I'm working in London Monday to Friday at the moment, and this has obviously caused some serious disruption to my normal routine. When I'm at home, I have a regular Pilates class and regular massage. Being away so much means I can't attend these, so I thought I'd seek out some London surrogates. Finding a Pilates class was relatively easy as I just consulted the instructors list on the Body Control website and emailed a few to find an instructor who was 1) conveniently located and 2) had drop in sessions. I've lucked out with the class I've chosen taught by Federica at The Light Centre in Belgravia (near Victoria) as it's a class of four, including me, so there's a lot of individual attention. I've been doing Pilates for 5 years, but the corrections I'm getting in my new class are showing me that perhaps I didn't know some of it as well as I thought I did, which is awesome.
Finding a massage therapist has been a little trickier. From the look of the phone boxes around London, finding a "massage therapist" is trivial, but as I'm after a legitimate and highly competent practitioner who can work out my muscular tensions (in my shoulders, get your mind out of the gutter) rather than give me a "happy ending" it's a fairly daunting task. The problem is compounded by my high standards (surprise, surprise). My regular masseuse Sarah looks after the British Olympic Sailing team, so I'm pretty fussy about massage and very easily disappointed. On Sarah's advice, I checked out the comically awful ISRM website and then used a shotgun email approach to see who responded. Here's what I sent:
I found your details on the ISRM website. I'm in London Monday - Friday at the moment and am looking for a substitute massage therapist! Location wise ,I'm working nr London Bridge and staying either at Swiss Cottage or Edgeware Road. I'd like evening appointments between 6-10pm if possible.
If you're suitably located and work evenings, please can you reply with exactly where you practice (incl. nearest tube!), your prices, how long you've been qualified for, and to what level. If not, then don't worry about not responding.
I look forward to hearing from you.
I had a variety of responses, but I thought I'd post this one from the excellently named Wolfgang Mittelmaier. He sounds awesome and is very proud of his website. In my head he sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger and has one of those doorman style clickers for counting his patients.
Thank you for your enquiry.
My clinic is five minutes walk from Blackfriars tube station (see my website www.mittelmaier.co.uk for more detail and a link to Google maps). I qualified over 6 years ago and have seen over 1,400 clients in that time.
You can find out a lot of detail about me, my colleague and the clinic on my website www.mittelmaier.co.uk
15 minutes: £25
30 minutes: £35
45 minutes: £50
60 minutes: £60
90 minutes: £90
The clinic is generally open 7am-8.30pm, but you can see up to date availability at www.mittelmaier.co.uk/availability
Please don't hesitate to ask again, should you have any further questions.
Although I enjoyed reading his response the most, his location isn't ideal and he's very pricey. I know it's London and hopefully I don’t sound like too much of a bumpkin, but at home I pay £37 an hour and have an amazingly skilled therapist. So last night, I went to see Jackie Martin at the Millbank Dental clinic (it's a multi-function clinic, including cosmetic surgeon!). Jackie's email response told me that she's spent the last 3 years working with various London football teams, so I thought she'd be a pair of safe hands for such a highly conditioned and athletic frame as mine. Initial impressions were very good, and I've booked to see her again in 5 weeks, so hopefully it'll work out well for me.