MASAJ’s newly expanded bodywork studio space
When it comes to choosing a massage practice, what I’m really aiming for is a big ask- 100% natural, Vegan and organic products, cleanliness, calming decor, experienced practitioners and companies that look after their staff. This heavenly combination can often be like finding a needle in a haystack in a big city, so I was incredibly excited to visit the newly expanded MASAJ space in East London founded by Scarlet Crawley and Alice Vaughan, which promises “a bespoke experience” for bodywork, natural products and a beauty shop that supports sustainable and local brands.
Set amongst The Gossamer City Project unit spaces, MASAJ offers a haven away from the busy A107 complete with hanging baskets and a welcoming reception and shop, lovingly called the Wait Space. Alice was there to welcome me and I browsed the shop, which has true sustainability at the heart. Wooden shelves were filled brands from Haeckels, Skin & Tonic and Sister & Co, as well as MASAJ’s own branded candles, tote bags and most reasonably-priced Himalayan salt I’ve seen in London with a discounted refill service. I was also delighted to learn that the studio aims to eventually be paper-free.
Alice then invited me to choose from a menu of hand-crafted natural oil blend samples for my treatment. Scarlet develops the natural oils, which are made by hand on-site using a fusion of unique ingredients such as bergamot, blue chamomile and carrot seed. A big fan of the scent of rosemary, I selected the Nº 2, a blend of Ginger, rosemary, marjoram, pimento berry and black pepper in grapeseed and wheatgerm and headed to my treatment room.
MASAJ offer five signature bodywork treatments that explore Thai, Ayurvedic, Stretch and Sports massage techniques. I had been doing some heavy spin classes earlier that week, so I chose the No.2 massage to loosen my muscles and offer some deep restoration. The treatment rooms at MASAJ are beyond comfortable and low-key stylish; simply and tastefully decorated in sand and earthy tones complete with textured linen and raw cotton.
Warmed by the careful touches and calm surroundings, I settled into my treatment. After cleansing the space with Palo-Santo, my practitioner Adam intuitively pin-pointed stiff areas, easing out tension and applying acupressure. The playlist was contemporary and simple, amongst which I- between floating in and out of blissful meditation- picked out Rostam Batmanglij’s OA violin theme. The experience left me feeling pleasant and relaxed, with the natural oils having done their job of nourishing my skin throughout the massage.
For those seeking some respite from the busy city, I highly recommend trying the experience professionals at MASAJ where traditional massage meets contemporary style. I continued to float out of the door as I left my treatment, pleased to find my new favourite massage studio.
MASAJ can be found at the The Gossamer City Project, Unit 20, The Oval, London E2 9FN, UK. For more information, please visit https://www.masaj.me/