Intense and gentle, chaotic and balanced - this is why you absolutely have to try the Lush Karma spa treatment
Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde
LUSH has always been the go-to brand for deliciously scented bath bombs and body scrubs, so when it comes to an in-house treatment at the Lush Spa you know you’re in for a treat.
Whether you’re a massage enthusiast or a first timer, the Karma spa treatment is a great way to let your mind and body unwind for an hour – all while simultaneously being transported to the depths of India.
Much like the country itself, the massage is a sensory overload – there are two therapists working in synchronised harmony, you’re engulfed in a heady cloud of incense and spice, and the soundtrack is unescapable – but everything from the movements to the music is perfectly balanced, making it more of an experience than just another massage.
Karma oscillates from fast and intense, to slow and gentle, and leaves you feeling completely rejuvenated.
You can book your Karma spa treatment at www.lush.com.
The treatment is currently exclusive to the Lush Spa at the Oxford Street store but will be available at Lush stores throughout the UK from August.
Enter the store and make your way downstairs to the basement. The spa is separated from the main shop floor and once you’re through the glass door you can wave goodbye to the busy sounds of shoppers and unwind in the calm of the waiting room.
Hidden behind the hoards of shoppers searching for the perfect bath bomb is the Lush Spa and it instantly feels like home. The waiting room is dressed up as a quaint country kitchen, complete with trinkets lining the walls and a long wooden table adorned with fruit and flowers. A blackboard with the signature Lush scrawl tells you to ‘relax’ and it’s hard not to.
Once you’ve discussed your treatment with one of your therapists, you’ll be taken through a white wooden door and led through a quiet panelled corridor to your treatment room.
From the moment you enter it is warm and cosy, with tea lights glowing in an otherwise dimly lit room. The wall panelling is split into two – the dark wood lower half lined with glass bottles and little pipettes labelled with affirmations such as ‘release’ and ‘go on without stress’. The top half of the room is a clean, bright white with frames hung on the wall, a gentle reminder that you’re about to be transported to India from the comfort of the homely-feeling spa.
The music is already playing, the Karma scents are already swirling and you’ll spot a few interesting pieces of equipment that will be used towards the end of the treatment (but more on that later).
Once you’re ready, strike the singing bowl beside the massage table to let your two therapists know you’re ready to begin.
This is a full body massage like no other. For the full 66 minutes, two therapists work together to the soundtrack, alternating the tempo of their work by speeding up and slowing down in time with the music in perfectly timed co-ordinatation.
The experience starts with one therapist washing your feet, while the other uses a scented poultice (a warm, moist cloth filled with flour or herbs) to press onto your marma – or pressure – points.
Throughout the massage the therapists will use warm oils to create flow within your body, and later you’ll get a hot stone stomach massage which helps with digestion and releases tension.
The experience ends with a slow trickle of coconut water over your minds eye, and the result is a massage not only of the body but of the senses, and of the psyche.
Want to continue the spa experience at home? Powder will help you find the perfect face mask!
Lush have created a massage rooted in the ancient traditional Ayurvedic practice that aims to restore karma in the body. It uses a combination of mediation, massage and pressure points to focus on the energy centres known as your chakras.
For anyone unfamiliar with Ayurdeva, it’s a deeply spiritual holistic healing system based on the idea of balance between the mind, body and spirit, making this massage truly unique.
The soundtrack encapsulates India, surrounding you with sounds of bustling city streets before whipping you off to a relaxed place of prayer and chanting – once again incorporating the theme of balance.
The massage is finished with an Ayurvedic therapy known as a Shirodhara ritual which consists of liquids pouring gently over the forehead and through the hair. The soft trickle of coconut water is so relaxing that you’d be forgiven for falling asleep at this point, but it’s purpose is to ‘slow down the mind, aiding clarity of thought and concentration’ after the treatment.
It definitely works, and you’ll probably want to install something similar in your shower.
While you’re there…
It’s hard to walk straight out of the Lush Spa and without being tempted to stock up on your favourite face masks. The oil used during the massage is exclusive to the Karma spa treatment, but there’s a great range of massage bars to take your pick from so make sure you look at the incredibly extensive products on offer at the Oxford Street store before you’re forced to leave your zen bubble and cram onto the tube.
So what are you waiting for? Treat yourself to the most memorable and transformative massage of your life…
Karma (£225) is currently available exclusively at the Lush Spa Oxford Street, but the treatment will be available in all UK Lush Spas from August 2017 and globally throughout 2018.