Would you forgo the luxury spa experience for the convenience of a beauty treatment at home? Here I explain why sometimes a quick fix beats the real deal when it comes to massage.
If I could only have one beauty treatment for the rest of my life it would be a massage. Not a flimsy, half-hearted stroke, but a proper, robust rub down, the kind that makes you wince a bit but you know is doing you good. Forget manicures. Who needs facials? I am loyal to the art of muscle manipulation.
I have had good and bad massages in my extensive career. Some have been in fancy hotels where your feet are washed in rose petal water and others took place in tiny rooms in Chinatown. Through all this research I have discovered that while location is important, it does not count for everything.
Never have I considered having a massage at home though. Only when a friend, knowing my penchant for a pummelling, sent me a discount code for Urban Massage (an at home service for those looking for a quick spa experience without the faf of commuting) did I consider it.
The convenience of the platform is undeniable. I can be face down with someone working the knots out of my shoulders within an hour from booking. It is the ultimate quick fix for those of us who love to preach about ‘not having enough hours in the day’ but who relish time to relax.
“Unlike dating sites though, each candidate is starred based on the reviews they have received from clients. How useful that would be on bumble.”
Like most quick fixes though, the results aren’t always perfect. It all comes down to the therapist lottery. When booking your massage, once you have selected the style, time and day, you are taken through to a page where, much like an online dating site, you can evaluate and select your potential masseuse. Unlike dating sites though, each candidate is starred based on the reviews they have received from clients. How useful that would be on bumble.
There is Emily M and her angelic blonde curls whose blurb promises a pampering and caring treatment next to a stern looking Helen P who has 10 years of deep tissue experience. Michael J is passionate about yoga and brings elements of this to his treatments while Daniel K is a professional dancer who specialises in sports massage. There is a rainbow of choice to suit everyone.
For first time users the process can feel a little bit awkward but most therapists turn up with a professional command that leaves little room for unease. All you need to do is provide two towels and a clear space for your masseuse to set up their table (I suggest having a pre planned activity for this time rather than just standing nearby gormlessly).
To date, all my therapists have been more than competent in their technique. It is their bedside manner which determines the good from the bad in this lottery. A good therapist will offer you a choice of oils. They will ask you about any medical conditions or areas you would like them to focus on. Most check with you about two minutes in if the pressure is okay.
A bad therapist will do none of the above. They will get oil in your hair when you have asked them to avoid it or chat throughout the whole treatment making you feel like you are in a job interview. At this point, half dressed and face down, there is little to be done.
“The best part of it all is that afterwards I can wriggle into my dressing gown, roll onto the sofa and catch the latest episode of the Kardashians.”
Through these experiences of good and bad, I now have a small, reliable group of therapists who I book repeatedly. Sonya gives my shoulders the tough love they need and Laura makes me doze off into a meditative trance. The best part of it all is that afterwards I can wriggle into my dressing gown, roll onto the sofa and catch the latest episode of the Kardashians.
Undoubtedly, Urban Massage is for the online consumer who is comfortable getting everything they need through their laptop with as little effort as possible. Like with many tech platforms it takes a bit of getting used to but now, through some trial and error, Urban Massage is a regular part of my beauty regime.
The readily available discount codes mean it does not need to be an expensive habit either (top tip -recommend as many friends as possible to work your way up to a free massage). If you are looking for a truly pampering experience where every detail is designed to take you off to a heavenly world of relaxation, this might not the service for you. But if you are in need of one hour of convenient peace, look no further.
At home massages start from £53 for one hour. Book online, or through the app.