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Why it works… Made for Life Organics Hand on Heart spa treatment

Made for Life Organics is the skincare product manufacturer and spa therapist training brand that specialises in creating treatments that are safe for anyone. Created by Amanda Winwood, products and treatments were designed initially to be safe and effective for clients with or recovering from cancer. The beauty of them is that they can be completely tailored to the individual. After members of our team tried their Hand on Heart treatment at The Waterfront Hotel, Made for Life Organics explains what it’s all about…

What exactly is the Hand on Heart spa treatment?

Hand on Heart is one of our Cancer Touch Therapy treatments. It is a nurturing and calming treatment for the head, face, back and shoulders. It was created to allow you to drift away into a meditative state of relaxation. Slow Tui Na Chinese techniques rebalance and calm the upper body. Then the facial replenishes, nourishes and revives the skin with 100% organic Made for Life products.

The spa treatment includes all parts of the body and we train our therapists to adapt the treatment for anyone. For example, if you’ve had a mastectomy and can’t lie on your front it can be adapted for your comfort. Typically, it starts with the client face down, and for the first 20 minutes we work on the client’s back. It’s a very light massage, which is why we call it touch therapy, there’s not a lot of pressure.

The client then turns over and we do a facial. It includes a cleanse, tone and exfoliation and lots of massage and up to the scalp. If someone had a brain tumour we could focus more on the arms and legs for instance, so the real beauty of it is that it can be adapted to the client.

It’s absolutely a relaxation treatment where the light massage works on all the nerves. A deeper massage tends to work on muscles. It puts the body into a parasympathetic state - similar to when you start to fall asleep. It’s usually either 85 or 55 minutes long.

Where does it come from?

It’s created by Made for Life Organics. Marc Innes is our medical head and he was a paramedic. Amanda (our Managing Director) has a background in spas. It’s been checked by an oncologist as well. It’s all about knowing where you can work on a client whose had cancer or has cancer, safely.

What is it supposed to do?

The Cancer Touch Therapy treatments are akin to a period of meditation. They allow the body to access the parasympathetic state. The heart rate slows and the brain is encouraged into Alpha-Theta waves. It prompts the mind and body into a ‘state of allowing’. So the body and mind reconnect. This period of time allows rejuvenation on all levels - mind, body and spirit - including a natural boost to immunity.

Is there anything you do to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment?

We try to do all the things to make someone feel really embraced. So, for example, we try not to shake the client’s hand when we meet them because it’s too formal. Instead we try to create a nurturing environment - we touch the arm or give them a hug to greet them. We create a really warm, welcoming and safe environment. Amanda really wants us to step away from formality.

At Champneys we’ve also been supporting an initiative with Cancer Hair Care. It’s a charity that supports cancer patients with hair loss. In this instance that means trying to make the spa environment friendlier to hair loss. For example, they bring a wig stand into the treatment room - it’s all about making sure that someone feels comfortable, that these things are normal and they’re catered for.

Is there anything you recommend that clients do pre- or post-treatment to get the most out of it?

I think if they can just take time to stop, relax and breathe, that’s very important. We do give home care suggestions on a self care card. For example, if their nails have been damaged by chemotherapy then we make recommendations to help with that.

Is there anyone you particularly recommend the treatment for?

It’s for anyone with or recovering from cancer but it’s also perfect for people who just need to relax. It’s great for anybody who’s diabetic and prone to bruising, because the touch is so light. It’s great for anyone going through bereavement or divorce, anything where your head’s not in a good space. Anyone who’s stressed, not sleeping or anxious.

It can also be good for anyone with ADHD. It might have started as a cancer treatment but it’s really positive for other things as well and is ultimately just about wellbeing. It’s also very good for carers who come in and have the treatment as well.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t have this treatment and why?

No, because it can be adapted for anyone and is so light and gentle.

Waterfront Hotel

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