Drawing inspiration from Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ashmira Botanica centres around the philosophy of "nurturing your skin from within." They have meticulously crafted a personalised full-body regimen designed to restore the radiant glow that winter's harsh elements may have obscured.
Who doesn't long for that inner luminance that prompts your coworker to not-so-subtly ask, "have you had some work done?". Yet, despite being our body's largest organ, our skin often suffers from neglect due to daily encounters with pollution, harsh weather, and the demanding lifestyles many young professionals lead. (Yes, I'm talking about those of you who manage on 5 hours of sleep, subsist mainly on Pret-A-Manger, and perhaps tally only 2000 daily steps.) This is where Ashmira Botanica enters the scene.
As a 21-year-old social media editor fresh from an incredibly hectic stint at fashion week, I was yearning for some well-deserved relaxation. A morning at the exquisite Chuan Spa at The Langham sounded like the ideal antidote. My therapist, Tracey (also the founder of Ashmira Botanica), enlightened me about the treatment's personalized approach. Not only would it address my typical skin concerns (hormonal fluctuations, acne-prone tendencies, dryness), but it would also factor in my biorhythms, current emotions, and the prevailing season. In the context of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), spring symbolises renewal and commencement – a period for purging toxins from the body and negative energies from the mind. It felt only natural that the treatment and products would focus on the liver and gallbladder.
To encapsulate, this experience transcends mere skincare treatment. The utilisation of natural plants, essential oils, and clays harmonizes the skin's essential energy, intertwining physical and emotional aspects. This holistic approach alleviates physical tension and fosters mental clarity, offering a comprehensive rejuvenation.
The Secrets of Traditional Chinese Medicine
In accordance with the age-old healing principles of Chinese Medicine, our body and mind are akin to a mirror, reflecting both internal and external imbalances within the intricate meridian systems. Ashmira Botanica has harnessed the expertise of therapists to discern these imbalances and impediments, employing advanced mindful massage techniques, acupressure points, sound healing, crystal and energy work, along with their natural, vegan-friendly products to effect noticeable and immediate transformations.
At the heart of Ashmira Botanica lies the profound philosophy of the five elements from ancient Chinese wisdom: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. These elements elucidate interactions and relationships among phenomena, embodying the very essence of the universe. Reverberating within these elements are the intrinsic qualities of both the human body and the physical world, their ebb and flow shaping our physical, mental, and emotional equilibrium.
The prospect of experiencing all this encapsulated in a 90-minute facial held undeniable allure, particularly for an individual like myself, grappling with stress, hormonal fluctuations, and acne-prone skin.
Welcomed into the treatment room with a ceremonial mug of hot cacao packed full of flavonoids (nutrients shown to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, and aid in preventing blood clots), I surrendered to a delightful back exfoliation with ground rice powder, followed by a soothing head massage that targeted acupressure points all over my scalp. The back massage that then ensued worked on meridians, which are acupuncture and energy vessels that function as a network, to assist in stimulating and balancing my emotions. I then turned over onto my front to begin the facial portion of the treatment, with a soothing massage and cleanse with rose oil, and a creamy clay cleanser to ease away tension and stress. After a spray toner of rose hydrosol, the facial exfoliation and subsequent massage (with vacuum suction cups to help remove toxins) balances the yin and yang energies in the skin, softening lines and promoting that glow from within. The elemental wood mask is then applied whilst chimes and sound bowls are incorporated to provide even deeper relaxation, and rose quartz rollers are used all over the face and neck to help remove toxins, reduce inflammation, and lessen the appearance fine lines and wrinkles; bringing about an overall sense of health and wellbeing and leaving you with radiant skin.
My Final Thoughts
To be perfectly candid, I approached this experience with a hint of skepticism. As someone who aligns with the "wellness" mindset, I'm inclined to place my trust in science-backed research when it comes to matters of skin, health, and overall well-being (yes, I'm a Huberman Lab enthusiast during my daily commute!). Naturally, I was aware of the skepticism surrounding Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as being riddled with "pseudoscience" claims and lacking logical explanations for the majority of its treatments. However, my encounter with Ashmira Botanica completely defied my expectations. Exiting that treatment room, I genuinely hadn't felt such profound relaxation – almost a newborn's sense of serenity – in ages. I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone grappling with burnout, congestion, or fatigue.
Pure Alchemy Facial Treatment - £210 / 90 Minutes
Chuan Spa, The Langham Hotel, London, W1B 3DE