On the relaxation factory

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August 17, 2009 by 8junebugs

Back in March I entered a new relationship…with Massage Envy. I did eventually break the news to my long-time massage therapist at a private establishment. We have not spoken of it since.

Yesterday, I had my third massage with therapist I’ve liked the best, and I intend to stick with her as long as I have a membership and/or as long as she stays at this location. She’s awesome and responsive and can do anything from the starter massage to the deep tissue. She is remarkably strong for a relatively tiny person. If you’re around here and would like a referral, let me know.

The pros of the relaxation factory:

  • A monthly massage is now part of my budget. If I don’t call to schedule it, they call me.
  • They’re open 7 days a week. If I wasn’t committed to one therapist, I could get an appointment pretty much anytime, and I don’t have to wait very long for the person I prefer.
  • Everything in the massage room is customizable — music, temperature, lighting, etc.
  • All the customizable stuff is state of the art and comfy.
  • I don’t know where they got the chair in the “Tranquility Room,” but I would like three or four for an area of my living room. Ottomans (ottomen?) too.
  • Pretty bathrooms!
  • It’s right above Harris Teeter — it’s easy to grab a bottle of water, a quick dinner, or, in the case of last night, several pounds of on-sale grapes after a session.

The cons of the relaxation factory:

  • The BIG one: The hard sell. If you go in for an introductory session, they try to get you to sign up for a membership immediately, and they are barely polite about it. The reception area folks are clearly following a sales script, and it takes away from an otherwise pretty relaxing atmosphere.
  • If you are a member (and maybe if you’re not), they ask you when you arrive if you would like to check out in advance, which means “leave your therapist a tip in advance.” Personally, I tip pretty well for professional massages and other salon-type stuff, but I don’t tip before the service. Would you pre-tip your stylist before the highlights are done? Seriously.
  • One back-of-the-door hook for hanging up my clothes and handbag. This is inadequate.
  • Special deals for members would be lovely.

So far? Still a good investment.

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