Have you ever wondered what you could give someone who already has everything? Well, how about a Soul Uplifting Ritual at the beautiful new Suntra Spa in Cape Town?
Situated on the 7th floor of the impressive new five star 15 on Orange Hotel, not only does this spa have the most awesome views of Cape Town, it also offers some very unusual treatments on its already extensive menu. So, when my editor passed on the spa invite to me, I felt quite chuffed. Only hours later I started to stress about what I'd let myself into. What on earth is a “soul uplifting ritual”, as promised in the brochure, and what are they going to do to me?
According to the spa invite, the ritual is a "tailor-made specialty treatment by Tera-Mai Seichem Master Dave Talbot called 'Mind, Body and Soul' which re-balances the entire body whilst healing injuries and infusing energy from head to toe".
Tera-what? Not feeling any wiser, after re-reading the invite carefully, I felt even more trepidation. It all sounded far too airy-fairy to me. Can't I just have a nice normal massage or something? Why me?
Well, after a lovely long Easter weekend, D-day arrived and I dutifully clocked in at the spa for my two-hour soul uplifting ritual. Actually, I felt very relaxed and rested after the long weekend and did not really feel in need of any soul upliftment, thank you very much!
My first big surprise was when I met Tera-Mai Seichem Master Dave Talbot. He looked perfectly normal to me…ummm…to be honest, he's actually quite handsome. (I guess I was expecting some kind of weirdo?) He greeted me warmly and immediately made me feel at home with his friendly nature.
As if he could sense my questions and slight worry, he immediately started out by explaining to me what the two-hour session would entail.
What is it?
"This treatment is a comprehensive journey of healing that combines a variety of disciplines and techniques in order to heal and renew the body, mind and spirit whilst strengthening one's ability to ward off negativity, illness and emotional wear and tear," Dave explains.
According to Dave, Tera-Mai Seichem is an ancient healing method from the East that incorporates Reiki and other energy rays to bring about positive energy shifts and consciousness-raising experiences.
"Tera-Mai Seichem is a subtle and gentle healing form using the energy of earth, fire, water and air – all the basic elements of life. It is non-religious and the receiving of Seichem energy healing is solely dependent on the willingness of the client to accept that self-healing is possible. Seichem brings about a balancing of the natural energy systems in and around the body to relieve stress and facilitate healthy energy flow."
It's all about energy
"We are not just physical bodies,” Dave continues, “We are made of energy and everything around us consists of energy; all our thoughts and actions influence that energy.
That makes good sense. If you think about it, if someone walks into a room and is in a bad mood, you can immediately feel it and it can sap your energy even more, if you're already feeling low yourself. On the other hand, a happy person exudes lots of positive energy which can be very infectious and draws us closer to them.
Dave demonstrated to me how our positive and negative thoughts can affect our personal energy field by way of "divination". (This term simply refers to a healer's intuitive ability to measure energy.) With the help of divining rods (which looked a bit like knitting needles to me), Dave measured the energy that surrounds my physical body and then gave me a chance to witness the power of my thoughts on my personal energy field first hand – a fun exercise with fascinating results.
When Dave asked me to think of someone that I loved very much, I was surprised to see how much my energy field expanded. And when he asked me to think of something that made me really sad, my energy field immediately shrank again.
So, how could I see that? Well, when he walked towards me with the divination rods, they started to move as soon as he reached the edge of my energy field. And no, I honestly don't think he just moved the rods himself; it's a natural movement similar to when you bring two magnets together. It just happens. It's fascinating to watch!
By the way, Dave also asked me to take my cellphone out of my bag and just hold it. The moment I held my cellphone, my energy field got depleted quite severely – interesting food for thought on the whole cellphone safety debate.
After this very informative introduction to energy it was time to move on to the treatment programme itself, which consists of three steps - Mind, Body, Soul. The aim of all three treatments is to achieve complete relaxation, well-being and healthy energy flow.
Have you ever heard of a mind spa? How amazing is that! This is the part of the treatment that I loved best. It was so unbelievably relaxing.
For this treatment I had to lie down on the therapy table, fully clothed but barefoot. For about 25 minutes I was completely cut off from the world by listening to slow relaxing music which helped to activate the alpha brainwaves for a dream-sleep mind state, and by wearing a pair of special “sunglasses” with my eyes closed which sent out different light signals to help slow down my mind.
This combo was a very interesting sensation, and I could feel myself breathing slower and deeper as the minutes passed by – truly very relaxing. Oh yes, and during all of this, Dave also applied reflexology to my feet – pure bliss.
Body: Hands-on healing
Now that the mind was relaxed, it was time to move on to the body.
Dave used his divination tools again to measure my energy levels and locate the weak energy centres in my body. (We have seven main energy centres, also called chakras, that connect the physical body with the spiritual.)
He then used his hands to subtly redirect energy to where it was needed most.
"Seichem is a spiritual, hands-on healing therapy that brings about chakra balance in the body and clears and/or enables energy pathways," says Dave. As explained earlier, “it incorporates Reiki & other energy rays to bring about positive energy shifts and consciousness-raising experiences".
According to Dave, the recipient of such healing can experience sensations such as warmth and tingling as the energy starts to flow to the area that requires the healing. However, every session is different.
“Subtle changes will take place long after the treatment is over as the body assimilates the shift of energy."
To be completely honest, I did not feel any tingling or any sensations. I just felt very relaxed and sleepy. The meditation and visualisation session that followed made me even more relaxed – I was floating by then.
The only thing that did bother me after a while, though, was that I started to feel very cold (I think it was the air conditioning), and I also became more and more aware of a full bladder.
The final step in my soul uplifting ritual was, well, the soul. But, at this point I could think only of immediate earthly matters and asked Dave if I could quickly leave the room to answer Nature's call, hoping that this interruption would not break the healing ritual.
On my return Dave ask me to sit in a "healing circle of angelic symbol cards". They were symbols that I had never seen before. They reminded me a bit of those "ink blot" cards that psychologists show their patients and ask them "what they see".
After a short grounding process and meditation, the grand finale followed: the channelling session.
This final part of the session was really weird for me. Though I generally try to be open-minded, I wasn’t sure what to make of this. I have to admit, though, that I never felt unsafe or unprotected. I was more curious than anything else, and I think my jaw dropped more than once.
"Channelling is a natural ability that we are born with," says Dave. "We are all able to tap into the greater consciousness and very few of us realise this. It is a wonderfully enlightening spiritual experience to receive information on this level and is always appropriate with no negative effects. Messages from the higher realms are beautiful and full of inspiration for the individual who experiences them."
After reading a kind of prayer or mantra with Dave, he started channelling. As I understand it, his body becomes a channel that a higher being uses to communicate a message.
During our short session, the Archangel Raphael announced its presence and invited me to ask a question. Dave's eyes were closed and he spoke with a different voice, it did look/feel as if there were a different presence. This was one moment where my jaw was on the ground and I felt the urge to giggle. It was just all so strange. But, not wanting to be disrespectful, I proceeded and asked my question. And I got my answer. It was a powerful message and the words really resonated within me.
When Dave came back to himself, he seemed very emotional and took a minute or so to recover. Apparently the energy that goes through him during the channelling experience is extremely strong and exhausting.
Once I’d picked up my jaw again from the ground and Dave had composed himself, we had a short chat about my channeling experience and then it was time to leave. My session was over. I could go home. Phew! I went straight home and had a whole slab of chocolate all by myself.
So, was the ritual successful? Did my soul feel uplifted? Well, I wasn't exactly floating on cloud nine but I did feel very relaxed and calm, even given that I’d been in a good space already before the treatment. My mind was clear, my body at ease. I felt completely balanced.
The other thing I'm really not sure about the channelling session. The sceptic in me has hundreds of questions. A part of me wants to believe it with my whole heart, but I also have a very vivid imagination, so how do I know if it's true? How do I know if the channelling wasn't just an Oscar-winning performance by Dave? Didn't he just make an educated guess, based on what I’d told him about myself earlier on in the session?
Well, I guess this is something that everyone will have to work out for themselves. Whatever it is that happened there, I felt good in the moment, and, before the mind-talk kicked in, I actually felt that it was real and sincere.
Whatever your views on channelling, the rest of the two hours were sheer bliss – the ultimate form of relaxation that you should experience at least once in your lifetime.
The Soul Uplifting Ritual costs R850.
You can also choose to have only one of the three components as a treatment: the Mind Spa (30 minutes) costs R350, the Tera-Mai Seichem/hands on healing therapy (1h) costs R490; and the Angel Card Guidance/Channelling session (30 minutes) costs R450.
To make your reservation with Dave Talbot call: 082 552 8336 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All treatments will be performed at Suntra Spa 15 on Orange hotel, Cape Town.
(Images: Dave Talbot, Archangel Raphael with Tobias by Pietro Perugino, 1500, and Birgit Ottermann)
- (Birgit Ottermann, Health24, April 2010)