People talk a lot about work-life balance, but realistically we can all agree that’s a tough discussion to have. First of all, it means different things to different people. Most of us agree the balance is hard to strike, yet it is important we take care of ourselves. In an attempt to do so, I joined a gym, and a few runs. I’ve also become a big fan of Eventbrite to find places to go and things to do around London (more about this in one of my next blog posts!). As you can see, things get busy and that’s ok, because aside from ordering in dinner and turning on movies on demand, you can now get almost anything delivered to your home.
Yes… that includes a (handsome) masseur. Don’t get the wrong idea here ladies and gents, no funny business. Even though I felt really quite funny (at first) when I was sitting on the sofa dressed in my robe, waiting for a stranger to knock on my door with a (massage) bed in tow. There is nothing to feel strange about: all therapists from Urban Massage, the on demand massage service in London (+4 other major cities and growing) are professionally qualified and insured.
On a random Thursday evening a couple of weeks ago I was waiting for Sean to arrive, my therapist. It didn’t take long, and as he said “you just never know with traffic, so rather a bit too early than too late”. It was nice actually, because I had an early (4am!) wake-up call to head out to the airport. Hence my desire for some deep tissue relaxation and a good nights sleep. As Sean is setting up the table, which takes mere minutes, I light some candles and throw on some relaxing music. We’re chatting and he tells me he has been a therapist for 15 years.
Sean brought the table, I provided the towels. If you are going to order in a massage, make sure you have plenty of towels and preferably large ones. Beach towels work very well, but if they are smaller just get a few more ready than you think you will need. “Sometimes people don’t have more than just one towel”, Sean tells me, and he pointed out it ends up just being less comfortable for the client.
A few minutes later I am face-up on the table for a bit of an unusual start. Sean shares with me he prefers to start this way, albeit not traditional, because it promotes relaxation to end the treatment with the back. I’m fully open to suggestions and enjoy a bit of chit-chat while he gets started. I have some tight spots and before long I am reminded why I personally prefer a male therapist. However Urban massage lets you choose whether you prefer male, female, or have no preference. Normally I am not much of a talker while I receive a treatment, which is something he also asked about before getting started. It’s nice, especially if someone is uncomfortable expressing these preferences, but we both agree that it is good to communicate these and other preferences before getting started.
Starting the massage face-up on the table worked out to be a hit for me. I’ll either be requesting Sean again in the future, or if it happens to be another therapist I’ll ask to start that way. By the time he was working on my back I was entirely relaxed and once I did get to sleep after the massage it was one of the best sleeps I’ve ever had. I always used to say I wished I could just roll into bed right after a massage. To get somewhat close to that feeling I’ve never booked a massage in the morning but rather in the afternoon or early evening. However, I’d still need to make my way home. This time around I waved Sean goodbye around 10pm and felt a little bit bad for him having to make the commute home. For me the commute was all of 10 seconds to my bedroom. Finally, with Urban Massage I actually got what I always wished for: the opportunity to roll straight into bed after a relaxing treatment.
For a busy professional who has to schedule basic things like grocery shopping and cooking, getting a massage ordered within an hour and right to your home is a necessary luxury. The days of just ordering in pizza after a long day are over, why not make it a massage?