If you follow me online you will know that life has been kind of stressful recently. Knowing that I was off to have a massage as a guest of The Massage Company in Camberley was pretty much all that got me through last week. First of all I was intrigued as the massages I have had in the past have been in spas during a day out or during weekends away, or in tiny rooms in one of the local beauty clinics in town. The first scenario always seems to come with lots of clock watching as I wonder if I will be late for my allocated lunch slot, or how my hair will look for the rest of the afternoon. The latter never feels as relaxing as I hope it will be. The sound of therapists walking backwards and forwards past the door constantly, the door bell jangling to alert staff that the latest client has arrived, the phone ringing in the background….. as much as I want to be able to fully relax I can never quite get to that point.
Step forward then a concept that is new to me: The Massage Company. There are branches in Camberley, High Wycombe and Tunbridge Wells currently and they all operate on the same basis, offering massages that you pay for in advance on a monthly basis therefore securing a discount on the “walk in off the street price” (which is still reasonable). As a member you can use your membership at any branch. It works like this:
A direct debit is set up for £49.95 per month and this can then be used to have a 50 minute massage at any time during the month. If you don’t get to use the massage you can carry it over to the next month, or the next as they never expire. You could also split them into two 25 minute massages if you want to visit fortnightly. There is a requirement to sign up for 12 months and during that period you may also “gift’ two of your massages to a friend or family member.
If you don’t want to be tied down to the 12 month contract you can pay £59.95 per month and still enjoy a massage a month. Or you can, of course, just drop in as and when you want and pay £79.95.
Both options cover either a sports massage, a deep tissue massage, a Swedish massage or a pregnancy massage. It also allows you to upgrade if you wish, payable as and when you chose, and have an additional service added on to your massage. These range from hot stones, scalp message, aromatherapy or a fantastic foot massage. For members the upgrades are just £5.95, for non-members they are £8.95.
So that is how it works but what is it like, I hear you ask? Well right from the outset it’s relaxaing, professional and very different from anything I have experienced before. There is ample parking in the multi storey opposite the Camberley branch and it is open from 9am to 9pm Monday to Thursday, 8am to 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 until 6pm on Sundays. The entrance area is bright and airy with comfy sofas and water dispensers. I was greeted by Lizzie with a big smile and invited to fill in a questionnaire asking health related questions, areas I wanted the therapist to focus on, and the sort of pressure I wanted my therapist to apply.
That done I was then greeted by Emily who led me upstairs to a private treatment room, away from the street, the phones, the noise of people coming and going. The minute you set foot in the room you feel yourself breathing out and instantly relaxing. Emily went through my form with me and asked me to confirm the areas I was feeling “knotted” before leaving to let me get undressed and under the covers privately.
Several times early on during the massage she checked that the pressure was okay for me and that I wasn’t too warm. She even checked to make sure the music wasn’t too loud. As requested, she really worked hard on my shoulders to get rid of the constant ache I have across them and into my neck (to the point where when I left she asked me “what HAVE you been doing?!”). I opted for a scalp massage too so Emily started on my back (with lots of pillows under my knees so I don’t think I have ever been more comfortable) and when it was time to roll over so Lizzie could work on my back she held the blankets up to preserve my dignity. The whole time the only part of me “exposed” was the area that Emily was working on.
Massage over I was left alone to get dressed and then met outside with a glass of water and accompanied downstairs.
I hadn’t realised until I walked down the stairs how different I felt, how when I walked up the stairs my shoulders were under my ears yet when I walked down I almost skipped.
There are plenty of proven positive health benefits to having regular massages so by committing to have one on a regular basis you are doing more than just having an hour out of a busy day. You could be relieving anxiety, boosting your immunity, stimulating your nervous system, increasing your circulation and aiding your sleep. Now if that isn’t worth a regular monthly financial commitment I don’t know what is.
I was offered a complimentary massage in return for an honest review