Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Massage: the day my clicks went away

So my barber - I should stop calling it that as it's so much more - has opened up a holistic treatment centre on its pretty substantial premises (well, more substantial than you'd expect for a barber). Called The Valet in Addiscombe has installed a massage table and all sorts of other stuff to pamper us men. Just in time for my birthday next month - and better still, I've test driven the Swedish Massage service.

You go through the barber premises and into a small room where you're offered a robe (don't bother, you'll only have to take it off) and asked to lie on the table, covering your boxers with a towel. Rebecca Waller, the new member of staff who handles the massage, starts with the arms and chest. This is soothing enough and pleasant. She moves down to the leg area and for me the real soothing started - I take the dog out for a walk quite a lot, and it's hilly round here. I had no idea my legs had stiffened but they had.

It was then flipping over time. Back of legs done, lower back eased and then the upper back and shoulders. By now smelling strongly of lemongrass oil and very, very relaxed, I was barely awake - and suddenly aware that my neck was feeling more mobile than it had done for a while. In fact on finishing the massage I noticed a whole load of clicks and "sccchnick" sounds I've been used to when turning my head round or leaning over or something had just vanished. Like (I suspect) a lot of people I'd been putting these down to getting to my mid-forties; I was not only refreshed but pleased to find I was in slightly better nick than I'd thought. I'd happily recommend a massage like this to anyone - another time I might go for only the upper back as that was clearly what needed the work in my case (sitting up typing all day I shouldn't be surprised).

Afterwards she advised me to drink lots of water and also said not to go to the gym for the day. I'd thought she was quite bright until that point; I have to say, though, that anyone who can massage my body and think I've been anywhere near a gym for a good while is probably just being polite...

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