Relax — A peaceful place for a New Year Detox.

Tomorrow morning will it be Happy New Year or Happy Hangover? Well probably a bit of both! No doubt more than one or two of us, by January 1, will be feeling the cumulative effects of the holiday celebrations. While over indulgence is definitely the name of the festive game, it is not particularly conducive to starting the New Year at the top of your game. Relax is a little haven in central London which can inject a bit of energy and rehabilitation into even the busiest New Year schedules. Even if you‘ve only got time for a 10 minute back massage that’s enough to liven you up considerably! Relax takes a holistic approach to massage and natural beauty therapy, taking into account personal relations as well as environmental ones. When I discovered Relax the other day, after a tiring stint of Christmas shopping, the first thing that caught my eye was the beautiful flower stall in the window. This first impression led into a very welcoming experience where the receptionist asked for my name and then remembered it throughout the time I was in the store. Whilst waiting for my massage the owner Peter Nunn was on hand to chat to me and tell me all about the delicious products they sell alongside the massages and treatments. He was very well informed about all the products, most of which are from environmentally aware companies. Supporting small ethical businesses is a principal he is keen to expound on, especially since he is running one himself.

Peter and his partner Thaisa Box opened their first Relax shop in Soho in 2001 with a mission to bring massage to the high street. They were influenced by the stateside chair massage guru David Palmer and were the first to bring the idea of the drop-in massage to the UK. Peter and Thaisa believed it was time to get stressed out Londoners to take better care of themselves. Part of Relax’s mission is to dispel myths about massage being just ‘a bit of stroking’.As Peter told me, many people are surprised by the powerful effect of the chair massage. They also encourage people to incorporate massage into their lives as a regular treatment not just a treat. At the Relax shop at BBC headquarters, stressed out media types and broadcasters are regular customers, as well as stressed our nurses from the nearby Queen Charlotte maternity ward.

Everybody gets the personal touch at Relax, but it isn’t all just warm welcomes and good marketing chat, their eco-attitudes are translated into eco-action behind the scenes too. Their beauty treatments use Dr. Hauschka products and when I went to the bathroom I found Ecover hand wash (we like these details). Later when I was sipping my water at the bar I was informed that they had a special water system installed, using reverse osmosis, which purifies the water. Furthermore the bar I was sitting at is made from recycled yoghurt pots. Smile Plastics? I asked. Yes! Peter beemed, obviously very chuffed that I knew where he had sourced his plastic.

While many massage and beauty salons concentrate on just improving the body, it is good to find Relax looking at the whole picture, improving mind, body, spirit and the environment. Lets hope that more businesses in 2006 see that all these factors are connected. Oh and by the way the massage was fantastic!
Relax Soho, 65-67 Brewer Street, Soho, London W1F 9UP
Relax BBC White City, 2 -3 The Media Centre, BBC White City, London W12 7TS
::Relax Massage ::Relax Online Shop
[Leonora & Petz]

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