vibrations so, as with colour associations, specific crystals correlate to specific chakras. Each one resonates and interacts at a specific frequency when combined with the chakra, promoting a further level of realignment and healing. At Six Senses Spa at The Alpina Gstaad, Switzerland, they offer two chakra treatments that incorporate crystals, the Absolute Wellness and the shorter Chakra Balancing. The former starts with a holistic massage and then continues with overall chakra balancing work with crystals and energy healing, finishing with energy work on specific chakras that indicate blockage.

In this exquisite resort with the Swiss Alpine exterior and Asian-influenced interior, the clientele drawn to this facility tends to be more cosmopolitan and receptive to alternative treatments. “We have a strong local Swiss clientele base who are regulars, but also international guests who travel a lot and usually stay with us for three days each time,” says Petula Elzenaar, spa director of the Alpina Gstaad Spa at Six Senses. “Most guests achieve a deep state of relaxation and joy at the end of the treatments. Some also experience great relief from unblocking certain chakras, and dream or see images and colours that help them unravel their internal problems.”

Understanding how chakras affect the body, mind and spirit has great power for creating a more balanced, joyful life. Continue breathing deeply, even when you're not having a treatment, and imagine your chakras glowing with each breath.

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"I find people who are 'stuck' or 'trapped' tend to notice a more significant difference afterwards" ~ Danielle French

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THIS PAGE: Gwinganna Health Retreat calms the mind and releases negative emotions; deep relaxation and joy is the goal at Six Senses’ Alpina Gstaad Spa. OPPOSITE PAGE: Spiritual treatments are in high demand at Boulders Resort and Spa.