Welcome to our Winter e-Newsletter. Rather than focusing on a seasonal topic, our talented and knowledgeable spa experts will delve into a timeless subject that is personal to each of us every day of the year: the five senses that process how we experience the environment around us.

Topics covered this month include:

 
     
 

SPA

chocolateDanielle Knerr, our spa director, is a licensed massage therapist who has received advanced training in Craniosacral Therapy and is certified in Oncology Massage. She speaks from the heart about why "The Human Touch" is so important in our lives.

The Human Touch, with its ancient roots, is so powerful that it has been reaffirmed as playing a vital role in our health and overall wellbeing and acknowledged to have a positive healing effect on people.

Many centuries ago, pranic healing in India, shamanistic rituals in tribal societies across the globe and the royal touch in medieval Europe all contained the core belief that physical contact between two people could improve a wide variety of health conditions. With the arrival of the Scientific Revolution, surgery and therapeutic drugs replaced, but did not completely wipe out, older therapies. In the late 20th century, individuals and groups advocated for a return to less artificial ways of healing, and that movement continues today. In fact, many physicians are referring patients to complimentary healing practitioners.

While attending a recent training session for Craniosacral Therapy, I earned first-hand how "The Human Touch, combined with intention, can create a powerful healing. There was a student among us who was having issues raising her right arm past the level of her elbow. We all circled around her and placed our hands on her and used our "thought intentions" to wish her to be well, to help her heal, to use the affirmation that she would be able to lift her arm higher. When this exercise was over, the teacher asked her to raise her arm, and she was able to do so higher than before. We did not massage her; merely placed our hands on her – "The Human Touch"– as we held healing thoughts in our minds.

Having a massage, facial, salon service, manicure, pedicure, or body treatment at the Spa at Norwich Inn is one of the best ways to enjoy the awesome benefits of human touch. These treatments are known to relax both the mind and the body. Particularly in massage and bodywork, they may also improve circulation, relax your muscles, reduce pain and improve your range of motion. It is apparent to anyone who observes tired and/or harried guests who enter the spa, and then sees them emerge an hour or so later after massage, that these guests are changed people. They are smiling. They are laughing. Their stress has melted away. They are more comfortable and relaxed in their bodies.

Services at The Spa at Norwich Inn are not the only ways to experience the power of human touch. A simple kiss, hug or handshake can enhance overall health and facilitate healing and recovery. Who does not love to receive a hug from a friend or family member? A hug is a sign that someone cares about us, and that makes us feel good about ourselves. No matter how busy you are, remember to reach out to people who are close to you with the human touch. It is a gesture that is costs nothing, yet provides priceless rewards to both the giver and the receiver.

 

 

BOUTIQUE

Our ears allow us to hear the human voice, the sounds of nature, and the sounds of delightful musical instruments of ancient or modern design. Amy Edgar, our retail guru, has some great gift ideas that relax us through our sense of hearing.

When we introduced Belly Dancing as a group fitness class several years ago, we weren't exactly sure how guests would react. We found that guests who tried it, loved it – and their cascades of happy laughter were music to our ears. Most were new to this exotic and aerobic blend of "shake and shimmy," and they had great fun as well as a good workout.

Recently we've begun stocking belly-dancing wraps in a variety of colors. They are studded with small metal charms that provide a happy, tinkling sound when in motion. These wraps have been a big hit with guests. Some wear them for belly dancing; some wear them as exotic scarves, and others fashion them into a very short skirt over a bathing suit by wrapping the scarf around the waist. We also carry two belly-dancing CDs for those who want to keep on dancing. As always, you will find CDs in our Boutique that offer relaxing music to soothe you and instructional CDs to help you relax or meditate.

If your disposable leisure time consists mostly of television and computers, give some thought to getting back to music – classical, rock, soul, hip-hop, jazz – whatever your pleasure. Think about the rewards, as described by two of the world's greatest thinkers. Confucius wrote, "Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without." Plato said, "Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul."

Nourish your soul by listening to music.

 

 

FROM CHEF DAN'S KITCHEN

Food provides us with the opportunity to indulge not one but two senses: taste and smell. Chef Daniel provides you with some information on how both senses are related and includes a recipe for a dish that provides wonderful aromas and satisfies the taste buds in a delicious but healthy way.

Our "real" sense of taste actually resides in a tiny bundle of nerves just behind our nose called the retro-nasal cavity. This is where we "taste," but in reality, "smell", the wonderfully sensuous aroma of coffee and chocolate, of cinnamon and cloves, of jasmine and rose. Our tongue, on the other hand, is studded with thousands of sensors that identify tastes as sweet, sour, salty, bitter, fatty and delicious.

Working together, these two distinct, but intimately complementary senses make up our sense of taste, providing us with a full experience. For example, imagine your favorite piece of chocolate candy – earthy-cocoa-vanilla-sweet smells, creamy-smooth texture, decadently sweet and rewarding – intoxicating and grounding at once! Absent the aroma portion of this experience, the candy is simply sweet. Absent the sweet taste, the candy is experienced just as a simple perfume devoid of a palatable reward.

Here is a great recipe for indulging both sensory pathways.

Chicken Pot (chicken braised in wine)
Recipe By Daniel Chong-Jim้nez
Serves: 4

Amount Measure Ingredient
1 each medium-large broiler chicken
2 strips coarsely chopped bacon
1 each large, ripe tomato
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
4 cloves crushed garlic
2 each bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
2 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup light red wine (Beaujolais, Pinot Noir...)
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
    freshly-cracked black peppercorns
    sea salt
  1. Quarter the chicken, separating the drumsticks, thighs, breasts and wings. Save the back.
  2. Heat a braising pan to medium heat.
  3. Add the olive oil and brown the chicken parts and back on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  4. Using the same pan, add the peppercorns, bacon, onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms and garlic and brown lightly.
  5. Return the chicken (all parts) to the pot and add the brandy. Cook off the alcohol.
  6. Add the wine, water, tomato, bay leaf, thyme and salt, as needed.
  7. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes on medium-low.
  8. While the chicken cooks, heat a small skillet to high heat.
  9. Add the butter and let it brown to a dark color.
  10. Sprinkle in the flour and cook to a brown color while stirring constantly. Set aside.
  11. After 30 minutes uncover the chicken.
  12. Stir in the butter-flour mixture and continue cooking at a simmer for 5 more minutes, gently stirring and coating the chicken parts with the sauce.
  13. Check the seasoning and adjust as needed.
  14. Sprinkle the fresh parsley over the dish and present in the pot.

Nutritional Facts:
375 Cal, 4 grams protein, 8 grams carbohydrate,
37 grams fat (9g sat, 21g mono, 5g poly), 2 grams fiber

 

 

HOUSEKEEPING

Executive Housekeeper Maryann Rodino supervises a staff of 20 whose job is to keep our Spa, Inn and Villas clean, uncluttered and inviting to the eye. Here are some tips from Maryann on how to spruce up the look of a room in your room to better please your eyes.

A fresh coat of paint does wonders and costs very little. If you have the time and energy, consider repainting a room. If that is not possible, check out the trim that frames the doors and windows inside your house. Are there scuffs and scratches? Find the original can of paint (you labeled it, didn't you?) in your basement and touch up the trim. You will feel a great uplift when you walk by, knowing those dings and scratches are a thing of the past.

Take a walk through the house and see if some spaces have become too cluttered with gifts and impulse buys. Some people like to remove all items from a shelf or table, thoroughly clean the surface and put them back one at a time. You may find that you want to stop short of putting everything back. All surfaces need a little "space" for breathing. If you have too much, particularly decorative items that have no personal or sentimental meaning to you, consider a donation to a charity. What is extra to you might fulfill a basic need for someone you've never met.

Finally, what does the entryway of your home look like? It's the first thing guests will see. Take a good look at it and think about what items you might switch out from other rooms of the house or from storage to refresh the entry. It should merit some attention. It is, after all, the first visual impression guests have of your home.