Man Up? (or – do you prefer a male spa therapist?)

Man Up?
Man Up?

I was a lucky girl the other week and I got to spend some quality time on a very cold, winter day, enjoying the hospitality of the fabulous London Marriott County Hall Hotel and Spa. The spa was top notch – I’d been looking forward to going there for ages – and I had a really great massage.

It might come as a surprise to hear that in all my years as a spa goer, I’ve never had a spa massage carried out by a man before. I’ve had reflexology, osteopathy, and Reiki from a male therapist but never a ‘normal’ back, neck and shoulder type spa massage. So when I arrived for my spa day, I was asked whether I minded a male massaging me and I thought ‘why not?’

It turned out that my therapist, Daniel, was brilliant. He was trained as a physiotherapist in Portugal, but had been working at the spa in London for two years, which he clearly loved. He was really chatty and friendly, and I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. I can sometimes feel a bit self-conscious about my body – well it’s not as young or thin as it used to be – and I suppose with a female therapist it’s a bit different, they ‘get it’ – but a strange man seeing me in my rolled down swimming costume was a new experience!

Daniel was great, incorporated a few clever physio moves into the routine to loosen up my writer’s shoulders (he said that he thought writers tended to get very tense because we don’t switch off, even while we’re at a spa or out and about, we’re thinking about how we’re going to write about it afterwards…that was so true!) and the sore back I strained in January. He even loosened my back enough to tempt me into the pool for a whole twenty lengths – that has to be a good thing.

In the end, I didn’t feel at all uncomfortable with a male masseur, whether I would have felt so at home with a man administering a body treatment or an anti-cellulite massage I’m not sure but the back, neck and shoulders are quite benign areas anyway aren’t they? What do you think? Does a male therapist bother you? Do you prefer it? Have you tried it? I’d love to hear your experiences…

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