Erika’s Unisex Express Facial

Erika’s Unisex Express Facial

I booked in to try Erika’s Express Facial on Wednesday, which is the cheapest wellness treatment on her menu at £20, with part of me thinking I’m about to pay for something I can probably do just as well myself at home. But as I was feeling under the weather I knew I’d still feel better for it afterwards. It was raining again so lucky me and the clients who had been in earlier – everyone had said the same thing apparently, cosiness with an extra dopple of cozy when it’s raining.

The treatment starts with a cleanse, but then I’m a bit hazy after that. The facial massage, the scalp massage, the hand massage, the lovely oils, it just went on and on until I was rendered slightly comatose…. in a sort of roll me up into a corner when you’ve finished and let me sleep here kind of way. Nothing express about it.

The product left on your face and hair she recommends you leave on overnight for best results, so I spent the rest of the evening in a relaxed state with partially oily hair, a glowing complexion and a copiously bleeding finger from dropping and smashing a pint glass of water. Not going to harp on about how important it is to rehydrate after a treatment, but clearly being in a relaxed state should carry its own health warning.

I did ask at the end if I’d had special treatment with the scalp and hand massage, but no, I’d received the standard £20 Express Facial. I will continue to have Erika’s more tailored facials from time to time as I need them, but at this price this is one I’ll definitely be able to revisit more regularly, not only as a conditioning treatment, but also a lovely pick me up.   

PS Although my hair needed 3 shampoos the next day, the condition was lovely. Colour treated hair is always better after a long conditioning treatment and something I should do more regularly.

Secretly Stealing Wellbeing from the Therapists

Secretly Stealing Wellbeing from the Therapists

Before I started developing our wellness centre last year, I did some massage training at a wonderful place in the beautiful Welsh Borders. I enjoyed it so much that I will definitely go back there and have an overnighter somewhere close and book in as a client for a couple of treatments now that I’m not going away this year (will leave details at the end of the blog in case you would like to take a mini break and try it for yourself). Anyway, it was at that point I became aware that therapists, who clearly love what they do, seem to radiate an aura of peacefulness that makes you feel better just being in their company.

I asked Mai, our Thai Therapist, about this and she explained that while giving that ultimate touch therapy, the massage, there is a cross transference of wellbeing between the masseur and the client. She says that giving 4 maybe 5 massages a day perfectly balances her state of wellbeing. I know this to be true of Reiki practitioners as well.

The flip side of this is that many more people have stressful jobs, such as doctors and nurses, or work in an environment where they are constantly absorbing client anxiety, such as dentists and driving test examiners. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), early warning signs of job stress include:

  • Headaches
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Short temper
  • Job dissatisfaction
  • Low morale

These symptoms interfere with an employee’s sense of well-being and can result in poor health behaviours, such as not eating or eating too much. Moreover, sustained exposure to stressful working conditions can result in a variety of long term health problems, including:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Psychological disorders
  • Workplace injury

Research shows that amongst other things, three of the commonest ways to combat stress and release negative energy are having a support network (not everyone has and sometimes it’s not enough), self care, and taking regular exercise. We can’t take care of the latter, but we can provide  expert emotional support (Lemon Tree Therapy) and physical therapy (Erika and Mai) to help restore wellbeing.

And so I continue to shamelessly steal my little bit of “feel good” from the therapists when I see them. And when that’s not enough, for example when my stress levels are high or the old back and creaking joints need a bit of attention, then I book myself in for a proper treatment and then can I properly appreciate the Garden Therapy Room as a client. The sounds of nature, the gentle spa music, the aroma of the oils, the warmth, the lovely therapists and their expert soothing hands… and if I’m lucky and the weather’s bad, the gentle rhythm of the rain on the roof… all combining to give that ultimate wellbeing therapy.

See full details at


Lemon Tree Therapy, in the Garden Therapy Room at Cabelo in Tettenhall

Debbie Hughes @Pretty Vintage Holistics & Spiritual Therapies
The Old Co-op
Ellesmere Road
St Martins
SY11 3AZ

I will be booking in for the Face the World facial, which is a choreographed massage to a gorgeous soundtrack, together with a reflexology treatment, but go to her website and see what else she offers. As I say about our therapists’ treatments, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

01691 778012

Eric and Butters

Eric and Butters

These little guys have settled in really well and have received so much attention and socialisation that I’m hoping they’ll make fine therapy bunnies. Viktoria, who recently relocated her private practice (Lemon Tree Therapy) to Cabelo, has already used Eric in a couple of interventions and he has done really well.

Eric is the more traditional looking rabbit and Butters has the white patches on this head. They absolutely adore each other and it’s really cute to see them interact. If rabbits laid eggs, I think they would make the perfect pet!

Flora and Fauna

Flora and Fauna

I don’t know of any other salon that has its own private garden, so I consider us very privileged. It’s taken just over 2 years to turn what was once a muddy dumping ground for scaffolding, bricks and building paraphernalia, into a tranquil space in which to relax and reflect, with our Garden Therapy Room taking centre stage.

Our original olive tree sits surrounded by old fashioned flowers such as hollyhocks, roses and a camelia. Lupins, which have been left to seed, are springing up everywhere; we even have a purple lupin thriving in a crack in the paving slabs.

We are currently working on the raised rose bed to improve the quality and longevity of the blooms. Then there’s the daisies, pots of sweet smelling pinks and sweet peas, which will hopefully add their colour and heavenly scent along the fence line later in the summer. 

A Perfect Setting for a Wellness Therapy

A Perfect Setting for a Wellness Therapy

I took my mother-in-law to have a back massage with Erika yesterday. It was a gloriously sunny day and a lot of the flowers are now in full bloom; hanging baskets, the sweet scent of old fashioned roses and pots of pinks, hollyhocks, lupins, tiny olives on our olive tree and an abundance of mint, sage and thyme which I use in cooking and as daily treats for the bunnies, Eric and Butters.

I arrived back about 5 minutes before the appointment was due to end and sat chatting to Erika’s next client, each of us with one of the salon’s fabulous cappuccinos in hand (socially distanced at separate tables of course!), and she voiced exactly what I was thinking… isn’t this just perfect. And it was. I just wished I was staying for a treatment instead of going home to conquer a pile of ironing.