By Leslie Rice Hart

When Miano Viél Salon & Spa asked therapist Rick Williams for a specialty treatment, he knew exactly what to do.

The Euphoria treatment is based on the cranio-sacral release technique, cranium being the skull and sacral meaning the tailbone area – cranio-sacral, thus, encompassing the head and all of the vertebral column. Whenever we are under stress due to anxiety, fear, anger, etc., the muscles within and around this area grow tense. Over time, this can even affect the bones, where they start gripping together, due to severe stress-related wear on the muscles and the joints.

The treatment targets this stress to produce an overall release in the body.

As he cradles your head in his hands, Rick uses gentle pulses of pressure to slightly manipulate the bones and the connective tissues of the head. This encourages optimal movement of cerebrospinal fluid and nourishes all the tissues of the body – everything ultimately connects to the brain and the spinal chord – causing a self-correcting response. The feeling is one of floating as you enter a super-relaxed, semi-conscious state. Before commencing the main part of the treatment, Rick has already used his masterful ministrations to stretch out your back – the vertebrae and the pelvic girdle, and worked a bit on the rest of your body too in a preparatory massage that had some shiatsu technique thrown in. His own special garnishes.

Rick Williams learnt the cranio-sacral release technique from his martial arts instructor Tom Bisio who is also an acupuncturist and Chinese bone-setter. The technique was originally developed by an Israeli doctor in the 1960s.

The treatment is very convenient in the fact that one can easily fit it into a lunch hour. Furthermore, although it is a massage treatment, no use of oil is involved, which saves time by not having to shower afterwards.

However, to warn you, one can feel so relaxed after the treatment that they might find themselves loafing about on the streets for an extra hour rather than going back to the office straightaway. At least, it happened in my case. But then, I am just plain bad.

Miano Viel Salon & Spa is located at16 East 52nd Street and offers a wide range of services. The owners are the celebrated hair-stylist Damien Miano and famed colorist Louis Viél. The salon, which caters to a clientele of both genders, is a must-try for anyone living or passing through the NYC area. For an appointment, phone 212.980.3222.

Originally published May 2005
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