The pre-flight massage

Paul Adamson
December 20, 2017

Frankly, just before Christmas, I thought everyone would be at the hairdressers. Every year I think I’m unlikely to be busy over this period and every year I’m proved wrong. Who wants a massage when there’s so much else to do – buy presents, get food and drink in, go to parties, prepare the house for guests? Yet I’m busier than ever.

Quite a few people who come to me at this time of the year are stressed out by Christmas itself (many of them have braved Oxford Street, poor things). Others are relieved to have survived another stressful year at work and suddenly realise how tired they are. Then there are the ones who are determined to look after themselves while those about them fall apart at the seams and overindulge. And, this year in particular for some reason, there are lots of clients who come to me for a pre-flight massage. They’re on their way to Bali or Madagascar or Sydney and the only way they can stomach the idea of sitting in a plane for all those hours is to get a massage and make sure they’re in tip-top form before they leave for the airport. I had two such clients in Islington yesterday and both said more or less the same thing – ‘Ok, now I’m ready.’ One of them said they wished they could afford to travel business class (who doesn’t?) but a massage from me before she went would at least make the trip bearable. I didn’t want to disillusion her but I reckon 14 hours into her flight and her back would still have become plane seat shaped. There’s only so much a massage can do in the face of economy class.

This led me to thinking that an airline that really wanted to distinguish itself would have a therapist on board who could invite passengers to a back and shoulder massage at some point in the flight. But they wouldn’t get me applying for any such position – being 30,000ft above ground level isn’t my idea of being relaxed.

A pre-flight massage will certainly help you stand up to the rigours of a long haul flight but an even better idea is a recovery massage as soon as you get back. January’s already booking up…

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