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SPA DOCTOR: Calming scents helped me get a good night’s sleep … finally!

Insomnia has been an undesirable part of my life for ten years. An uninterrupted night’s sleep is a luxury that I rarely enjoy.

As a musician, my work schedule regularly disrupts my sleep patterns. That can work odd hours on the weekend – sometimes at 11 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m.

Then I have to switch to normal bed times during the week.

I have tried every herbal remedy under the sun and even puffed melatonin pills, designed to cause drowsiness.

Nothing worked.

I then read reports from a study last week that concluded that lifelong disturbed sleep can increase the risk of heart problems.

I panicked.

It was time to try something different, something else.

As a musician, my work schedule regularly disrupts my sleep patterns. The award-winning Congham Hall Hotel and Spa in King's Lynn (photo) is a rural Georgian country house surrounded by 30 acres of lush gardens. I was particularly interested in the specialized sleep-inducing massage from the spa, which was highly recommended

As a musician, my work schedule regularly disrupts my sleep patterns. The award-winning Congham Hall Hotel and Spa in King’s Lynn (photo) is a rural Georgian country house surrounded by 30 acres of lush gardens. I was particularly interested in the specialized sleep-inducing massage from the spa, which was highly recommended

The solution

The award-winning Congham Hall Hotel and Spa at King’s Lynn is a rural Georgian country house surrounded by 30 acres of lush gardens.

The former family house is known as a flower oasis.

About 400 types of herbs bloom in the 11 gardens and evoke a sense of tranquility with their combined scents.

Some, such as rosemary, are used in the dishes served at the hotel restaurant, and others are used in typical spa treatments.

I was particularly interested in the specialized sleep-inducing massage from the spa, which was highly recommended.

The treatment

The “five element aroma”, one-hour massage is designed to soothe the senses, with a special focus on scent. I hoped it would relax the signals in the brain that seem to bring mine into a state of excitement at night.

To begin with, the therapist asked me to alternately smell every oil and then choose the combination that I liked best. In my case it turned out to be a soothing mix of cedar wood, mandarin, lime, bergamot, incense and geranium.

Based on the principles of Chinese medicine (of which my therapist is a fan), ultimate relaxation comes from scents that contain the five fundamental elements in the universe – water, fire, air, earth and metal.

And yes, as soon as I inhaled the citrusy, floral and earthy scent, my low anxiety disappeared.

Hot stones were then placed on my back – a first for me.

The goal is to loosen muscles and stimulate your blood circulation – the deep heat is likely to increase blood flow to the muscles, reducing pain, pain and tension.

All this promotes the chance of deep sleep, the type that makes you feel refreshed when you wake up.

Then my therapist applied moderate pressure to my shoulders – the perfect complement to the calming aromas that fill my nostrils.

The combination of heat, gentle pressure and wonderful smells was so soothing that I started drifting away.

Not surprisingly, I had no trouble falling asleep that night.

My sleep clock was even reset for several days – I got a solid eight hours, night after night.

For me that is a miracle.

An aromatic five-element massage costs £ 65 for 60 minutes / £ 85 for 90 minutes. conghamhallhotel.co.uk

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