A couple of weeks ago, I went for a massage. I haven’t had one for a while. I’ve never been much of a massage person, but after I had my first child (6 years ago), I was desperate for one. It was (apart from the baby) pretty much all I could think about. I felt beaten up and out of touch with my body (having mostly seen it as a receptacle for someone else’s body for nine months). When Harry was about two weeks old, I found a masseur – he was in his 50s, a former fireman. He had a handlebar moustache, tattooed arms like hams and he gave me a completely brilliant massage. But I haven’t had one as good since.
So when Treatwell offered me one, I jumped at the chance. Okay, maybe I didn’t exactly jump, but I perked right up in my seat and went “Ooh!”
On the way to my appointment (I went to Essential Spa, Manchester (Ed: who sadly no longer exist) but Treatwell are country wide), I started to worry about saggy knickers and unshaven legs, etc. (and by “etc.” I mean unshaven everything), but once I got there and had a chat with Caroline the masseur, I relaxed. She left me alone to get undressed and once I was down to the aforementioned baggy drawers, I found that she hadn’t lowered the massage table. I had to clamber up, legs and boobs akimbo. It wasn’t pretty. Or dignified.
But once the massage started, I was able to forget about the prospect of CCTV and security guards clutching their sides with mirth (I know there’s unlikely to be CCTV in a treatment room, but when you’ve just had to clamber onto a table in your pants, you feel paranoid) and relax.
In the past, I’ve had massages in which the masseur has concentrated on, say, my shoulders and I’ve been lying there thinking “Do my neck. Do my neck. DO MY NECK!” Or they’ve been pummelling away on my legs, while all I could think about was how stiff my heels were (my heels are often stiff because in reflexology they correlate to the coccyx and I spend all day sitting on my behind), but with Caroline, I didn’t feel like anything was left out. At the end of the massage – which lasted about an hour – I was utterly relaxed and as floppy as a rag. Once she’d given me a glass of water and left me alone to get dressed, I slid right off the table like an omelette out of a pan. (Yeah, okay, not like any omelette I’ve ever made. Shut up.)
Afterwards, Caroline told me that I was “wound up like a clockwork duck”, particularly my lower back and my shoulders – which seems completely reasonable since I almost never relax and spend all day either sitting in front of a computer or pushing a pram – and recommended I return for a hot stone massage. I don’t know whether that’s something I genuinely need or whether Caroline was just trying to squeeze another booking out of me, but she didn’t give me the hard sell and I can’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed, so I’ll certainly be going back. But next time I’ll put on nicer undies. And maybe take a little step-stool.
“Treatwell is the largest hair and beauty bookings website in Europe. We’re an eclectic group of 500 people working in offices throughout Europe, with over 20,000 local partners. It amounts to one amazing company: a 24/7 beauty bookings platform that puts customers and salon managers in control, lets you book at times and prices that suit you, and gives you all the style know-how you need to look and feel amazing. We’re more than a smarter booking platform. We’re the place where you can express yourself, every day.”
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