Burke Williams Day Spa now has three new treatments to please even the most jaded spa-goer (if you’re a regular spa goer, you shouldn’t be jaded, but you know…maybe ready to try something new?). These treatments JUST launched on June 1st, and they are based on Ayurvedic medicine. Using traditional herbal blends and warm aromatheraputic essential oils, these Ayurvedic body treatments are supposed to calm the mind, balance the three doshas and create a profound sense of bliss and contentment. A tall order, right?
The ancient practice of Ayurvedic medicine is anything but new. It has been in existence for over 5,000 years. In Ayurveda, health is defined as the dynamic state of balance between mind, body and environment.
Burke Williams partnered with Shankara, to bring some of the finest and purest Ayurvedic aromatherapeutic essential oils in the world into these services. Made solely in India, the oils are 100% organic, paraben, alcohol and chemical free. In Sanskrit, the name ‘Shankara’ means, ‘Pure Beauty with Fully Blossomed Consciousness’. 100% of Shankara’s net profits fund global non-profit humanitarian projects, implemented by the International Association for Human Values (IAHV.org).
Burke Williams’ three new Ayurvedic body treatments:
SHIRODHARA “Head-flow” – Profound – Flowing – Clarity
This deeply soothing traditional Ayurvedic treatment calms the central nervous system and integrates the mind and body to achieve a heightened state of awareness, relaxation and contentment. The treatment begins with selecting the herbal massage oil specific to the mind-body constitution, or dosha. Guests will be expertly massaged with the warm herbal oil ending with the Shirodhara, a constant and gentle stream of oil poured over the third eye to create a profound state of happiness and mental clarity.
ANANDA “Bliss” – Rhythmic – Hydrating – Vitality
Traditional Ayurvedic practice focuses on the 5 energy channels of the head, feet and hands. Ayurvedic herbs are applied to the five points followed by a nourishing, rhythmic flowing massage with heated theraputic oils. Special emphasis is placed on the Marma points, the vital energy points that move electromagnetic energy through the body. Finally the traditional Ayurvedic Balancing Bowl is used on the feet to balance the doshas and remove excess heat or energy from the body.
BALANCING BOWL ENHANCEMENT “Balance” – Realign – Uplifting – Peace
Made from three of earth’s metals, the Balancing Bowl contains specific properties to balance vital subtle energies within the body. Addressing the needs of the three doshas, silver balances Pitta, copper balances Kapha and brass balances Vata. Performed with any massage treatments, this Ayurvedic enhancement will leave you relaxed with a profound sense of contentment.
I chose the Ananda “Bliss” body treatment at the Burke Williams in the Sherman Oaks Galleria. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I always enjoy my time at Burke Williams, so I decided to give it a go. It’s an 80 minute treatment. It involves a little scrubbing and a lot of massage – but not a deep tissue or Swedish style massage – more of a gentle massage.
First, my massage therapist, Kazuko, introduced me to the oils she would be using. She asked me to pick my favorite of three: Calming, Energizing or Soothing. I picked the Soothing oil. I liked the scent and it turned out to be the oil that matches the Pitta dosha.
The massage is done with minimal coverage – blankets for part of it and then just a towel. The therapist moves around you in a rhythmic, circular motion – one leg, next leg, one arm, head, next arm. The idea is to treat arms, legs and head as part of a 5-pointed star (the points represent centers of intense energy). These points are known as the Marma points, the vital energy points that move electromagnetic energy through the body. The idea is to “heal body and mind.”
Kazuko started by having me smell an aromatherapy blend while I got comfortable and started to relax. Then she used a wonderful delicious-smelling scrub on my forearms and calves. The microcrystal exfoliation treatment uses ultra-fine silica crystals in a nourishing base of pure aloe-algae gel. I couldn’t place the scent – coffee or cinnamon maybe? Either way – I wanted to eat it! She removed the scrub with hot towels (ahh! so nice!).
She then used the Soothing Oil to massage me (in the same circular motion) – concentrating on the five points. When I say she “used oils” I mean – like a gallon of it! This is a very hydrating massage – your body is completely coated. After flipping from back to stomach and back again, she gave me a HEAVENLY scalp and face massage using lots of Ayurvedic scalp oil (seriously the best part for me – I could go for an hour of that alone!). I made sure to tell her to avoid my lash extensions (oil can make them fall out) and she was extra careful.
Toward the end, she left the room so I could relax in silence. Then she came back and rang a chime to bring me back to reality. She finished with the Balancing Bowl. Now, this is the only part I didn’t really like (or understand). The Balancing Bowl is a small metal bowl – made from three metals. Brass (to balance the Vata dosha), Copper (to balance the Kapha dosha) and Silver (to balance the Pitta dosha). She rubbed the bottom of the bowl on the soles of my feet (four minutes on each foot). It didn’t feel great (kind of rough) and the concept is a little far out there for me. If it did something to balance my doshas, I couldn’t tell ya!
At the end, I got dressed and Kazuko met me outside with a glass of water and a “balancing chocolate.” I don’t know if it balanced anything, but it tasted great!
The overall experience was wonderful. I enjoyed the treatment and Kazuko was SO sweet. After my treatment, I used the classic Burke Williams facilities. I took a hot shower and washed off the oils. Note: to remove the oils from your hair, start with shampoo – then add water. You may need to shampoo three times to get it all out. Unless you’re planning on leaving with wet hair and a bun or pony – then you could leave it in as a deep conditioning treatment. After showering, I used the wet sauna, dry sauna and jacuzzi (you can go sans clothing or with a bathing suit). I love the cold eucalyptus towels, fresh fruit and spa water – soooooo nice!
After showering again, I used their H2 facial and hair products, and then gave myself a blow dry, put my makeup on and headed home! Super relaxed and happy.
For those of you who are interested, here are the ingredients for each product:
Soothing Oil – Sunflower Oleic oil; Almond oil; Grapeseed oil extract of: Neem, Vitamin E Tocopherol, Lavender, Chamomile, Gotu Kola, Shavegrass, Licorice, Lemon Balm, Calendula; Fractionated Coconut oil; Vitamin E Tocopherol; Sandalwood EO; Vitamin A Palmitate; Geranium EO; Lavender EO; Borage oil; Evening Primrose oil; Wheat germ oil; Orange Sweet EO; Vetiver EO; CO2 extract of Calendula; CO2 extract of Helio Carrot; Jasmine EO.
Sacred Essence Lotus-Rose – Essential oils of white rose (rosa alba), white lotus (nelumbo nucifera), rose absolute (rosa damascena), pink lotus absolute (nelumbo nucifera), frangipani (plumeria rubra), jasmine absolute (jasminum grandiflorum), nag champa (michela champaca), sandalwood mysore (santalum album); Grape seed oil.
Microcrystal Exfoliation – Structured energized water; Algae-Aloe extract (Macrocystis Pyrifera, Laminaria, Fucus Ve- siculosus, Phaeophyceae and Rhodophyceae and Aloe Barbadensis); Amorphous Diatoma- ceous Earth flux-calcined; Glycerin (veg.); Amorphous Diatomaceous Earth; Structured ener- gized water extract of: Neem, Papaya leaves, Fulvic minerals; Sandalwood EO; Xanthan Gum; Melissa EO; CO2 extract of Helio Carrot; Essential oil blend preservative of Oregano leaf extract, Thyme extract, Olive leaf extract, Rosemary leaf extract, Lavender flower ex- tract, Golden Seal root extract; Turmeric EO; Carrot oil.
Hair & Scalp Oil – Sesame oil; Sesame oil extract of: Amla, Saraswati Churna, Bringraj, Gotu Kola, Vitamin E To- copherol; Avocado oil; Jojoba oil; Vitamin E Tocopherol; Vitamin A Palmitate; Sandalwood EO; Lavender EO; Cedarwood EO; Clary Sage EO; Coriander EO; Rosemary EO.