We all love a good magic trick. The magician holds a ball in his hand; a few deft movements and it disappears. Karima, my Dorn Method therapist, is much like a magician: she puts me through a few simple exercises, waves her hands over me with an abracadabra massage, and my aches and pains vanish.
I’m interested to learn that, as with any magic trick, there’s a simple logic behind it. The Dorn Method concentrates on the spine, but, with all the nerves that connect to our backbone, it really works on the entire body. Karima explains it like this: the spine is similar to a building, and the sacrum – the triangular bone at the base – is its foundations. If the sacrum is a bit skew-whiff (which can easily happen, apparently), it affects the spine, which then throws the whole body off balance, causing migraines, sciatica, joint pain and other complaints.
It all sounds logical enough, and it’s not until she starts telling me that I (along with 95 per cent of the population) have one leg shorter than the other, meaning my sacrum is a tad wonky, that my inner cynic starts battling its way to the surface. I try hard to resist raising my eyebrow when she tries to get colours involved. I’m not quite sure about plant vibrations creating colours, and this in turn affecting our moods and responses to treatments, so I’m going to bypass this bit because it may mar what is otherwise a thorough recommendation.
And so we begin with some leg and hip exercises. You’re probably thinking what I was thinking: I didn’t come to a spa and don a pair of paper knickers to do a load of exercise. I want to be pampered! But that comes later (and you keep your gown on). The exercises are so gentle they’re almost relaxing in themselves, consisting of circular leg movements and gentle leg swinging. Lo and behold, they seem to realign my legs (proven by her ‘look, my fingers didn’t meet before, but now they do’ test). My inner cynic begins to settle… a little. We move over to the mirror and she shows that my jaw is slightly out of line, along with my shoulders and ears (I wondered why my sunglasses always looked wonky). So we do a couple of somewhat daft exercises, making silly noises while we’re at it. I wonder again what on earth this could really be achieving. Yet when I stand, I feel light and loose, like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
Next comes the massage: it’s just a few smooth movements along my spine, yet it feels like an all-over treatment. When I’m left to relax for 10 minutes with a warm beanbag on my back, I drift in and out of a blissful slumber.
It’s been a good few days since my session, I’ve been keeping up a few of the exercises and watching my posture, and I still feel great. I have no dreaded knots in my shoulders and I feel lighter than ever. Having recently suffered through a particularly aggressive Thai massage, where I’d been contorted into shapes a yoga enthusiast would struggle to achieve (and left feeling achier than when I went in), I can’t recommend the Dorn Method enough. What can I say? It’s magic.
Karima holds Dorn Method treatments on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at SpaDunya Club, Jumeirah Beach Walk (04 439 3669; www.spadunyaclub.com). A full Dorn treatment with Breuss massage is Dhs550 for 60 minutes (minimum of two sessions recommended). Breuss massage with two Dorn Method exercises is Dhs350 for 60 minutes.