The Feel Good Factor
Suzannah King www.touch-therapies.net Tel.: (0)7791 767163
Feel Good Balham, Unit 7, Hildreth Street Mews, Balham, London SW12 9RZ www.feelgoodbalham.co.uk Tel.: (0)20 8673 2163
Frazzled just doesn’t even cover it; I have been so uncharacteristically stressed out re-ensconcing myself back at home in London after two years of living abroad. I had no idea how long it would take and how tedious the endless chores are of getting back into the old swing of things and establishing a semi normal routine, not to mention the never ending job of reorganising our home and all our bits and bobs! My head knows that it’s a transitional time and won’t last forever, but my nerves are frayed and my fuse short, there’s no doubt about that! To top it all, I’ve been waking up with headaches and have been feeling as though there’s a summer cold trying to barge its way into my system. Eeek!
As we all know, stressed spelled backwards reads desserts, and that’s certainly one way I’ve been dealing with it, though extra love handles are possibly not that helpful in this situation! Thankfully, I know the perfect cure for my current miseries. It comes in the delightful shape of one Suzannah King, super duper knowledgable and effective reflexologist and massage therapist based in the area Southwest Londoners affectionately call Nappy Valley. She practices her magic in her own tranquil therapy room in Tooting/Streatham as well as on Fridays and Saturdays at the appropriately named Feel Good Therapy Centre in Balham.
Now I’ve got to admit that I have a little love affair going on with Balham. Just 20 minutes whizz along the South Circular by car from Barnes or half an hour by public transport, it has a lovely village vibe with lots of cute cafes and independent shops of all types, it’s young, trendy and perhaps a little less twee than where I live and just brilliant for a meander on a sunny summer’s day. What’s more, I always find it easy to park, either in one of the little side streets or in the big Sainsbury’s car park, so no sweat there either.
The Feel Good Therapy Centre is quite hard to find unless you know where to look. Roughly half-way down pedestrianised and buzzy little Hildreth Street is an opening to a small mews courtyard and there, on the left hand side, is the therapy centre. And indeed, what fantastic holistic therapies they offer. From 24K gold facials to colonics, from allergy testing to hot chocolate massage, from cupping and candling to Reiki and homeopathy, here is a whole world of wonderful complementary therapies in a peaceful and welcoming environment available to those who want to improve their wellbeing.
Therapist Suzie King and I go back quite a few years. I first met her in a similar holistic therapy clinic closer to my home and was blown away by her skill at helping me cope with, and improve, asthma and associated blood pressure issues. Soon, my entire family were visiting her on a regular basis, either to help with ailments and health concerns, or just to find their equilibrium in our fast paced London life. So outstandingly good is she at massage and reflexology treatments that we followed her like little lambs when she moved to another area. Even my whizz kid businessman son and my city hotshot son-in-law, both of them young men who do not go in for any hocus-pocus, have made space in their busy lives for regular treatments. Friends seek her out especially for her apparently incredible Mother and Baby massage which, so I am told, results in a happier calmer little person and improved sleep patterns for both. Another friend has consulted her most effectively regarding weight-loss issues and another regarding insomnia. It’s gratifying to hear that all report success.
Reflexology is an ancient practice of foot massage involving pressure to certain areas or energy points on the feet which are said to correspond to various inner organs. To some people, of course, that’s all complete mumbo jumbo but its success rate really speaks for itself. More importantly, it’s incredibly relaxing. It is not at all uncommon to fall asleep during treatment and wake up completely refreshed and energised. Personally, one thing that I dislike about many alternative therapists is that they play that infernal pling pling muzak in the background or, God forbid, whale song. It sets my teeth on edge before we even get started. Suzie King, however, plays recordings of gentle classical music, allowing you to float off into Nirvana to the sounds of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and similar auditory pleasures. Even better, she doesn’t regale you with unsolicited health or spiritual advice, nor does she tell you to change your dietary habits, she just gets on with the job of literally helping you to find your feet again and puts you back on a balanced footing, pun fully intended. To me, those reflexology sessions mean precious ‘me time’ and the opportunity to detach completely from the daily hustle and bustle of the outside world. I’m all for it!
Massages or reflexology treatments can last from 30 minutes to an hour and a half, according to your preference and objectives and cost from around £35 for half an hour.