Using a unique blend of natural sounds, singing bowls, tuning forks, ear candles and soothing facial massage, The Sound Bath Treatment at Lush aims to lullaby you into a trace like-state. As you naturally drift into a meditation attained by even the most devout yoga enthusiast, you are bathed in etherial sound waves that enable you to venture within the deepest and most mysterious depths of your true self - all the while letting go of and fully releasing any worries and hectic stimuli.
Like any other Lush treatment, the Sound Bath is one that involved me becoming fully amazed with the ornate attention to detain and compassion offered throughout my stay.
On this occasion, I tool a little trip to the beautiful Spa town of Bath, so I couldn’t resist the urge to put an authentic stamp of approval on my visit by actually booking myself in for some form of self-care treatment. And, what better way to do that than booking on the Sounds of Bath. Up until this point I had never visited any of the other Lush spas other than Liverpool, but I was pleasantly surprised to be led down rather than up a mysterious staircase into the secret therapy rooms. Like always, this felt like a whole world away from the busy shop just meters away from us. I felt as though I was venturing down and down into a more relaxed and soul awakened state with each step.
Unlike any of the other Lush spa treatments, the techniques of the Sound Bath move beyond massage - into the realm of the ancient art of sound healing - which we can date back to that used by Tibetan Monks many thousands of years ago! Tuning forks, long strands of metal which are tapped to vibrate at a specific frequency, can have the effect of unblocking vital energy channels within our bodies, allowing us to feel more invigorated and ‘back in tune’ with our natural physical and psychological rhythms. According to some research, the singular use of tuning forks within a therapy session can have the effect of 1 hour of yoga or meditation! Wow.
During the Sound Bath, the primary goal is not about invading the physical body with hands or manmade tools, but instead about using the non-invasive vibrations of natural sound (using 360 degree speakers as well as tuning forks) which can have a positive impact on the cells of our body - which too are also made up of particles that are significantly impacted by vibrational energies created by sound. In fact, the whole of our very being - mind, body and soul - can be caressed and altered using the energy of sound. If that doesn’t sound amazing, then maybe you should still try out this transformative treatment for yourself!
Often, in our hectic world, most sounds are used to muffle, hide or compliment something else which is going on. We forget, however, that allowing sound to take centre stage, especially that coming from nature, is an essential essence to our existence and ability to feel ‘in tune’ with the world around us as well as our inner selves.
During the Sound Bath, alongside tuning forks and Tibetan singing bowls, beautiful music is played to simulate natural sounds, including singing birds rolling rivers, buzzing bees and crackling fires. This literally has the effect of lighting up our own souls.
Another unique element of the Sound Bath is the use of ear candles. Don’t worry if you have never heard about these before, or don’t understand how or exactly why they are used. They are definitely not as scary as you may think. Ear candles are safely placed in one ear, whilst lying on one side, and then a soft flame is life on the top while the therapist allows it to slowly burn to a midway point. It allows the ear to become cleansed of any blockages, such as wax, as well as enabling sharper hearing, a balanced state of mind and greater inner clarity. After all, if we are going to go on a journey within ourselves, then surely decluttering any barriers and waxy materials is a great way to ensure we don’t end up in any sticky situations along the way…
The Lush spa at Bath is again a symbol of what Lush stands for. A cosily decorated country kitchen, embellished with apothecary style glass bottles containing secret potion-like concoctions. More than anything, it makes you feel like you have just stepped into someone’s well-loved home, just as they are about to pop the kettle on.
After being introduced to my lovely softly spoken therapist, she sat me down and explained the forthcoming experience. She then brought me a little pre-therapy surprise, which involved being me a closed miniature wooden box filled with something that was meant to help me prepare for the treatment.
As I carefully prized the box open in anticipation, I saw that the insides of the box contained handfuls of bright earthy moss, which was a bed to a dainty cork-topped glass bottle - inscribed with the words ‘Drink Me’. Beside it sat a small black stone, engraved with the words ‘Eat Me’ underneath a raw chocolate that took the shape of a mushroom.
If I hadn’t have already felt like Alice and wonderland, this was definitely the tipping point that pushed me down the rabbit hole…
The drink bottle contained a sweet infusion of apple and elderflower water, while the chocolate mushroom was made with 100% raw cacao. I was told that the colour green (from the apple and elderflower), alongside the cacao from the chocolate mushroom, would be used to help open the heart chakra - a central energy point within the body that is largely responsible for allowing us to be more compassionate to ourselves and others.
Following this delicious taster for the treatment, my therapist led me into the prepared room - a sanctuary away from the real world above my rabbit hole. She also introduced me to the tuning forks, which she explained would be vibrated at a frequency that would allow my mind and body to fully relax and get back in tune with nature and function more optimally.
Often, due to things such as stress, anxiety, pollution and toxic environments, our physical energies are altered in a way that leads to malfunctioning and feeling ‘out of sync’. Since sound is energy in vibration form from the tuning forks, this helps stimulate certain areas of the body in order for them to achieve their own unique ‘perfect pitch’ once again. This can help to enable any blocked energy channels within the body to be cleared, allowing things such as blood, lymph fluid and energy to flow optimally again.
My therapist also introduced me to the ear candles, as well as two different incense powders in glass jars that would be combined and burned to produce the invigorating scent - Breath Of God. This perfume is also sold at the Lush store, and was used to help balance both masculine and feminine energies during the treatment - working with other techniques to help restore the body and mind. She additionally presented me with two miniature glass jars, each containing luxurious jojoba oil and an organic scent that would be used during two separate facial massages. One of the oils was called Detachment, and the other Release. Just what I needed!
As I was left alone to undress and take off any jewellery, I was able to tuck myself into the comforting warm heated blankets on a therapy bed, I then rang a cute little gold bell that signalled I was ready for the therapy to begin. I lay awake, waiting to be transported into yet another magical realm.
As I closed my eyes, I could hear a beautiful melody of nature-inspired sounds, as my therapist whispered to me to let go of any worries worries. This helped me to release any additional tension I had been holding onto. I then felt gentle tendrils of mint-scented fresh air, which caressed my face - my therapist must have done this in order to help cleanse the space and relax my mind.
To begin, the luxury jojoba oil was massaged tenderly onto my facial muscles with hot stones - a real treat for the senses. I felt myself fall into a deeper state of relaxation, as I was endowed with an invigorating head massage, which reached all along my scalp and sensitive ear lobes.
Soon after, my therapist prepared the part of the treatment I was most unsure about - the ear candles. Thankfully though, there was nothing at all to be worried about, as this was actually one of the most relaxing and mesmerising parts of the Sound Bath. To experience this, I was gently guided to lie on one side, while my therapist delicately placed the paper-like angle in my ear. I could feel the buzzing warmth as the newly lit flame slowly burned into the delicate paper. Sounds of a crackling fire lit up my mind and soul - as though I had the sensation of listening to the pleasant sounds of popping candy. I felt like I had grown an inner glow.
I later learned that the music accompanying this part of the treatment was inspired by the innate tribal nature of sitting around a campfire at night - gazing up at the stars and contemplating the meaning of life. There was no doubt that I was already feeling much more a part of a wider universe, just as my mind and body sank deeper and deeper into a meditation I never thought was possible to achieve without my conscious effort.
After delicately removing each ear candle, already I felt as though I was significantly more aware of sounds, with a heightened sensory awareness.
Next came the intriguing tuning forks. These definitely worked their magic alongside the music that was ringing all around my body through 360 degree speakers. I felt completely bathed in sound, not knowing whether the tunes and vibrations were emanating from the tuning forks, the stress or perhaps my imagination …
To use the tuning forks, my therapist tapped each one before placing them near my ears. She also used one end of the vibrating tuning fork to place over certain points of my face and heart. I could feel the tingling vibrations coursing through my body - as though my veins were being unblocked, with newly revived energy being guided to the places they needed to venture to.
During this part of the treatment, I felt myself enter an almost hypnotic yet sleepless state - something which has definitely not happened before in any other treatment I have experienced.
To finalise the treatment, I was gifted with a blissful head message, before having yet another oil delicately caressed along my face - but this time using cold stones. This felt very invigorating for my skin, especially when the oil was gently cleansed away using a steaming hot towel.
After completing this, my therapist lightly placed her hands along my feet, slowly working them up like foot prints in sand, until reaching my lower stomach - a gentle signal that the treatment was about to conclude.
I definitely didn’t want to this feeling of inner peacefulness to end, but i knew that the real world was waiting for me to return back to reality.
With a few softly spoken words of comfort, the therapist gave me time to sit up and gather my calm thoughts, before relaxing into the process of getting changes and making may way out back into the kitchen space.
Still in a trance-like state, I stepped out into the cosy atmosphere, a wave of new sounds spilling over my body. It would have been overwhelming if I had not noticed my therapist sat down, smiling at a long wooden table while presenting the next surprise in store - a soothing drink.
But not just any drink. Anything Lush could not end on such an ordinary note, and this drink was in a far away land from the ordinary.
As I perched alongside the table, I noticed an elegant glass teapot, alongside some very interesting ingredient that looked like they had just been freshly plucked from nature herself.
Firstly, my therapist added small shards of dry ice into the teapot, followed by squeezing the juice of a full lemon. She then plucked and added vibrantly green mint leaves, before dowsing the liquid with droplets of camomile infusion and a dainty teaspoon of sweet agave syrup. Natures Lemonade. She then poured in boiling hot water from another silver teapot, and almost immediately, tendrils of steam began rippling out from the lid and spout. I felt like a real witch ready to drink a magical elixir of life. Surely this day couldn’t get any more magical?
Actually, it could!
My steaming brew was gently poured into a golden tibetan singing bowl, and stirred majestically around the sides to create a heart mesmerising noise. Apparently, this treatment also allows you to drink sound as well as physically bathe in it!
Before leaving the homely abode of the Lush spa, I had plenty of peaceful time to drink my elixir and talk to my therapist, as well as another friendly member of staff who shared her own recent experiences of the treatments offered there. It was as though we were a part of a secret magic society - in ‘the know’ of traditional healing modalities long forgotten in the modern world of technology.
Overall, my time at the Lush spa, once again, was truly enlightening and one to cherish for many months and years to come. I knew that the sensual wonders of what I experienced in the Sound Bath would never flow down the plughole. My heightened sense of perception is still with me now, and even talking about this treatment sends etherial tingles along my spine.