Wellbeing Specialists Walk the Walk

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A double treatment room at the Hotel Cafe Royal in London.
A double treatment room at the Hotel Cafe Royal in London.

London’s Hotel Cafe Royal has welcomed two new wellness experts to its panel of resident wellbeing specialists at the property’s Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre. Reiki master Bernice Robinson and wellness massage and martial arts trainer Yan Sophokleous are now available to members and guests for private consultations at the property’s state-of-the-art spa, which features a full suite of offerings that address mental, physical and spiritual well-being. There’s no doubt some of your clients have asked you about incorporating wellness elements into their travel, as health is top of mind for many travelers these days. We reached out to Sophokleous and Robinson to learn more about how guests will benefit from their respective practices, and why true well-being is more than just physical fitness.

Why do you feel the team at Hotel Cafe Royal felt it was important to add a reiki master and wellness massage and martial arts trainer to its roster of resident wellbeing specialists?

Yan Sophokleous (YS): Adding wellness massage and martial arts [services] will expand the service to give guests more options and create a more well-rounded approach, which will help them in achieving their goals. Wellness massage lends itself to dealing with the many issues that can have a negative effect on the mind/body/spirit. The broad teachings and training within the martial arts has the same affect, whilst attained using a different approach.

Bernice Robinson (BR): I feel having a reiki master is an important holistic therapy for guests as it works in perfect harmony with the other specialist therapists all complementing one another. All treatments are personalized to the guest’s specific needs and requirements; I work personally with the guest and explore further holistic skills they may not have thought about before. A reiki master treatment is a powerful, deeply relaxing and rebalancing journey of the mind, body and soul for our guests who would like to experience a treatment that does not include invigorating or energetic movement therapies.

What do your respective treatments entail?

YS: A 30-minute Deep Release Energy Flow Bodywork (DREFB) treatment will mainly concentrate on the guest’s most important issue at that moment. This can be performed with or without oils, on a massage table or futon or chair, as well as using standing techniques. The DREFB draws from many different massage and body manipulation methods, along with my own personally developed methods, which is bespoke to the guest “in the moment.” No treatment is ever the same and is always adjusted to the guest’s needs. The pressure and techniques used is always applied with mindful intent of releasing and re-balancing the guest into their natural state.

BR: A reiki master session would begin with a guest consultation. I ask if the guest has a specific health issue they would like to focus on and if so, could they explain a few brief examples of how it is affecting them. I then explain to the guest how and what they may feel during the deep relaxation sensation. It is performed by running my hands, hands off, above and over the body through the aura of the guest slowly and consciously, while doing so I pay attention to the subtle energy changes in my hands, it will often correspond with the earlier description from the guest as to where the problem is situated, physically, mentally or emotionally.

Why do you think it is important for people to focus on their overall well-being as much as/or more than their physical well-being?                             

YS: Balancing all areas is the key. You can work on the physical, which will have an effect on the emotional and vice-versa. DREFB and holistic personal training work as partners to help people achieve balance in their lives, looking at all aspects, and understanding how to enhance their health and well-being long-term, which I believe is a successful approach. This can be achieved by fusing all of your short-term goals into the unique pattern of your long-term health and wellness life plan. Everybody will then understand their own unique pattern, to then be able to control and shape their lives.

BR: I feel it is important for people in general to become aware of the positive power of healing energies because spiritual well-being is connected to their physical wellbeing. We are all connected, everything in the Universe connects us through vibration and frequency and what we experience, inherit and eat affects our overall health and well-being.

Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre’s roster of resident experts who were introduced last year include intuitive counselor Sinead de Hora; Thai yoga and massage specialist Andrea Spanu; nutritional therapist Zoë Stirling; fitness and lifestyle coach James Hardy; cognitive, emotional, behavioral and performance coach Akcelina Cvijetic; and aquatic bodywork specialist and craniosacral therapist Steve Karle. Situated in the heart of London, with elegant Mayfair to the West and creative Soho to the East, the 160-guestroom Hotel Cafe Royal is located within walking distance of London’s popular shopping streets, tourist attractions and theater district. A 30-minute Deep Release Energy Flow Bodywork treatment at Akasha is priced at $115. A Reiki or Reiki Crystal Facial at Akasha is priced at $190 for a 60-minute treatment. Room rates start at $640 per night. For more information, visit hotelcaferoyal.com/akasha-wellbeing-specialists.