12 July 2016

Middle Piccadilly Retreat, Day One: Eat, Treatment, Sleep, Repeat.

They warn you about it on their website nowadays:-

The Middle Piccadilly Story

So we can meet your expectations and goals, please be aware that, however much we love traditional health spas, Middle Piccadilly is not a 5 star pampering spa, with fluffy robes, giant thelasatherapy jacuzzis and swimming pools... but you will get outstanding 5* therapies, comfortable guest accommodation, freshly created vegetarian cuisine, a charming rural setting and the peaceful ambiance that makes Middle Piccadilly truly unique!

You can imagine my surprise, therefore, when I was met by a fluffy robe, slippers in the wardrobe, and some gorgeous toileteries!

Whereas we used to be able to stay in the house - the actual absolutely idyllic little thatched cottage that is the heart of the retreat (pictured on my post yesterday), European Law has decreed it to be a fire risk and seeing as it's listed, the necessary alterations to make it legally habitable by guests aren't actually allowed.

Therefore, we can't sleep there anymore. The founding family either had to shut up shop or swap residences, so they moved out of their home which was on site anyhow, and we've moved into theirs!

This meant a smaller room for me.  A bit too small for my liking, to be honest. And a shared bathroom.  Again, not ideal, but that's certainly not the case for them all.  There are only six bedrooms in total (all charged at the same rate and allocated on a first come first served basis), two doubles, a twin and three singles, one of which has doors which opens on to the garden - I took a sneak peek while it was still empty - and the others are bigger.

middle piccadilly, rural healing retreat, dorset,

Seeing as I was a guest of Middle Piccadilly and it was all a bit last minute on my side, there really wasn't anything to complain about.  It was clean, with its own basin and tea and coffee making facilities and just across the way was a compact but comfortable 'Media Room' - the only place in the house with WiFi.  The rest of it - including the quite-large-with-sunset-views communal sitting room - is a Digital De-tox zone.

Talking of de-toxing, I was delighted that Dominic is, indeed, still doing the cooking and, yes, there really is such a thing as Cordon Vert cuisine!

Nowadays they offer three choices of it - Cleanse, Vegetarian and Raw Food.  They have also added a 'Living Smart Living Clean' programme - four to fourteen days of a combination of all three, together with tailor made holistic treatments.

Best of all, I was delighted to see Eliana Harvey is still hands on at the Retreat.  At age 86, she continues to teach workshops and is presently training up 17 Shamanic Therapists!  Her husband, Jerry, isn't so well, but he's still there, aged 90.  The whole family are incredibly inspiring examples of this kind of healthy living.

Eliana took my initial consultation and gave me a different kind of food - the type for thought - asking what I wanted to get out of my short stay with them.

The very short version is that I wanted to be less cross, more me.  Oh and there was the matter of the head injury I sustained a few years ago, from which I've never fully recovered.  And the usual feelings of (not necessarily just single) motherhood - overwhelm, anxiety, fatigue, frustration and never-ending guilt.

It transpired these consultations can be a bit hit and miss and aren't necessarily included in certain packages but I think they're an integral introduction to getting the most out of a stay there.  They kind of open up your mind to what matters to you and help to tailor the holistic treatments on offer.

These vary from £35-£85 and inlcude facials, therapeutic massage and a body scrub as well as the more Alternative or 'Energetic' ones that you can't always get elsewhere.  In my twenty odd years of exploring Natural Medicine, the therapists at Middle Piccadilly have always been of the most outstanding calibre and I'm pleased to say that there is never a 'push' or 'sell' of any description at any point, still.

After a delicious dinner - a hot nut roast, new potatoes and ratatouille plus a chocolate pudding (or the raw versions for those who chose so) - I took a wonderful walk, watched the sunset and retired early ahead of my Spiezia Hand on Heart session the following morning.  Everything was still and peaceful and felt home from home (well, apart from the still and peaceful bit, obvs!).

The Blurb:-

Spiezia Hand on Heart
This treatment centres the mind with the body, sharpening awareness of the feelings and sensations stimulated during the slow rhythmic massaging of both hands and feet, enlivening the energy flow on the body. These massages are orientated towards a number of sensitive and powerful pressure points, which stimulate energy interactions throughout the body, releasing mental and emotional blockages. The treatment culminates in gently rebalancing the chakras.

The small spa room at Middle Piccadilly.

It takes place in a small spa room.  The lights are dim, the candles are lit and the music is gentle Native American stuff  - flutes and drums - which I fell in love with on my times here before.

The Practitioner, Claire, was very intuitive, working on the hands up to the elbows and the feet up to the knees, on all the points and energy pathways that affect whole of the body.  She could feels in hers what was going on in mine and you know you're with a good one when that happens.

And there it was.  In my abdomen .  A great big fat ball of rage.

I tried to transmute it and make light of it.  I've known it's there, but have been too stubborn to want to shake it off.  Things have been very hard as a single parent and sometimes I think perhaps it's the only thing that's kept me going!

It's probably not very healthy, however neither was it going to disappear in an instant.

It is said that there's nothing wrong with anger per se, it's how we use it that matters.  It can move mountains and be used very beneficially, but I felt it was time to shift it now and I gave it a go.

Afterwards, in my room alone as the work continued to take effect, I had a feeling I owed myself some compassion and that's not something that comes naturally to us Brits, but, again, I tried and think it helped somewhat.

As is encouraged here, I slept afterwards.  Eat, Treatment, Sleep, Repeat, is how it seems to go, with a wonderful walk around the village if you fancy if it's not raining, which it was when I was there, so I just went for more of the same.

It's easy to see who the new guests are -they're comparatively loud!  But it only takes a morning to get them into the Zen zone.

Seeing as I was there, it wasn't walking weather and I liked and trusted the Therapist, I booked in for an Indian Head Massage, to see if it could help heal the concussion issues that still flare up.  It appeared a bit steep at £65 but it was for the best part of an hour and, in retrospect, really was worth it.  Cranio-sacral therapy and Acupuncture have made an enormous difference over the last couple of years, but I hadn't had the courage to try one of these until today.  It felt like right thing to do and I was glad to have gone with my gut instinct.    

Tomorrow I would be in the good hands of the main lady and founder of Middle Piccadilly, herself, Eliana Harvey, for Shamanic Healing.

In the meanwhile, another super supper was waiting without me having to lift a finger for it myself - always a plus!

Middle Piccadilly, food at Middle Piccadilly, Dorset, Retreat,
Not having to lift a finger for the excellent Cordon Vert cuisine at Middle Piccadilly.

Turning Back Time to Middle Piccadilly Healing Retreat in Dorset.

Day Two: Shamanic Healing and Shamanka School.