When Beata Aleksandrowicz realised massage could be so much more than just selling products, pampering or improving posture, she set out on a 17-year-long voyage of discovery and developed her own unique massage philosophy. Pure Massage is drawn from Eastern healing traditions as well as Western psychotherapy, physiology and science. At its heart is a recognition of the power of touch.
Q: How did you become a massage therapist?
A: There was a lack of positive touch in my upbringing, which was very rough and there was a lot of violence. When I arrived in the UK from Poland, I went to an open evening for a massage school and I thought: that’s it, that’s what I want to do. There was no rationale behind it, it was just a feeling. I was totally blown away by this positive experience of touch and amazed by how people responded: how we are touched by touch. It was therapy for me as well!
Q: So, touch is important to everyone?
A: Touch is the deepest communication there is, deeper than words. Studies into the fundamental interaction between mother and child have shown that babies and children who experience loving touch grow into healthier, more secure adults. It is how we learn to regulate our emotions, to heal, to love, to bond and connect. Yet touch doesn’t seem to be present in today’s society. Perhaps it is too often associated with violence or sexual abuse. We are afraid to touch others, yet we all have a deep need to be touched.
Q: How did you develop Pure Massage?
A: (Laughs) How to condense it into a nutshell! I wanted to find out everything I could about this phenomenon of touch. I went to Africa and worked with the Kalahari Bushmen, at first to help them move from their reservation and set up a charity. But then we developed a relationship: they accepted me and I was initiated by them. They taught me about healing, and I learned so much from them. As I started to shape my own massage style, they were queuing up for my massages! It took another 17 years of learning, experimenting, studying and travelling to develop Pure Massage.
Q: What is at the heart of Pure Massage?
A: Massage is more than releasing tension and improving posture, although it is great for those things as well. I see it as an opportunity to take clients on a journey of self-discovery, to help them reconnect. People are over-stressed, under pressure and they lose those deeper connections: they feel lost. I realised that touch helps connect us to our origin, our core self. It works on so many levels. Touch can re-awaken our self-healing system.
Q: Why did you decide to set up Pure Massage as a training programme?
A: There is a high staff turnover in our industry. I feel this is because therapists are treated as instruments for selling products instead of providers of wellness. Most empathic therapists naturally take on the stresses of their clients but don’t know how to look after themselves. No wonder so many take days off sick or suffer with burnout. I spoke at the Global Wellness Summit about this: we need to change the way we train therapists. Therapists need to understand the power they hold in the treatment room, to see this is not just about profit but human beings. They should be encouraged to want to understand, grow, develop and be curious about what they are doing. Too often they don’t realise the importance of what they do.
You can experience Pure Massage at Dormy House, where therapists have been trained by Beata.