MSCM Well-Being Retreat 2018

MSCM Well-Being Retreat 2018

14th, 15th and 16th September 2018

Braziers Park, Ipsden, Oxfordshire.

Relax, Release and Restore was the focus of our beautiful weekend retreat in Oxfordshire last weekend. 11 amazing women came together and embraced the wonderful flowing programme we put together for them focusing on our 3 R’s.

Facilitated by Lynn Vereenooghe, Lucy Bush and myself, Jacqueline Dark.


How did this retreat come about?

We may need to go back quite a few years for the real start of this journey. In 1993 I was training to be an Aromatherapist in London, whilst searching where to buy my oils I came across Lynn’s company Evadell Natural Therapy Centre which sounded fantastic and was nice and local. I was working for a solicitors at the time, and I used to order my product and go and collect from Lynn’s house close by. I loved collecting my oils and burners and whatever else I had ordered. Lynn was always so welcoming and very informative. Over the years as her school grew, I attended courses and have continued to do so over the last 20 plus years. I have always held high regard for the school and the schools tutors. In fact I am so excited to be  tutoring my first course with MSCM next month.

About a year or so ago I had a conversation with Lynn which led to us discussing the idea of a retreat, we had a meeting where I met the lovely Lucy Bush (a healing therapist herself and a tutor at MSCM). We realised the retreat had huge potential and we were all coming from the same place in that we really wanted to help the women who would eventually come along. A venue was found which Lynn and Lucy viewed and booked, it looked wonderful. Lots and lots of planning and organising over the next 12 months bought us to last Friday when I was driving through the entrance of Braziers Park feeling rather nervous.

Braziers Park

Braziers Park is a community, a residential college and an architectural treasure hidden deep in the south Oxfordshire countryside in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It was founded in 1950 as an educational trust, and is a continuing experiment in the advantages and problems of living in a group. Community members share responsibility for running the mansion house (a Grade II* listed building), 55 acres of land, organic kitchen garden and livestock,  facilitating courses and organising events assisted by visiting volunteers from around the world.  The house has such wonderful rustic charm, a really lovely healing feel to it, fabulous Vegan food and views that take your breath away.

The Retreat

Some of the women who came on our retreat came on their own, some knew others, however it was a very inclusive group from the onset which was really lovely. All our activities were an invitation, no one was expected to participate in anything they did not want to, the weekend was about the participants and what they needed individually and not as a group. Without giving away an exact programme of what the participants experienced, I will say that we held mindful activities, creative visualisations, silent mindful morning walks, healing crystal work,  beautiful butterfly making and movement to music. Each class was designed to introduce our participants to hopefully something new, in a gentle and educational way, whilst focusing on our R word of the day. Each activity flowed into the next, in a way that was truly remarkable and really helped our women to relax, release and recharge.  Every one was given a beautiful well thought out goody bag that was again created individual for that person.

We had some really lovely companies that volunteered some of their product for our goody bags that I would just like to take a moment to mention :

Fragrant Earth – Loving Nature! Loving the Fragrant Aromatic World! Caring for Face and Body, Health and Psyche. Sensism at its best! This is Fragrant Earth International.

Songbird – Songbird (formerly named Tui) Massage Waxes, Reflexology Waxes and Balms are a unique blend of Beeswax and Natural ingredients for a supreme massage experience – both for the masseur and the massaged!  They present as a semi-solid formula which melts immediately onto the skin and provides a working surface that delivers control,smoothness and a perfect finish – without spills, mess and waste.

Isla Apothecary – Delivering and celebrating ritualistic skincare and self-care, Isla Apothecary
products marry organic, natural ingredients with aromatherapy experience.

Avicenna – Herb grower and manufacturer of herbal products for professional practitioners and therapists

The Natural Deoderant Company – Ultra effective deoderant formulations giving you the confidence you need, however hard you work.


Every participant experienced a high quality treatment that they had selected from our enticing treatment menu which included Reflexology, Healing, Aromatherapy Massage, Thai Yoga Massage , Angelic Reiki from Lucy and myself and Natural Face Lift Massage courtesy of Janes Natural Therapies,  an extremely experienced facial therapist from Rickmansworth who came in especially Saturday evening for us. (Jane Maskell, 07511 940531

We were very lucky to have a sound therapist come in on our last day and treat us to breathing work, toning work as well as a magical sound bath. We were able to explore her instruments at the end which was really fun. Laurelle had a crystal healing bowl, the handle of which had gorgeous Red Carnelian crystals, we discussed the bowl and she told me it was very healing for period pain.  As I was experiencing period pain myself she used the bowl against my belly and held the bowl there. The pain disappeared! Laurelle Rond is an absolute joy to listen to and if you have any interest in anything sound she is your lady. Laurelle Rond, 07964 161527

Why Us?

There are so many retreats about and all, I am sure, attract the right person at the right time. What is special about the retreat we created?  Thats very hard to answer.  A retreat will always eventually be created by its participants. We can only hope that they will, on the whole, gel, that they will come with an open mind and use their time wisely to look after themselves.

Lynn, Lucy and myself are a great team. We have developed trust in each other, to allow each of us to utilise our own individual strengths in a way that truly helps others. By having this trust in each other it enables us to work in a very positive and intuitive way that can only enhance the experience for others. The 3 of us are very different and yet our hearts come from the same place and  we have the same intentions for others we just go about it differently and it works in a truly magical way.

Every single word that was fed back to us about the retreat was positive, how special is that?


Yes 2019! We will be running our 2nd retreat next year in August and have booked the venue already.  News to follow at a later date but if this is something you may be interested in, please voice your interest now as spaces will be limited.

I will finish with a massive thank you to each and every participant of this retreat, and to Lucy and Lynn for making this such a beautiful and magical weekend in Oxfordshire that will never be forgotten.

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Holistic Therapies for Mind, Body and Soul