I was thrilled to see “The Original Weleda Garden”. They obviously have much bigger gardens now but the original one gives you a lovely taste of the plants that Weleda value and incorporate in all their products.
The Signature Massage Course
I was visiting Weleda HQ for the Signature Massage Course – an introductory course for therapists wanting to expand their massage treatments or to use as demonstrations including an anthroposophical approach.
The course has been constructed with as much thought and attention to detail as every Weleda creation (including a couple of days research at the Espace Spa in Paris I believe!).
We began the course with a Eurythmy exercise (such as those practised in Steiner schools). This really grounded me and brought me into my body. We were then given a brief history lesson about Rudolf Steiner and the soil from where Anthroposophy grew.
We learned that, as a child, Rudolf Steiner was a very sensitive soul, having a deaf brother and a propensity to see spirits from a young age. So the value of Rhythm and an awareness of the Ether were already part of his life from a young age.
Rudolf Steiner’s basic philosophy states that Good Health is a balance between polar opposites and those opposite qualities are important for balance in life.
For example there is no dark without light and even further down the line there is no point in having someone who is good at talking if you do not have someone who is a good listener!
Balance and Rhythm are echoed in the form and use of a lemniscate. This is the figure of eight symbol, the name of which comes from the Latin meaning “decorated with ribbons”. We had already been introduced to this while tracing a figure of 8 to mix the bath milks into the footbaths at the winter warmer or Spa events. This rhythmic action helps to focus our minds and our intention at that moment in time. I have since used the lemniscate in much of my cooking – I find it a really lovely way to stir positive intentions and focus as I prepare food!
The Lemniscate becomes an important and powerful symbol of balance and harmony within the Signature Massage Course and within Anthroposophy itself. This symbol also resonated intensely with me as it echoed the balance and flow of the Rhythm I feel during my Craniosacral practice!
We were also introduced to other anthroposophical concepts such as 3 fold and 4 fold philosophy. I can only elaborate on these to say that natural plant oils are used to warm and strengthen the metabolic limb system and our own skin – which is in turn the carrier of our nerves and senses. So it is through the rhythmic application of these vital plant oils that we can reinforce and strengthen healthy balance in life!
To see the value in this I would just imagine the opposite – ie the application of a mineral oil (many cosmetic oils and lotions contain petroleum) which does not warm or penetrate the skin but rather smothers in and acts against its need to breathe.
We learned a more detailed Hand and Arm, Foot and Leg massage using all of these essential elements from Steiner’s Anthroposophy to create a very powerful and almost spiritual experience.
I first began to realise the potential of the massage as words such as “Flow”, “balance”, “stillness” and “stillpoint” were being used in our discussions. These resonated once again with my craniosacral training, through which I had initially understood the power of levity of touch!
After experiencing the massages on Saturday we went away to reflect over night and I found my ego wandering the astral planes very happily in many dreams!!
The following day we did a short workshop on the Weleda plant oils. We were given an unlabelled oil to smell. It was amazing to sense the subtleties of fragrance and the combination of many different plant oils.
Without knowing which oil we had been given we could smell the juicy oranges and describe the nourishing and uplifting scent of the Sea Buckthorn oil. We were also given the Evening Primrose oil which I didn’t recognise as I felt so drawn to the undertones of olives, clean grass and woodlands which I later realised was the base oils of olive, jojoba and wheatgerm.
Other groups described old favourites such as Calendula Massage oil as smelling of Lemon sherbert, the Citrus Body oil smelling of Lemon Drizzle cakes and the Pomegranate oil as smelling of Christmas!!
We then went on to revisit the properties of the essential oils in the bath milks. Rosemary is stimulating and warming, Lavender is relaxing and calming, Citrus is enlivening but also grounding and centering, Rose is nurturing and comforting, promoting love for yourself and those around you and Pine is like taking a walk in a fresh pine forest, refreshing and ideal during episodes of mental or physical exhaustion, enabling a bronchial boost.
As you can see my first visit to HQ was enlightening as ever and well worth the wait!! The only thing left for me to do now is to work out how and where to integrate my treatments! Let me know if you would be interested in finding out how Weleda oils can be beneficial to you on an emotional as well as physical level or if you feel you already know what you need just go to my online webshop!