Pure Massage does what it says on the tin. The treatments on offer range from face therapy to foot massage and are designed to provide relaxation and alleviate muscle ache. Back massage is said to be a good starting point, as the back is where the majority of the tension in the body tends to be held.
Despite traipsing up and down the King’s Road most weekends, I had no idea that tucked away at the back of Neal’s Yard is one of London’s two Pure Massage locations (the other is at Fenwick on Bond Street). There is no store sign or branding in the shop window, but judging by the waiting list to book an appointment it is far from a well-kept secret.
Senior massage therapist Ola Bednarska showed me to a treatment room and spent the first few minutes going through the health questionnaire I had completed to find out what I was hoping to get out of the treatment so that she could personalise it for me.
Lying face down on the massage bench and inhaling the sweet aroma of the coconut oil Ola spread onto my back, I gradually relaxed and my mind drifted to distant memories of lying on a beach in the Caribbean. It may have had something to do with the soundtrack of crashing waves and birdsong that was softly playing in the background, but mostly it was down to Ola’s expert touch.
She used slow sweeping movements and was very attentive to the response, never applying more pressure than I could handle. Afterwards she told me she had trouble stretching one side of my hips as it was too tight, and that she would like to see me for a few more sessions to address this.
I left feeling blissfully relaxed, brimming with endorphins, and vowed to treat myself to a massage more often.