Holistic therapist. Dark healer. Call him what you like. But whichever descriptor, one things for sure, Ben works magic. It’s not dark. But it is mystical. He has an incredible way with words. A touch that can be strong, and gentle. A presence of someone who’s been there and knows the journey.
As part of our ‘Soul Review’ we experience first-hand what’s out there and believed to be authentic places or treatments positioned as a genuine benefit to our health and wellbeing. From alternative therapies, spa’s retreats to educational and experiential courses.
Ben Barnett’s work combines massage, visualisation and reiki. He adapts his approach with each client as he taps into the spiritual, physical and mental components of our being. In theory he looks to increase or decrease the significance of something in your life. Ben knows exactly how to describe his work. And so in an attempt to bring my experience to life, please bear in mind, that it’s like explaining the taste of Jaffa cakes. It only really works if you taste them.
First up. I’m led by intuition. First impressions are impactful and often long-lasting. Much can be uncovered by language, brand and personal presence. As a marketer, I’m fascinated by brand. The dark healer itself intrigued me. I was of course bewitched by The Modern Day Wizard, so I have a track record. By his own admittance, the name is founded on the colour of his skin, and healer, simply because of the benefit his work has on those fortunate to discover his work.
Prior to my treatment, Ben described his work as ‘Transformational 3 Dimensional massage, on a Hydrotherm waterbed with guided visualisation’. No it didn’t mean too much to me either. But it sounds amazing doesn’t it? Let me try my spin on it.
As the treatment came to an end. He gently prodded;
‘How do you feel?’
‘Heavy.’ I responded with a sigh.
‘And how’s your environment?’
“I’m lying on the beach, sinking in the sand.” I saw the waves from the beach, gently lapping against the sand in the mesmerising way only the sea can do.
To let my body go. To feel safe in his company. To allow my mind to be taken into different places. All pretty trusting for a first treatment.
During the massage, an eternity, Ben worked from my painted toenails to my weighty head. He combined the physical touch with a guided visualisation. A unique approach I’d not experienced before. He was clear about me not recalling or concentrating on his words and to let go. He asked me to give him two words, I gave him three, that I wanted to focus on within my visualisation. He beautifully entwined the concepts of my chosen words, intimacy, commitment and openness, into the visualisation. By the time he’d worked his way up to my chest, I was on the verge of deep unconsciousness, sunk in the waterbed. As I drifted in and out, certain phases and words struck chords. His hands meandered around my body, covered in oil, finding resistance and creating flow. I’d gone.
After my treatment we talked about how what unraveled in that time had complemented my already curious mind. I’d arrived intrigued and to be honest, a little sceptical. Having experienced hundreds of massages from Ayurvedic in India, Thai on the streets of Chang Mai to top class spa’s in Canada I’m definitely critical on how my body is touched. Simon has been my regular Shiatzu therapist for 18 months, and someone I trust implicitly with my body. The first touch therefore is incredibly telling. And so yes, Ben knows how to touch. He relates to the body as the kingdom to the mind. Giving it the respect it deserves.
Ben’s work comes from 20 years of experience, understanding the mind and the body. He’s different. He appeals to men and women from all walks of life, from those of us who are learning and growing, to cancer patients and the disabled. From corporates who want to improve their commercial performance to elite athletes looking to not let the past inform their future. With his gift of language, I’ve no doubt that he tailors his approach and gets results. So even if holistic itself feels scary, or you’re having your first massage, you’re in safe hands.
Now I just need to work out how I get back to Folkestone.
Ben Barnett: Clinics in Grace Belgravia, Vitality Crowborough, Threehills Sports Park (Centre of Excellence) Folkestone