Having a massage is often seen as a luxury in the west. But the benefits of having a massage go way deeper than that. Luxurious Magazine’s Sabi Phagura caught up with The Massage Company’s co-founder Charlie Thompson to discuss the positive effects regular massages can have on various aspects of our lives.
Luxurious Magazine: We understand that it is widely believed massage is a luxury or just for those who are active. Why do you think there is such a misconception?
Charlie Thompson: Our fantastic industry is represented primarily by a considerable number of independent therapists on one side and the Spa industry on the other side – operating largely apart from each other, so the message to consumers has been confusing.
Magazines have been quick to share the latest spa or the latest treatment, but 90% of the needs of customers will always be the muscular pain in their backs, necks, shoulders and legs. It’s just not being communicated well.
LM: What are the physical and mental benefits of massage?
Charlie: Huge! Muscular pain relief, stress relief, flexibility, mental clarity, improved alertness or improved sleep (depending on the type of massage you select), and countless medical-related issues. It’s crucial we reduce the general public’s need for medication to solve aches and pains when massage is such a fantastic solution for so many.
LM: Tell us how did the concept for The Massage Company come about and why did you feel the need for such a centre?
Charlie: Our vision is to bring massage to the mainstream. My experience was in running large-scale Spa operations within both hotels and also health clubs when demand for massage therapy far exceeded what we could provide (and I had over 400 therapists working for me).
When approaching a restaurant, you choose one that is an expert in the type of cuisine you would like, so why would you choose a spa or clinic location that offers everything from nails to waxing to facials, to massage? Specialist locations are the future for waxing, nail bars, and now for massage therapy through The Massage Company.
LM: What makes The Massage Centre say different to other spa places?
Charlie: We have brought together the best of the Spa customer journey and the best training from the massage therapy industry, and deliver this through a team of dedicated massage therapists.
Everyone has to come qualified and then pass our own internal TMC Training Programme, so every customer gets real consistency in their experience – that’s impossible anywhere else (except perhaps Centerparcs). So our customers know they can book with any therapist at any time and get the treatment they need. Of course, our membership system makes this a far easier option at a far more reasonable price too.
LM: What kind of training do the therapists go through, and what ongoing support do they receive?
Charlie: All therapists will have been qualified in massage therapy via a national or international training provider, and we will trade-test everyone as part of the interview process. It’s crucial we understand the stage they are at in their careers and what we can do within our own TMC Training Programme to help them.
We have our initial 12-month TMC Training Programme, which every therapist will be part of, and receive a fully certified qualification; then, for more advanced work, we are launching a new TMC Diploma in Applied Anatomy in 2023 – watch this space!
LM: You’ve just opened the latest centre in Ealing, West London. What part does location play in having a massage space?
Charlie: Ealing is an exciting location and one of the most highly visible ones in our group. This encourages potential customers to drop in and ask about how we can help them, but many of our centres do not have this presence. We’re a pre-booked service, so visibility is helpful but not essential.
What’s not obvious looking at the front of our centres is just how large the space is behind reception – all our centres have between 8 and 14 treatment rooms, employing between 10 and 25 therapists over a 7-day week, and open until 9 pm weekdays – we want to make it easy for people to access the massage therapy that they need.
LM: What advice would you give someone who is a little apprehensive about having their first massage?
Charlie: Great question, and many customers are unsure of both the etiquette of taking a massage and also the comfort of removing their clothes with a therapist they may not have met before.
We know this can be a big thing, and we offer a number of videos on the homepage of our websites on what to expect. The really important part of this is that our teams are trained in customer care, and the modesty protection is huge – we only uncover the section of the body we are working on and have a very clever way of ensuring every customer is relaxed and comfortable.
We also understand that sometimes customers have had an indifferent experience before – we would urge you to try again – whether that is with us at The Massage Company or with someone local to you. The benefits really are substantial.
LM: And finally, what does the future look like for The Massage Company?
Charlie: We have a combined aim to really recruit and train the best therapists, keeping the team together as long as possible. We’re an innovative brand and are really focused on bringing massage to the mainstream via as many locations in the UK as possible. We have six now, with three more opening in 2023. Our membership will grow and grow as long as we continue to make every massage count – and that’s what our future will always look like!
For more information on The Massage Company, visit www.massagecompany.co.uk.
Read more exclusive interviews and profiles here.
You must be logged in to post a comment.