I’m a restless soul. It’s rare for me to slow down and relax without either feeling guilty or carefully cataloguing all the things I should be doing instead. I haven’t perfected meditation, but it’s on my list. Recently, I decided that 2019 will be the year I finally embrace calm and stillness – guilt-free.
In my quest for internal zen, I signed up for a session at Soul 7. Located in Yorkville, Toronto, it bills itself as the city’s first frequency spa. Unlike traditional spas, it uses sound, light and frequency technology to detox, reduce stress, and boost energy. Together, the synchronized vibrations are supposed to balance our mind-body connection, which are thrown off due to environmental and external factors.
Founder Bob Berman, a former lawyer, started the practice while looking for alternative therapies for his wife, who’d been diagnosed with terminal cancer. After she passed away, Berman began seeking out non-invasive ways in which the body could heal itself without the use of drugs. The goal of Soul 7, says Berman, is to introduce people to their innate ability to self-heal.
The spa menu includes 60-minute treatments targeting focus and productivity, energy, sleep and stress, alongside longer, more intensive sessions. I opt for the popular Stress Relief treatment, ready to make good on my resolution. As soon as I enter, I take in its high-tech healing centre vibe – an assortment of healing crystals, crystal singing bowls, Peruvian jewellery and paintings line the hallway, which leads to treatment rooms decked out with various machines.
The session is divided into two parts. The first half hour involves getting inside a partially covered neuropod with headphones and listening to music. It’s a bit like sitting on a giant subwoofer, as Berman describes it. I hear what sounds like traditional spa music, but feel the sounds reverberating through my entire body. It’s actually a combination of Health Canada-approved Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) and physio-acoustic vibration, and the rhythmic pulses and tones are meant to stimulate cells to help your mind and body enter a state of calm. I focus on the music and let my thoughts ebb and flow, occasionally straying to the errand I have to run or the story I need to write. It takes me a while to get into it and let go.
For the second half, I’m shown into another room. This time, I lie down on a bed while heated jade rollers massage my back in tandem with the sound and light therapy. The pressure, meant to release tightness and tension, is light but comfortable. Though it’s said to induce the most relaxation, my wandering brain betrays me and I fail to reach the desired level of tranquility.
I know that the single session isn’t a magical cure-all, which Berman told me at the beginning. Still, it’s a small step forward. My greatest takeaway is more self-awareness, and the realization that I have a lot more work to do. Post-treatment, I look more restored and feel more present. That evening, as I slip into bed, I think back and relive the moments when I did let go and felt at peace and worry-free. I may not have aced my first session, but I’m game to going back and giving it another try – this time, I’ll leave my to-do list at the door.
Soul 7, 17 Yorkville Ave #100, soul7.ca