I used to be somewhat skeptical about alternative and holistic disciplines and how they applied to one’s health and well-being. However, over the years I have learned that there is no harm in being open to new and different things, and with each new experience there is always something you can take from it that may enrich or enlighten you along the way. Who knows, sometimes the results are delightfully surprising, like discovering that you love the taste of escargot (ehhh snails) or that sitting through nine innings of baseball (snooze) CAN be fun and exciting! Whatever the new experience may be, there are certainly pleasant surprises to be had, and my first Reiki treatment was no exception.

Reiki Master Pam Burton has been offering Reiki treatments at CG Esthetics and I was invited to learn more about Reiki and undergo a treatment. Warm and welcoming, Pam who has been a Reiki practitioner for several years, was eager to tell me about the powers of this Japanese technique of stress relaxation and the health benefits that come with it. Pam explained that she does not actually touch you while conducting the treatment but engages in what is called the “laying on hands,” which is based on the concept of an unseen “life force energy” that flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. According to Pam, if one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. Pam went on to explain that Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. She mentioned that some people claim that they feel a warmth to their skin where ever she is “laying her hands” while others become very relaxed and may even fall asleep. Considering that my daily life is fueled by stress and I am constantly “on the go” I was intrigued to learn how this treatment would affect me.

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Once I laid face up on the massage table Pam dimmed the lights and put on soothing music. With my eyes closed Pam began by holding her hands just a few inches above my body and working from my head down to my toes. I did feel a sense of warmth around my neck and chest area and became very, very relaxed, so much so that I fell asleep! Apparently (according to others who were lucky enough to be there) I even managed to snore a bit, how embarrassing! Needless to say, when Pam roused me from my half-hour treatment I felt like I had awoken from a long and satisfying nap. I was really surprised how quickly my full-throttle energy had been switched to snooze mode and I would have been happy to continue napping, however my busy day immediately transitioned back into warp speed.

Before leaving the gracious Reiki Master, Pam mentioned that I would sleep well that night, but I must admit I did not have time to give sleep much thought at that time. Fortunately the day was Friday, and by the time I finally got to bed it was close to 11PM…imagine my surprise when I awoke on Saturday morning, a full twelve hours later from a sleep I never once stirred from! My “life force energy” was doing cartwheels and I felt completely rested and ready to take on the world!

From my experience I learned that Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing. There’s no doubt my body responded well to this form of relaxation and the next time I am feeling especially stressed out I think a treatment from Pam could be just what I need.

Pam Burton will be back in San Pedro in August and appointments with her can be booked through CG Esthetics or by emailing her at pam.burton.5201@facebook.com.

While the boss lady slumbered away during her Reiki treatment, I was having a hushed conversation with CG Esthetics’ owner Carole. She showed me the various mixes that would be used to create the potion that I would shortly experience via a back facial. I have had my face slathered, sloughed, soothed and moisturized to baby smooth softness, but I have never given thought to my back. My poor aching back that hunched over, carried much of my burdens, and did so much more for me – finally it would get a little soothing of its own!

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Considering I’m known as Tia Chocolate, I think it was only appropriate that the mix contain something cacao based. I lie face down on the treatment table, ensuring that I’m relaxed and ready for my back to get treated right. Carole mixes Chardonnay exfoliant and Chocolate “mud” with green tea oil, forming a thick, luxurious paste that smoothes on delightfully on my back. The delicious smell of chocolate hits, and I’m finding it incredibly tempting to reach out and have a taste – but I do hold back (ha) and instead, focus on the massage. Carole kneads my sore, tired muscles into submission while the yummy ingredients in the masque penetrate deeply, cleansing and working its magic all over my skin. I almost feel tingling from the chardonnay, while the chocolate works its anti-oxidant magic and the green tea scents envelop and soothe.

As a surprise, Carole follows up with a paraffin treatment for my tired feet – it seemed that each body part I’ve been ignoring was getting the attention they deserved. Warm, cranberry scented wax is brushed on to my feet, starting from the ankle and down the bottoms of my feet and all over my toes. After the initial shock of the sudden warmth, my toes curl up in happiness as more wax is applied. The paraffin treatment is meant to soothe and soften the skin, and my little piggies were certainly happy to snuggle into the scented warmth. Carole wraps up both feet to allow the wax to work its magic, and I’m left to bask in the glorious scented treatments. I am a smorgasbord of flavors: chocolate on my back and crisp cranberry on my feet!

I slip into a light snooze, enjoying the calm effect of the various, delicious fragrances as they envelop and give me a break from a busy day. What a wonderful treat!

When Carole removes the chocolate masque from my back, and wax is slowly peeled away from my feet, I have completely recovered my spirits, and I feel so much better, ready to face the day. That begins with a refreshing sip of champagne, each glass of bubbly infused with a gorgeous hibiscus rose that Carole shares with us. Cheers indeed!

CG Esthetic is located on Coconut Drive, just south of the Belize Yacht Club. Apart from delightful facials for both face and back, Carole also offers hair care and styling, wedding packages and other aesthetic services to treat your every need. Contact her at 626-2154 for an appointment, and be ready to indulge yourself; always remember, you deserve it!

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About the Author: Mary Gonzalez

Mary Gonzalez writes under the pseudonym 'Tia Chocolate'. Tia Chocolate enjoys writing short stories that focus on her life growing up in the small Maya village of San Antonio, Cayo District, Belize.
Tia loves (and we mean LOVE) eating and writing about her food experiences, often times trying out new recipes to try and recreate the foods of her memories. She also loves to travel, indulging in the culture wherever she is privy to visit.
She is slave to a giant cat named Kitty Boo Boo, and her cooking exploits are enjoyed by her significant other, Pookie.

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