Lucknam Park: ILA Prana Vitality treatment

Tamsin Wressell boosts her energy levels with an ILA Prana Vitality treatment

By Tamsin Wressell
Published 25 Nov 2015, 11:09 GMT

As is the case after many English summers, I feel like I haven't had a sufficient dose of the sun's rays this year. I'm pale, lethargic and more drained than I should be — so hearing about the ILA Prana Vitality treatment at Lucknam Park sounded like just the thing to boost my energy levels.

Covered in red ivy and surrounded by neat gardens and lawns, the converted 17th-century stately home (now hotel) is a popular retreat for city-dwellers. A crackling fire, wood-panelled walls, sumptuous Chesterfield sofas and antiques set the rustic tone in the library. The lemon-washed drawing room, meanwhile, with floor-to-ceiling windows and fine crystal touches, is the ideal setting for afternoon tea or evening drinks. The hotel has an equestrian centre and cookery school as well as a spa, and there are wellies and bicycles available for guests to borrow while exploring the 500-acre estate.

As soon as I arrived, I made a beeline for the spa, excited to try the revitalising treatment. Often referred to as a life-giving force from the sun, prana is said to flow through the body, spreading vitality, positivity and joy. The treatment, using organic ILA products combined with sound healing (with music specially selected by ILA founder Denise), aims to leave guests feeling relaxed, energetic and positive.

My treatment started with a foot scrub followed by marma therapy, the manipulation of points to release prana through upward flowing massage techniques. After working the points on my back, my therapist, Evie, placed hot poultices up my spine and then moved onto my legs and arms, using essential oils that released hints of juniper berry, geranium and lemongrass. She finished off the treatment with a head massage and then led me to a relaxation room for a refreshing peppermint tea.

I spent the rest of the afternoon hopping between the spa's amethyst room and Japanese salt room, occasionally breaking it up with dips in the various pools. The indoor pool was lit up by a flickering panel fire and, sitting in the outdoor hydrotherapy pool in the garden grounds, I felt blissfully rejuvenated. Whether it was the treatment or just the atmosphere at Lucknam Park, the job was done.

After checking into our suite, which was furnished all over with fine fabrics and antiques, I was more than ready for a three-course meal at The Brasserie. The lobster and melon gazpacho starter was light and refreshing, and the next two courses of dressed crabmeat with skinny fries, followed by pistachio and olive oil cake, really hit the spot.

My newfound energy vanished totally once my head sank into the plump pillows. The next morning, I woke to the smell of fresh coffee and a view of thick, grey mist. After a warm drink and homemade shortbread in the lounge area, I headed to the Michelin-star restaurant to enjoy a breakfast of perfectly cooked eggs benedict and freshly squeezed orange juice. The typically unreliable English weather hadn't improved by the time I left, but I barely noticed the blanket of fog — I felt like I had just spent a week recharging in the sun.


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