I used to work as a journalist and one of my gigs was on a luxury magazine where I was once asked to review ‘the 10 best spas in London’. As you can imagine, it wasn’t arduous work and lots of my friends envied my task – it wasn’t the kind of thing they were asked to do at their jobs.
As it turned out, I got bored very quickly and annoyed by the massages I was invited to at each spa. Anyone who has had a massage from me knows that I don’t go in for gentle stroking. It does my head in. Not that I want to be beaten into a pulp either – but I enjoy strong pressure and I want the therapist to work for his money not do a bit of light dusting.
At one of these spa massages I begged the therapist to work deeper into my muscles– ‘I love good pain,’ I wailed. She didn’t change her pressure one bit and after 10 minutes I had had enough and thanked her but told her it wasn’t for me and got up and left. She looked astounded. I've written on other blogs about my distaste for 'spa' massages - boring, unimaginative, ineffective, just so irritating!
Mind you, I got myself a Chinese massage the other week while in Amsterdam that was almost unbearably painful – the guy walked up and down my back on his knees! How he didn’t smash my ribs, I don’t know.
Working as a massage therapist is physically very demanding, especially if you are prepared to give yourself. So getting a regular massage is essential. I get a massage every couple of weeks and try out many therapists – partly in the hope they will give me a good massage and partly to steal their techniques! I had a pretty awful massage this week but even with this one I was able to learn one or two things so all was not wasted.
I also have a couple of regular therapists who help to keep me in good shape. A great massage is worth paying for and these days I get just the right pressure and wonderful technique from Julien Burnier (www.julienburnier.com) and from my osteopath/sports massage therapist Radi Lyubenov (www.northlondon-osteopathy.co.uk). I thoroughly recommend both of them.