As temperatures around London begin to drop, we begin to cover up. Undressing for a full body therapeutic massage however does not need to be a chilling affair – follow the tips below to enjoy a warmer massage at home.
Even if you book a last minute home visit massage you will have at least an hour before your mobile therapist arrives. During colder periods, use the time wisely to prepare your room in advance.
The World Health Organisation recommends 18°C as the ideal room temperature for an appropriately dressed healthy adult. Many massage treatments however often require you to be undressed and to lie still for up to two hours. In those conditions, 18°C can feel a little chilly.
The best room temperature whilst receiving a massage for which you need to be undressed is between 21°C and 23°C. So turn up the room heating in the hour before your therapist arrives to ensure your toes are toasting not trembling during your treatment.
If you are lucky enough to own a fireplace, receiving your massage in front of an open fire is a wonderful experience not only for the direct warmth it provides but also the relaxing ambience created by gently flickering flames. If the fire is large enough, you probably do not need any other lighting.
If you do not have a fireplace, you can easily recreate the ambience of deluxe hotel spas by simply switching on an electric under-blanket placed under a spill proof sheet and enjoy radiating heat from below throughout your massage. Make sure the blanket is pulled down so that it focuses more on the area towards your feet rather than your head.
Whilst you are warming the room, drape the towels you will use for your treatment on the radiator so that they are warmed through before your massage begins.
Alternatively, once your therapist arrives, throw them in the tumble dryer for a few minutes and enjoy fluffed up warmth from the outset.
If you have a tendency to feel the cold more, give your therapist a double set of towels and ask him or her to double drape the areas they are not working on.
Warm massage oil feels wonderfully luxurious on the body. In India, a traditional Ayurvedic Shirodhara massage uses constantly flowing warm oil to create a heavenly, deep relaxing therapy. As wonderful as that feels, this kind of treatment is quite unsuitable for home visit massage treatments, as it leaves a pool of oil on the floor.
A much simpler - and less messy - solution to enjoy a hot oil massage is to get an electric baby bottle warmer. Ask your therapist to pop her oil bottle into it when she arrives and within a few minutes you can experience the indulgence of warm massage oil being applied to your skin throughout the treatment.
You can also purchase special soy wax massage candles, which when lit, gently melt into warm therapeutic massage oil. Your therapist then pours this warm massage oil directly onto your body or their hands. The candle has the added benefit of providing gentle light during the session. Note that normal candles do not usually work as well as the composition of the wax is less suitable for performing a massage with.
Warming the body in an integral part of all massage therapy. Whichever treatment type you book, you should feel warmer as a result of your muscles being manipulated and the rate of blood flow increasing around your body.
There are some massage styles which are specifically focused on heating the body. The most common of these for mobile therapy is known as a hot oil Swedish massage. This is a classic relaxing full-body Swedish massage performed using warmed oil, as described above. Lomi Lomi massage is also a popular choice for those looking for a deeply warming treatment, as the therapist performs long flowing strokes which cover large parts of the whole body together. This means that the whole of your body feels connected and warm throughout the treatment.
Hot stone massage therapy is often used in spas and hotels to provide an extra-warming type of treatment. Gently warmed, smooth stones are placed on the body to provide a soothing source of immediately penetrating heat which provides comforting warmth and helps relax tight muscles. Hot stone massage therapy is however less appropriate for home visit mobile massages, as stones usually need 20 - 30 minutes to warm up properly before they can be used.
So, you have set your room temperature to around 22°C, wrapped yourself in fluffy warm towels and have some massage oil being gently warmed by the side of your bed. Imagine if the next thing you felt were icy cold hands on your bare skin!
Mobile massage therapists by nature travel around London from place to place. If it is particularly cold outside it is not unusual for a therapist to arrive with hands that feel very cold to someone who has been sitting in the warmth of a well-heated indoor environment. Therapists at The Massage Rooms have been trained to wash and warm their hands in hot water for around a minute before starting any therapy session. If you think your therapist may have forgotten, give them a gentle reminder and they will happily oblige.
Of course, in addition to all the above practical tips, some of the best warmth you can possibly get during your massage is the empathy that a good therapist radiates during a real massage.