Look, No Hands!
I was curious to check out Haelan Therapy in Hitchin after meeting Rebecca Kelly – winner of the Muddy Herts Best Complementary Therapy Centre Award 2015 – and hearing all about the ‘No Hands Massage’ she offers. Now, I love a good massage, but the thought of a massage with, well, no hands seems both odd and intriguing. I had a quick nosy on her website, and then booked in.
The session started with us sitting and talking. For ages. Rebecca has extensive training in coaching and that, combined with the super-relaxed and friendly way that she just has about her, makes her a perfect person for this job. I found myself telling her all kinds of things – in a good way, of course – and feeling usefully challenged by the questions she gently (but firmly) asked in response or the observations she offered up. I’ll spare you the gory details, but before long, I felt like I was making all sorts of connections that made all sorts of sense.
Then, once we’d reached a natural stopping point, it was on to the massage. Rebecca talked through all the choices – what depth, what speed, what style – and then outlined what I could expect, and the importance of telling her if it was working for me or not as she went along. She chose the music to complement what we’d been talking about – and the intentions I had for the session – and, you know, I’ve never had a massage to such lively music (no tinkly whale sounds!) and it was great: oddly envigorating, rather than relaxing to the point of zoning out. I have been known to fall asleep during massage before, but with this one, I was working through all the bits we’d talked about – sort of half subconsciously, half not – and left feeling awake and focused.
And the ‘No Hands’ bit? It was amazing. The couch is a bit lower than a regular massage couch, and Rebecca uses her forearms – and the weight of her body – to give a massage that is a bit like being out with a rolling pin. Only in a good way. It’s deeply relaxing, but energising too. And Haelan Therapy is one of the few places locally that offers it.
Much as I still love a relaxing, floaty sort of massage, I’m a total convert to the deeper, more intense version that Rebecca offers – and to the attention she paid to my mind as well as my muscles. It felt genuinely holistic, and I wasn’t surprised at all to learn that she has clients who book regular sessions – once a month, maybe – and swear by what she does.
Haelan Therapy also offers Reiki and Reflexology, among other things, but I get the distinct impression that Rebecca brings together her skills in all the areas in which she practices all the time in everything she does. She brings her coaching skills together with the massage to provide a properly holistic treatment – mind, body, the lot. Or you can decide just to have the massage. Or just the coaching. And so on. It’s all genuinely about what works for you – rather than having to pick from a list the treatment that comes closest to what you’d like.
Now, I didn’t check one of Rebecca’s other offerings out because I’m allergic to horses (which I discovered halfway up a mountain on the back of a whacking great horse), but Rebecca also offers Equine Facilitated Coaching – a programme that uses horses in training, and in professional and personal development coaching. And getting down on the farm has got to be better than yet another team away-day in a conference room just off the M25, right?
I would recommend Haelan without any hestitation at all, having already been there a couple of times now (well, I had to be sure, right?) and with another go booked in soon.