The Magic Touch

7th August 2009

Jill Glenn visits Senses in Northwood, to experience a very individual combination of therapies…

It’s possible that booking a massage appointment mid-morning on my last day in the office before a fortnight’s holiday wasn’t ideal. Or perhaps it was. By the time I’d extricated myself from meetings, dealt with 101 emails, driven to Northwood reciting to myself all the things I simply had to get done in the afternoon, failed to spot the nearby parking spaces and fallen out with a traffic warden in the car park at the other end of town, I was certainly in need of something to make me feel better.

And I found it.

Senses is a Well-being and Thai Massage Centre tucked away in the unlikely surroundings of Station Approach, Northwood. The salon is small, but quite exquisite; a feeling of serenity envelops you the moment you walk in. The atmosphere is calm, and very professional.

The initial consultation form includes a ‘body map’ on which the client draws in any areas of tension or pain; I sketched in a couple of large circles here and there, but owner Farah Condor was having none of my casual approach. Sitting with me, she insisted on clarifying exactly what I meant: was the pain here? Or here? All the time? Occasionally? When?

I’d had a preliminary chat with her before booking the appointment, and she’d recommended one of the salon’s specials: Masako’s Magic – a very powerful and relaxing treatment that promises deep effects on mind, body and soul. It combines three techniques: Chinese cupping, Swedish massage and Reiki. I’d experienced the latter in the past, and other massages such as Thai and Ayurvedic etc, but cupping (a form of acupuncture that uses ‘cups’, such as those pictured, to create suction and move the energy, the qi, around the body) and Swedish massage were both new to me. It seemed a curious combination – but Farah and Masako both inspire trust, and so I signed up for what proved to be both a relaxing and a restorative experience.

I’m hazy on the detail, here; the 90 minutes passed with me in a rapidly induced dream-like state. There was some pain, I think, from the depth of the massage… but not painful pain; just a thorough working of areas that needed attention, and always with the reminder that I could opt for a softer touch if I preferred. It’s not a pamper treatment; this is about ‘fixing’ bits of you that aren’t working, so the process differs from one individual to the next… an emphasis on cupping for some, on Reiki for others. I can’t tell you how Masako proportioned it for me; all I can recall is the deep sense of calm, an awareness of flickering lights and shadows, and the realisation that, whatever I needed to get done that day, this would be a splendid help to me. And it was.

Senses is at 9 Station Approach, Northwood HA6 2XN
Call 01923 841222 or book online at

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