There is nothing like being cooked for, especially when it is your favourite food. Every lunchtime this last week I have feasted on creative vegetarian dishes thanks to Sarah Roy’s inventive nutritional know-how, handsomely assisted by Ali.
These wonderful health-feasts are part of the Symphonic Mind treatment offered by Sarah and her husband, James Roy. As I am helping them with their marketing, they insisted I experience the whole package including daily Yogic massage and brain training.
I have never thought much about my brain or its waves. But according to the emerging sciences of the mind, emotional and physical trauma as well as a range of health conditions can cause imbalance.
For instance, someone might have too many theta waves in the front lobes, or conscious part, of their brain. Theta-induced dreaminess is good for creativity but not for paying bills on time. So after an assessment, Brain State Technology comes up with a precise customised programme to restore balance.
In my case, I have a huge amount of brain waves associated with self-critical judgements in the unconscious part of my brain.
Sarah says this is common. I can believe it. We come from centuries of repression and mind control. It is hard to feel good-enough just to be.
In the brain sessions, I sat back in a comfortable state-of-the-art chair. Sensory electrodes picking up information from my brain were placed on different sections of my head, depending on which part we were working on. I was asked to do a variety of mind-stilling exercises such as focusing on a lit candle while I listened to sounds of my brain waves played back to me.
This is a very pleasant way to spend the day and could not have come in a better time as I transition from employee to entrepreneur, and need to call on all my resources unhampered and to maximum effect.
Brain State Technology translates brainwaves into sounds, colours and shapes. One exercise which appealed to my competitive self was using my mind to move a coloured bar on a screen. If you focus hard-enough the bar goes up or down. How fascinating to see in real-time the value of setting an intention!
The massage treatments sandwiched between the brain work was a way of grounding these changes in my physical being. James Roy used to train with the masseur of the Dalai Lama and the masseur of the Thai abbots. (Am happy to hear monks get massaged).
For two hours a day I was Breathed and Yoga-ed. I lay on a large mat as James guided my limbs and lungs to do their yogic thing. It is something else to have someone else help you get into postures and breathe deeply. The beauty is I can touch my toes again, something I have been unable to do since a slipped disc injury three years ago.
As for my brains, I overcame a deeply troubling situation leading to the calm of acceptance; and (reporting a few days later), my focus and meditation seems to have improved.
Now for the food. As well as being a neurotherapist and body worker like James, Sarah is a nutritionist. The above dish was brown rice salad with peas (defrosted but raw – works a treat), fresh broad beans and roasted cashew nuts; with toasted nori flakes, pickled ginger, olive paté with cream cheese, green salad leaves from a Riverford Organic veg box, and wasabi added to mayonnaise. Wasabi is that green Japanese horseradish you get with a sushi. Thanks to Sarah, I can now add it to my repertoire.
Another one to note is the tahini sauce (below) which Sarah made with lemon juice, tabasco for spice, a little water and – the magic ingredient and a new one for the store cupboard – the saltiness and digestive-enhancement of umboshi paste.
I felt so lucky, I was envying myself.