Beauty

“Can a massage really improve your digestion? I put it to the test…”

Posted by
Hanna Ibraheem
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Can a beauty treatment really help your digestive system? We found out…

We’re living in a time that feels more stressful than ever. A recent study by the Mental Health Foundation discovered that 74% of people in the UK have felt so stressed that they feel overwhelmed or unable to cope. Add to that the ways in which stress affects us – from our skin and digestive systems to our hair and teeth – and it’s clear that we should be doing more to address our stress levels.

To combat this, Karen Ruimy, founder of beauty and wellbeing brand Kalmar has teamed up with intuitive healer Sinead de Hora to create a range of treatments that target different areas of the body and improving the mood linked to these areas. This includes your heart and feeling loved to your mind and feeling peace.

The treatment I was immediately drawn to was the Calm massage. Like most relaxing treatments, Kalmar’s Calm experience is aimed at relieving you from the daily stresses of life while enhancing your overall energy levels. But the thing that stood out to me most was its claims to address your “second brain” by encouraging a healthy digestive function.

Kalmar-Calm-Candle

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A healthy digestive system and good gut health is integral to how you function in day-to-day. While this treatment doesn’t promise to completely cure all digestive issues (most tend to go away by themselves and if they don’t, you should see a doctor), it aims to target the ways in which stress can have an impact.

To start, de Hora took the time to simply talk to me. Not a lot of therapists take the time to get to know you before a treatment, but de Hora wants her treatments to come from a place of understanding. She asked me about how I was feeling and, more importantly, how I wanted to feel when I left the treatment room. I unexpectedly began to open up about issues I didn’t even realise were affecting me and could already feel my stress levels dropping. Next, she asked me about any ailments and problems I was experiencing, so that she could address these areas, before asking me to lie down on the treatment bed.

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By the time I lay down and closed my eyes, I realised that the room was filled with the scent of Kalmar’s Calm products (notes of lavender, iris, violet, vetiver and frankincense). I wasn’t sure what to expect from a treatment aimed at my digestive system and actually braced myself for de Hora’s fists to ram into my stomach. But it was nothing like that.

Instead, she focused on shifting my energy with gentle massage strokes and , focusing on my stomach area and, to my surprise, my feet. “Our feet are linked to everything,” she explained while rubbing specific reflex points. Suddenly my stomach began to gently rumble, as if there was a shift happening inside. 

De Hora repeated the stomach and foot rubbing technique a few times, my stomach getting louder and louder with every round. It didn’t feel uncomfortable. In fact, it felt oddly freeing. My stomach felt empty (not in a I’m-so-hungry-I-need-a-Nando’s-kind-of-way), more that it just felt lighter. And that’s when I realised it was because I just wasn’t bloated anymore.

By the time I got off the treatment bed, down the London Underground and sat on a train (all of which I usually find very stressful), I realised that my mind also felt a lot clearer. It has long been reported that there’s a connection between your gut and brain, and this treatment left both feeling like they were (finally) working together harmoniously.

The Kalmar pop-up at Akasha Spa will be open until 18 December, with treatments taking place every Wednesday from 11am to 7.30pm. The 60-minute Calm treatment costs £180. Book in here.

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Hanna Ibraheem

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