I have a fascination with the East when it comes to health and beauty. Their holistic approach to medicine has always interested me, even more so since a Chinese doctor fixed my Nan’s back hernia that western doctors claimed could only be cured with a very risky surgery. Not to mention their innovation in the beauty arena, with South Korea being where all big Western corporations are looking at for inspiration. So when I walked past Chi Yu on George Street I knew I had to come in for a treatment and for a cup of lovely herbal tea.
A wellness centre, not a spa, Chi Yu is inspired by traditional Japanese philosophy and provides personal holistic treatments to balance body, mind and soul. Chi Yu means healing in Japanese and the complimentary therapies aim to support the body’s own healing process. Prior to my treatment I was in contact with the well reputed and very knowledgeable Mami Tsang, who founded the salon over five years ago. She recommended I tried Integrated Therapy, one of their signature and more popular treatments, which combines any number of techniques in order to suit the client’s needs and preferences. Anything from aromatherapy and meridian massage to acupuncture and acupressure can be incorporated, based on an initial assessment, to provide a truly bespoke experience.” Read more (article link) or PDF version.
Let’s face it; you’re almost certainly over-stressed. You probably don’t get enough sleep, it’s likely that you work longer hours than you should, and there’s every chance that your commute to work takes at least thirty rage-filled minutes. But, hey, that’s modern life. It’s not something you give any thought. I mean – it’s not as if there’s some treatment capable of completely alleviating your stress, is there? Except, in a little corner of Marylebone, there is…
Chi Yu is based in a small, unassuming building near the corner of George Street. It styles itself as a Wellness Centre, which is a phrase vague enough to set off alarm bells in the heads of ‘alternative therapy’ skeptics – myself very much included. The foyer is staffed by an impossibly serene and soft-spoken receptionist, and filled with incense, vaguely Eastern ambient music, and complimentary puffed rice snacks. It feels cozy, but I am unable to shake off the lingering concern that someone is about to read my aura, and then use an obscure mix of homeopathic tinctures to communicate with my dead cat.
My practitioner arrives – Chi Yu’s founder Mami Tsang, an impossibly petite Japanese woman. She leads me into the dimly lit treatment room, where she quizzes me on my life. Am I stressed? Of course I am. She nods, sympathetically. Any other pain? Well, as it happens, I’m recovering from a broken ankle. She immediately glances at the ankle, assesses my posture, and decides what must be done. Clad in a towel, I lay down on the padded table, and my worries instantly evaporate – along with a good portion of my stress. Chi Yu’s speciality is integrated therapy – a bespoke combination of different forms of massage and acupuncture, tailored precisely to the needs of the patient. Read more (article link) or PDF version.
Watch our Integrated Therapy video as featured in the review