Behind the scenes: The reception area

Secrets of the Relaxation Centre

Part 1: The Reception Area

(This article originally appeared in the Stress & Wellness Newsletter, February 2016)

From the moment you step into my office, I want you to feel like you’ve walked into another world. That includes the reception or waiting area.

Here are some of the special little details that I’ve put into my reception area.  Some of these are things that you’ll notice right away. Others work more on your subconscious mind, so that when you walk in and sit down, you’ll already begin to relax even if you don’t quite understand why…

In my next article, I’ll talk about many of the features inside the relaxation centre. But for now, let’s focus on the reception area.



All of the lighting in my office is dimmer than typical office lighting. The low lighting tells your subconscious mind “it’s relaxation time”. The type of lighting I use also helps you relax. I’m a fan of old-school incandescent (tungsten and halogen) lighting and I use it everywhere in my reception area and in the relaxation centre. There is no CF (compact fluorescent) or LED lighting here. This is best for relaxation because the light has a yellowish hue like the sun, instead of the blue colour that CF and LED bulbs produce. It just feels naturally warmer and more comfortable. The star projector does use an LED bulb, but that’s to reproduce the bluish light from the millions of stars.


All the furniture in my reception area is hand-made in Asia from sustainable exotic woods like acacia and mango tree. There isn’t any synthetic glue or formaldehyde from plywood to gas off. And the furniture looks inviting yet unfamiliar, with a bit of mystery to it.

Wind chimes


The wind chimes were custom made in India to my specifications, tuned to specific frequencies that are used in sound therapy to alleviate tension. Does it work? You’ll see!

Sunset/Moonrise wall art


The sun (or is it a moon?) behind the bamboo is an art piece I made for the wall. I came up with this idea based loosely on the Windham Hill Records logo from the 1970s. I got introduced to Windham Hill music while working at KTWV radio in Hollywood. I love this art sculpture, it really makes my reception area so calm and beautiful. If you don’t know who George Winston is, here’s February Sea from his 1982 album “Winter Into Spring” (pictured). How appropriate!

Forest sounds

Gentle sounds of birds and the forest coming from hidden speakers make you feel like you’re outside. It helps you to forget where you are and enter into a different world. Your subconscious mind might evoke feelings of being outside in the summer, on vacation or away from the city. And that’s a wonderful feeling.

No distractions

Ever notice how I don’t have magazines or a TV? That’s on purpose. While waiting, or while a friend is waiting for you during your session, relaxing in my reception area is the next best thing to being inside the relaxation centre. I’ve been in lots of waiting rooms in my life, and I wanted my own to be really special. This is also where I do personal stress consultations, so it’s a comfortable place to open up and talk about stress.

Gyokuro tea


You may have already tried – or heard about – the special stress-relieving tea that I serve before a session. Researchers have found that it heightens creativity while calming the central nervous system. The tea is grown in the shade under canvas tarps in Japan, and I serve it in hand-made Japanese pottery cups at just the right temperature – never too hot.

Well, that’s just the reception area. Next newsletter, I’ll take you behind the scenes inside the relaxation centre for a subscribers-only inside look at some of the technology that keeps you feeling relaxed when you’re in a session!




Author: Colin Stone

Professional Relaxation Therapist (MASC, BSYA) and founder of The Healing Yurt in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Using guided imagery, therapeutic music and aromatherapy to relieve stress in the most relaxing room on earth!