One of the most luxurious and indulgent facilities at Eden Health Retreat is our world-class spa. From facials to massages, detoxifying and hydrating wraps, to specialty treatments, our highly skilled and passionate spa therapists provide an incredibly healing range of therapies where our guests can indulge their senses and achieve the deepest sense of relaxation, balance and inner peace.
To give you a glimpse inside our blissful spa experiences, our extremely talented Spa Therapist and Treatment Coordinator Margot James shares her favourite treatments. Margot has been working her magic at Eden for 16 years and her experience and depth of knowledge shine through her healing therapies.
1. Kahuna Massage
I specialise in Kahuna Bodywork at Eden Health Retreat. It’s so incredible how it changes people’s lives; how it removes long-held emotional trauma from the body and so much more. It is a true reconnection of mind, body and spirit.
Kahuna Bodywork originates from Hawaii and teaches people to access their own inherited genetic wisdom. It shows us how to access pathways to physically, mentally or spiritually unexplored areas within the Self. The result of these explorations is multilevel and can be subtle or fundamentally life-changing for both the giver and the receiver of the bodywork.
Rather than a form of massage, Kahuna works like a dynamic re-patterning process on body, mind and spirit that gives clients the opportunity to realign themselves and shift blockages within their bodies. Apart from the therapeutic effect, the major benefit of Kahuna Bodywork lies in the client’s improved sensitivity and understanding of their own body.
Kahuna Bodywork is based on movement. Compassion and the required motion, positioning, leverage, posture, and focus in the performance of bodywork are taught through an ancient precisely patterned movement called Ka’alele au. By constantly refining his or her own Ka’alele au movements, the bodyworker learns to design technique sequences appropriate for the individual.
The first goal is to use stroking techniques to relax and reassure the client. Once relaxation is achieved, specific deeper work can be commenced. It is important that a relaxed and pain-free state is maintained throughout the entire session. Deeper work may involve specific Ka’alele au movement techniques and deep-point pressure using leverage and focus to release muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.
The stroke movements and specific patterns of Ka’alele au encourage improved cell communication and synchronisation of the heartbeat and breath in the client almost immediately.
How I explain the benefits of Kahuna Massage to my clients
Firstly, it is a beautiful physical massage to receive. The table is oiled so that I can massage both under and over the body. It truly feels like there is more than one person working on you at times.
It helps clear your body of emotions and trauma that have been held in – sometimes for lifetimes, since before this birth and all events that happen in our lives – both good and bad.
It helps clear the mental fog so that when you are needing to make an important decision, you are coming from a very grounded perspective. The noise is slowed and your mind is clear.
It can be a mix of all of the above. And each time you have one, it is a different experience.
Some more benefits of Kahuna Bodywork include:
- Instilling calmness, peace and deep relaxation
- Releasing deep muscular tension
- Promoting the faster healing of injury
- Allowing energy in your body to flow more freely.
- Supporting the immune, circulatory, respiratory, lymphatic and digestive systems
- Re-energising and rejuvenating the mind, body and spirit
- Improving flexibility
- Helping release anger, fear, grief, and guilt as well as negative beliefs and self-criticism
- Releasing traumatic emotional memories from the body
- Offering an opportunity for self-acceptance, self-love and self-empowerment
- Eliciting an overall sense of wellbeing, vitality and balance
The 7 principles of this practice are:
- IKE – The world is what you think it is – be aware of what you are thinking.
- KALA – There are no limits, everything is possible.
- MAKIA – Energy flows where attention goes.
- MANAWA – Now is the moment of Power.
- ALOHA – To love is to be happy with.
- MANA – All power comes from within.
- PONO – Effectiveness is the measure of truth.
2. Lymphatic Drainage
There are many potential contributing factors to us not looking or feeling our best. But what few of us realise is that our body has its own hidden transport and septic system that works 24/7, removing damaging toxins so you can rise and shine to make every day your best. This is called the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system explained
The lymphatic system measures more than 100,000 km in length and plays a significantly powerful role in how good we feel on a daily basis. It is basically a fluid-like clag glue that moves through its own series of vessels towards the neck and then the heart in a one-way motion. Waste from cellular metabolism and toxins from the bloodstream are sent into the lymph fluid for removal. This waste includes excess fluid, debris, dead blood cells, pathogens, cancer cells and toxins. A build-up of toxins and metabolic waste can typically occur in a lymphatic system that is overworked and congested. This results in an increased risk of inflammation and reduced immune function.
A congested lymphatic system places an increased burden on the skin as it tries to deal with this build-up, which can contribute to inflammation, poor complexion and other skin problems. The lymphatic system also works with the circulatory system to deliver nutrients, oxygen and hormones from the blood to the cells that make up the tissues of the body. The hardworking lymph system doesn’t have a pump like the blood has the heart. It relies on bodily movement for circulation and, as we know, we don’t move as much as we should! The lymph system can stop working properly if it becomes cut (from surgery), blocked, inflamed, or cancerous.
The lymphatic system is also responsible for:
- How quickly we can get in shape. Think metabolism, fat transportation, and the speed of hormonal responses.
- How fast we recover from exercise. Removing lactic acid and cellular wastes.
- How quickly we heal from sickness, surgery or injury, thanks to a quick-responding immune system.
How does lymphatic imbalance show in your body?
Your lymphatic vessels need to inflame by more than 100 per cent before being noticed!
This inflammation can show up through:
- Pain in your joints, muscles, hands and feet
- Sore throats
- Hormonal problems
- Swelling of lymph nodes in the throat, armpits or groin
Some commonly known culprits for these blockages include sugar, coffee, alcohol, dairy, processed foods and prescription drugs.
Making the connection between what your body consumes to how you feel every day, as well as lifestyle factors, is the key to our wellness. If you aren’t feeling so great (fatigue, bloating, excess weight, brain fog, acid reflux, constipation, skin issues, allergies, pain, and inflammation), please ask yourself why. What can you reduce or remove from your lifestyle? How well do you look after yourself?
Do you drink at least two litres of water a day?
Do you move your body?
Do you breathe deeply?
Or do you wear restrictive clothes, have broken sleep, or consume/use some of the damaging products above?
Do you feel toxic? Are you just hanging in there… surviving and not thriving?
By targeting your lymphatic health, you will be better supporting every system in your body.
Lymphatic drainage is a gentle massage that stimulates the circulation of lymph fluids around the body, which can sometimes build up and cause swelling, restricted range of motion and feelings of heaviness.
For this treatment, I use a technique called the Chelsey Jean Lymphatic Drainage technique. I’ve learnt a few different techniques over the years and I receive lymphatic drainage every fortnight myself! I prefer this technique as it uses specifically designed gloves and a powerful naturopathic combination of plants, herbs and essential oils. This technique will help strengthen and repair your lymphatic, vein and capillary function while nourishing your cells. A lightweight cream is massaged into the skin, containing ingredients that help to improve circulation, reduce inflammation and stimulate the lymphatic system.
3. Eden Massage
I base my Eden Massage – a 55-minute relaxation massage – on a gentle Kahuna flow. It works on releasing the stress from our neuro lymphatic system, which is just under the surface of our skin.
A relaxation massage releases tension from the mind and body without causing pain. It can also help improve peripheral circulation, temporarily lower blood pressure, and enhance skin tone and appearance. Additionally, relaxation massages help to release endorphins, which are the chemicals that are released when you are experiencing something that your body perceives as positive. For instance, exercise or socialising with friends. These chemicals make you feel good and combat the symptoms that often come with conditions such as depression and stress.
My name is Margot James and I’m one of the Eden Spa therapists. Apart from being a therapist, I also spend time as a treatment coordinator. I now specialise in Kahuna Massage (Level 6) and my other qualifications include a Diploma in Remedial Massage and specialised courses in Chapman’s Reflex, Lymphatic Drainage, Liquid Crystals and more – lots of tools in my toolbox, so to speak!
I came to be a massage therapist after a dear friend (now departed this earth) – who was a spiritual healer herself – told me I had healing hands and needed to start using them. I was doing office work at the time, but that started me on this journey. I did a Swedish massage course and although it was great, I knew something was missing. That something was Kahuna. I had no idea what I was getting into when I went on the first 7-day retreat to learn Kahuna. I came home and my life had completely changed. That was 20 years ago!