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Woodside Holisitc Review: Bespoke Ritual

Jen FreitasComment

The site says ‘bespoke ritual’ …. and it is so accurately described; from the moment you arrive at Woodside Holistic , the moments become all about YOU.

The charming space is decorated with Native artwork and a jungalow of plants and succulents, a sanctuary of zen and what connects us to the physical world.

Entering the softly backlit studio space, I get undressed and slip between the sheets and wait for Kristen.

Examining my face, she tells me what she intends to do for the next hour and asks what concerns I have. Other than being prone to dark circles and starting to see fine lines, I say that I am most excited to have my spirit calmed.

And that’s the thing with Woodside - Kristen really gets how intimately connected our spirit is to our overall wellness, and as I have preached for years - our wellness is exhibited by our skin in the most upfront form.

Kristen is certified in many holistic disciplines: aromatherapy, herbology, holistic skin Therapies, Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, which she incorporates into the treatments on a need basis.

Upon her entering, she asked me to choose a gemstone - no thinking, just the one I was drawn towards. I’m really into this ‘woo-woo’ stuff (I don’t find it all that ‘woo-woo’) as I really do believe we are all connected in some way. Our energy as humans is felt by the Earth, and the Earth returns that energy in many ways … I can’t recall the stone I chose but I am sure it benefited me in some way I was needing that day.  

My treatment began with some lymph massage. Lymphatic fatigue can manifest as dark circles, puffiness around the eyes, duller skin and even fine lines. I find it interesting that these symptoms manifest towards the upper part of our faces, when much of the lymph work happens around your chin, clavicle, and behind the ears as that is where large numbers of lymph nodes are located.

Kristen also incorporated gua sha and her kansa wand. (Yes, this chick totally has super powers). I love these sort of modalities as I incorporate them even at home, with my dry brush and jade roller, and believe they have aided with keeping my skin youthful looking (gua sha and kansa are comparative to jade / quartz rolling, and even share properties with dry brushing). The result is a deeper stimulation that lifts, firms and enhances production of natural proteins, like collagen and elastin (a.k.a. necessary building blocks of dewy, plump skin).

Kristen continued with facial massage, which I firmly believe revitalizes skin on a deeper level than any topical treatment can do! My thinking is this: just like muscles in the body, the muscles in your face benefit from movement - the more you move them, the more lifted, tightened and toned they become. I love yoga for what it does to my body and I love facial massage / stimulation for my face. If you remember my Tulum trip it was all about yoga and spa visits … and I particularly raved about the ‘tanaka’ (japanese facial massage) experience I had while there! Movement keeps us looking and feeling young!

Kristen also custom blended a serum for my face, which she used while giving these treatments. Magical oils from camellia seed (hello antioxidants), jojoba oil (a nourishing yet lightweight oil), red raspberry seed oil (vitamins A & E and omegas fatty acids), and pomegranate seed oil, with neroli, frankincense and geranium is what she felt my face needed. My face loves this blend as the oils are hydrating enough and also restorative! I really love that this blend was created with MY skin in mind.

Kristen really does weave the mind, body and spirit into her practice of treating your skin. I left feeling restored and balanced. My skin felt dewy, yet sculpted. And I can’t wait to go back…. Which I intend to do soon, as the season’s are changing! Stay tuned for the Insta-stories …. I do hope to incorporate another modality she does … maybe facial cupping!

Check out Woodside Holistic to learn more about Kristen’s beautiful treatments.