Years and years ago – like, back when I was at uni – my best friend decided I needed a pamper day.
This would have been back when I was dealing with stress-related issues for the first time, and I’d been under a fair bit of pressure with coursework, so it was an excellent idea. I had my first – and, until very recently – only massage, and I seem to remember us going for ice cream sundaes afterwards.
I can’t say for certain why I’ve never had a proper massage since. It certainly wasn’t the treatment: I’m sure Lola said that she’d never seen me as relaxed as I was afterwards. I think it’s partly the expense: the whole thing just seems so, well, decadent; I just work in an office, how can I possibly think it’s something I need in my life? And it’s almost certainly a body confidence issue too: the idea of travelling some place, stripping down to my pants and having a stranger pummel away at my body for an hour gives me the heebie-jeebies.
While I doubt this was specifically the problem that Urban Massage* set out to address when they first set up their at-home, on-demand massage service, they can certainly cross it off. Available in five UK cities – which, as of the end of last year, include Glasgow and Edinburgh – Urban Massage allows you to book a fully qualified massage therapist who can be at your home in as little as 60 minutes. You can select from a range of treatments including sports, pregnancy and deep tissue massage, choose your date and time, see which therapists are available and pay online.
Offered the chance to try the service for myself, I booked an appointment with Tracey P on the grounds that she looked lovely. She arrived at my house promptly on my chosen Saturday morning – so promptly, in fact, that I didn’t have time to tidy up the living room – and immediately put me at ease. Urban Massage’s therapists bring their own treatment table, as the website promises, but Tracey also came prepared with bags of fresh towels and a couple of citrussy aromatherapy oils to choose from. As the platform is fairly new to Glasgow I was one of her first bookings through Urban Massage – but, she told me, she’d been doing home treatments for years.
Tracey was keen to stress that the next 60 minutes would be “me time”, as if she sensed my initial discomfort. I can’t deny that it was a strange experience climbing up on a massage table in the middle of my living room – blinds closed, obviously, my immediate neighbours know that I get up to all sorts as a blogger but I wasn’t in the mood to give the weekend gawkers around the estate a free show – but I got over the weirdness fairly quickly and allowed myself to relax.
I know I said before that the idea of needing massage when all I do is work in an office seems decadent, but I – and, I’m sure, many people who spend all day sitting in the same position – do tend to suffer from lower back pain and tension around my neck and shoulders. It’s something that Tracey noticed too after I initially winced at the pressure, but by the end of an hour she reported that the muscles in my shoulder had sufficiently relaxed to allow her to be a little more forceful. She also taught me some basic pinch-style exercises to try on my own, which I thought was a lovely touch.
By the end of our session I felt sufficiently rejuvenated and, under orders to take it easy for the rest of the day so as to get the full benefit of the treatment, ready to think about massage in a whole different light. Far from thinking it decadent, I can see a place for monthly massages as a way to re-charge during my Year of Living Mindfully – after all, if I’ve got the money to spare surely spending it on my health and wellbeing makes sense?
Urban Massage is available in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham and London: treatment costs vary, but you’ll pay around £45 for an “Urban Classic” Swedish-style massage if you’re based in Glasgow. That’s about the same as a studio treatment, give or take £5, with the added bonus of being able to cuddle up on your sofa with a book and a cup of tea immediately afterwards. For £10 off your first treatment, use my referral link or code RLISA-1.
You too could soon be as blissed-out as this cat.
How do you feel about massage? Would being able to have one in your own home make any difference?
DISCLAIMER: I was provided with a complimentary treatment for review purposes, but I was under no obligation to do so positively and all opinions are my own and unbiased. See my full disclosure policy.