If you're into BuzzFeed and Facebook quizes, you already know which Kardashian and what classic rock band you are, but which of the Traditional Chinese Medicine five elements resonates most?
The new Five Rituals treatment at Yuan Spa in Bellevue begins with you picking between earth, water, fire, wood, and metal—or the season that has traditionally been associated with them. Don't know? Don't worry. Yuan can guide you through.
Whether you're a Chinese medicine newbie or a devotee (say, like, me, an acupuncture addict), and whether you pick the season at hand or the one that tends to gum you up, what's really important to know is that this new service combines dry brushing, acupressure, and aromatherapy and a focus on harmony and balance. The aim is to renew the mind, body, and spirit—and perhaps along the way, according to the spa, "decrease tension from various ailments such as neck and lower back pain, headaches, and even anxiety."
I've tried it myself, and I can tell you it's not the most relaxing treatment in the world. Though the dry-brushing is, at the very least, a fantastic metaphor for getting rid of that which does not serve you, and while the treatment does include the invigorating, get-in-there goodness of pressure points, it's not necessarily a "treat yourself" kind of situation. Or rather, it would and could be, but be warned that it's not about warm fuzzies.
As massage therapist and treament co-developer Christina Mann says, “If a client identifies with the metal element, then we will focus on the lung and large intestine meridians of the arm and transform the energy to rejuvenate the body as a whole."
Mann herself was my therapist when I went, and my spirit engineer, and metal was my focus. During the hour-long experience she assumes the role of a guided meditation leader, using a soothing voice along with the aforementioned other elements to coax a feeling of wellness, newness, wholeness, and positive vibes. If my energy wasn't transformed, well, I can say confidentally that my mind and spirit were aligned with transformative energy, and I genuinely had good health and a healthy outlook on the brain—and embedded in my muscles—in the days that followed.
If you go, please, please, please do not forget to arrive early and get into those soaking pools before your treatment.