I make no secret of the fact that weddings and all things wedding-related stress me out, so when a month of hen dos and weddings approached me way too fast, I decided to take action.
I decided that only a total body overhaul would switch my mind off from overthinking the impending doom of the big days ahead, and signed up to the Spa Essentials Experience at Pure Spa on West Nile Street, Glasgow.
My only previous experience of the salon was a quick file and polish in the downstairs nail bar, so I was excited to see what lay in store at the spa side of the building.
On arrival I was greeted by my therapist Alison, who showed me through a series of doors that led to a serene hideaway from the bustling street below.
A quick change out of my work clothes and into the soft, fluffy robe and slippers provided was my first step to relaxation and this was followed by a five minute rest on the reclining chairs dotted around the spa waiting area. My only criticism is that this area is not ideal for relaxing – the bright lights and rigid recliners don’t allow you to switch off fully, even less so as this is the main walkway for guests entering and leaving the treatment rooms.
I was slightly more relaxed when Alison collected me and took me into one of the tranquil treatment rooms, complete with soft lighting and heated, towel-laden beds.
The treatment started with a refreshing foot scrub and massage, as Alison asked what I was hoping to get from today’s experience and if there were any particular aches and pains she should concentrate on.
It was then over to the indulgent bed, where I snuggled down for the first part of the treatment: a hot stone massage. The tension in my shoulders was expertly massaged away with the help of the hot stones and the aching muscles I’d complained of earlier in the day eased up for the first time in a few months.
Part two was a hopi ear candle – now, I’d never considered this particular treatment before, but when I saw it was an option for this package I decided to go for it. Having been plagued by blocked ears and tension headaches over the past couple of years, my research told me this was a possible remedy for these ailments.
It’s quite possibly the strangest treatment I’ve ever had, yet I found the experience quite relaxing. The hollow cotton tube, soaked in beeswax, honey and herbs, is lit and inserted into the ear to remove excess wax and impurities. Although this sounds dangerous, the flame is at the top of the candle away from the ear and a gentle crackling noise is heard as the candle burns and works its magic.
The jury’s out as to whether this does actually help sinus and stress-related conditions but I did feel less congested and Alison showed me the wax that had been removed by the candle… not something you’d want to look at every day!
The final part of my treatment was an Elemis facial, which I hoped would give my dull winter skin a boost. Having tried Elemis products in the past, I was looking forward to seeing what Alison recommended for me. The pro collagen cleansing balm was a standout for me, as it felt so soothing on my skin, so I made a mental note to try this at a later date. I love it when a facial is finished off with a scalp massage so I was pleased that this is what came after the facial, but a bit gutted that my time in the spa was over!
As I made my way back down the stairs and into the brightly-lit reception area I got a stark reminder of why I hadn’t revisited Pure Spa after my manicure all those months ago. Some of the reception staff could not be less-friendly and inviting if they tried. There’s one in particular who looks thoroughly bored and disinterested in every customer that comes through the door and when she asked me if everything was okay with my treatment I got the impression she wasn’t remotely interested in my answer as she quickly faked a smile and tried to push some add-on products.
I’d thoroughly recommend the Spa Essentials Experience if you’re looking for 90 minutes of escapism, but try and avoid the icy robots at the door…
*Spa Essentials Experience at Pure Spa, West Nile Street, Glasgow, £110