I’m embarrassed to admit this, but until a couple of days ago I’d never had a massage in the UK. Ever. Why? Not sure, really. Lack of opportunity and occasion, I suppose, but mostly it just wouldn’t have occurred to me.
When travelling in parts of the world that don’t give much priority to the state of the roads, the occasional massage was practically medicinal after long, bumpy bus rides. In London, attributing the need for a massage to the tube just seems a bit decadent.
But I’m rapidly coming to a new conclusion, after an aromatherapy massage at the Chelsea Day Spa Boutique. The Chelsea Day Spa has decided to branch out, and in October 2011 opened up the Boutique, found on the brilliantly named Hollywood Road. The Boutique is a beautiful little place, calm and peaceful, with a very tranquil atmosphere. It’s got a great location, too – off busy Fulham Road, but tucked away in quiet residential streets, so there’s already a feeling of a sanctuary.
The massage was very fulfilling indeed – ginger, ylang ylang and lavender oils galore, administered by the lovely Shugar. I went for the ‘relaxing’ option, deciding that my muscles didn’t need a pummelling that day. And thoroughly relaxing it was, too – I didn’t quite fall asleep but I definitely felt very soothed and peaceful. I became aware of muscles that I’d all but forgotten about. It was a slightly guilty reminder that I don’t really take care of my body enough; rather I just expect it to push on through whatever I make it do. And most of all it was a feeling of ‘Aahhhh.’
But it was more than just a lovely, relaxing time. As I lay there, my brain whirling around as is its wont, even when it’s supposed to be chilling out, I wondered why on earth we don’t do more of this kind of thing. I don’t just mean massage. Why is it that our society makes so little provision for compulsory relaxation and meditation time?
Lying on my belly in the soft twilight, I started thinking about my way of life. I started feeling positive about getting up earlier in the mornings, about doing more exercise, about being more organised, more calm and confident. I literally started to re-plan my life from the comfort of the massage table.
And it’s a feeling I recognise from the end of a really good yoga class, or a meditation session. It’s a really great feeling, and I wonder why we don’t aim to experience it at least once a day. It can’t just be because it’s an unprofitable use of time – we place a very high value on our right to leisure time in this country. It might be nice to start every day like that and go out into the world feeling calm, confident and capable.
The Chelsea Day Spa Boutique
53 Hollywood Road
Tel: 020 7351 4555