Exclusive to Wakeman Road, the private members’ health club in Kensal Green, the de Mamiel Rhythm of Nature facial has been developed to help your skin adjust to the changing seasons, and as someone whose skin reacts badly to all seasons, this sounded ideal to me.
With a dual focus on rebalancing the mind as well as the body, this isn’t your average quick-fix facial—often it’s the case that imbalances within the body as a whole visibly emerge on our faces, so there’s an emphasis on rooting out the source of these problems and working through them for longer-term health and wellbeing. Essentially you’re given an all-over mind and body treatment, so if you’re feeling emotional, prepare for the floodgates to open.
Stepping through the big black gates of Wakeman Road onto its cobbled courtyard is like walking through a wardrobe and ending up in Narnia. Except it’s a blissed-out, relaxed oasis where they tend to your every need. And there’s no White Witch. Wakeman Road is a hub of chilled calm where you’re instantly made to feel at home by the incredibly welcoming and helpful staff. Emma, its joint founder, is a bundle of positive energy and knowledge and Katie, the therapist tasked with delivering the facial, has the kind of restful personality that makes you feel you could spill all your secrets within the 90 minutes of her company.
The process begins with Katie giving a full face and body lifestyle consultation, so I was asked about my diet, my stress levels and anything else that might be inadvertently affecting my health. She then set to work on stimulating the meridian lines (the paths through which life force flows, according to Chinese medicine) that run through the body, helping to address the issues we’d discussed and returning the body to its natural equilibrium. The face is cleansed and exfoliated with specific de Mamiel Spring Oils (they smell divine) chosen by Katie to suit your skin type, and to prepare your face for the transformation and rebirth that comes with the changing season.
In between toning and massaging the face you inhale healing de Mamiel oils to encourage the nervous system to switch off and attain stillness; practice breathing techniques to ground the body; have Reiki performed to nurture the mind and body and to allow the ingredients to have their optimum effect; and finish with chakra balancing to bring the body and mind back in tune and ready to face the world.
I was overwhelmed by not only the physical results of this facial, but also by the spiritual ones. It addressed a need within me personally to move forward and not dwell in the past — an issue that was making itself plainly visible on my face — and with a greater understanding of how the mind works in conjunction with the body, as well as softer, soothed skin, I left feeling calmed, invigorated and ready for new beginnings.