Adapted from Spafinder.com
We all have that “ahhh” spot that we head to immediately upon arriving home from a long, stressful day – the middle couch cushion, Grandma’s old rocking chair, a worn-in recliner. And now, more than ever before, we need that space at home.
Sylvie Barthelemy is a healer from Sacred Space, a global bespoke wellness service designed for the sophisticated urbanite who recognizes the importance of integrating mind, body and spirit into the art of everyday living. Sacred Space offers in-home wellness treatments, like its Ayurvedic Thai yoga treatment and yoga massage. “The new fashion in wellness is all about healing. Our services are designed as re-connecting rituals, to help the client re-connect to that Sacred Space within,” explains Shelley A. Lewis, founder of Sacred Space. “We need to consciously create the space we live in, just like we create our lives. When we do this, we tap into the power of sacredness in our lives, and we start to experience more abundance, joy and success.”
One recent afternoon I was slated to receive a Sacred Space signature treatment at home, a 90-minute, stress-loosening Thai yoga massage session, which uses a combination of stretches and rhythmic palm presses to induce a deep state of relaxation. And no treatment is complete without therapeutic oils, which, in this case, have been customized by NYC’s only clinical aromatherapist Eva Levin.
To get started, Sylvie and I rearranged a few pieces of furniture in my living room to create a sizable open space. Although I had assumed it would take a while to spa-ify the room, I was surprised to find that it took just a few minutes, a yoga mat, a cover sheet, an iPod and a few bottles of aromatherapy oils.
With the smell of lavender slowly enveloping the room and soft, slow music drumming softly in my ears, I began my treatment sitting upright with my legs crossed in the center of the mat. From there, Sylvie guided my body into various positions for the next hour; each pose offering a wonderful stretching sensation. Having only experienced Thai massage once before, I thought I might need to remain alert, but Sylvie encouraged me to close my eyes and relax my body, my arms, my legs and, of course, my mind. With each movement, I felt my body shedding the stress of the day; with each stretch, I found myself pursuing a further state of relaxation and peace.
Sylvie was as graceful as a dancer (turns out she was), and the treatment felt wonderfully natural, fluid and choreographed. In between stretches, she worked along my various pressure points. She gently pushed down on various spots in my midsection, and I thought to share the two areas which were tender. She identified the areas as my descending colon and my colon, and having explained earlier that I was in the middle of a juice cleanse, she wasn’t surprised that these areas of my body were sensitive.
After the treatment, I chatted with Sylvie about how relaxing I had found Thai massage this time (having described my state of being during my last experience), and that it was utterly enlightening to completely relinquish myself into the hands of an expert healer, loosen my muscles and quiet my mind. Sylvie said that Thai massage, like any practice, takes time and patience to master. Sacred Space recommends a monthly Thai massage, which I can envision as one of those highly habitual escapes that would easily replace a few hours on the couch watching television with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
After Sylvie left, my living room looked just as it has always looked, but there was a new peaceful light in that early evening hour, and every person, activity and chirp of the city seemed miles away. I was intent to hold on to my sense of relaxation and settle back into a state of peace. My “trip” home took only the twist of a deadbolt.
A Bit of Sacred History
A few days later I spoke with Shelley about her vision for Sacred Space. Upon visiting a British Airways orphanage in Bangladesh, she found while the children were in dire need of food, shelter and health care, the experience of touch moved them deeply as she simply held them in her arms. This act inspired her to help people heal through touch. Since its launch earlier this year, Sacred Space has provided New Yorkers with access to some of the best wellness healers in the area, on a regular basis, right in the comfort of their own home. Just one treatment was all it took to understand how the treatments are designed to recharge and re-connect you into the sacred space that lies within. It doesn’t matter what your living room looks, feels or smells like. The purpose is to discover that that change takes place within yourself and that it is remarkably simple to transform your mind, body and spirit within a space in which you are ever so familiar.
Sacred Space is set up for global growth, as the brand sets to launch a new star treatment designed to allow clients to give back as they receive (a portion of the proceeds will be contributed to the development of therapeutic touch programs for children in orphanages around the world). According to Sacred Space’s philosophy, this is the future of wellness, in which touch ─ one of the most essential elements of human development ─ remains a powerful healing force for all.