If you want a masseur with magic fingers who’s bookable throughout the year, Esther Cato is your lady. It’s not just that this healer-meets-ultimate-stress-buster-meets-masseur is so available. It’s also that she’s so good. So thank your lucky stars that government restrictions have just lifted, and book to see Esther in your London home for a deep tissue therapeutic massage. Or bag her for a pregnancy massage. Or a Swedish one.
She’ll take all the necessary pandemic precautions by travelling responsibly, doing a super cleanse between treatments and wearing a mask, visor and plastic apron. But somehow she’ll also create an ambience that puts the ‘ahhhhh’ into home spa.
She’ll spritz your room with lavender and light a handmade ginger and neroli candle. And offer you a heated massage couch, classical music or hypnotic recordings of the sea. A sometimes meditation teacher, she may even play a soundtrack to help you imagine that you’re ambling in a forest or slumbering on a beach, as she releases those lockdown-tense muscles.
Esther may have a meditative, mindful manner, which is just what’s needed after those stressy months of near house arrest. But she’s not some airy-fairy, New Age type who learnt her trade on a weekend course. She’s been massaging since 2001 and studied Anatomy, Physiology and has a post grad in Psychology. Plus she’s worked for FTSE companies tending their employees’ tight muscles and has helped hundreds of folk with everything from sciatica to burn-out and sports injuries.
She’ll press your trigger points and muscular knots, releasing them faster than you can say, ‘ouch.’ She’ll use neuromuscular techniques (stretching and pulling to help you find your own range naturally), Myofascial Release therapy (focusing on releasing muscular shortness and tightness) and Manual Lymphatic Drainage (great for losing weight or pre-surgery, and increasingly she’s been treating people after plastic surgery).
If you have hunched shoulders (the bane of those working at computers), she’ll sort them. If all those months of Zoom meetings have left their imprint in muscular tightness and joint stiffness, she’ll deal with it.
You’ll be left stretched, pummelled, relaxed and wafting of sandalwood oil — that grounds you — and rose oil — that nourishes your tired skin. Additionally you’ll notice the gentle waft of fractionated coconut oil (that’s vegan, distilled, pure and organic) on your newly scented body.
Esther may also prescribe her alchemical blend of Epsom salts with ginger, orange and neroli oils for your bath afterwards. That’s if you can stay awake that long. Anyone for home spaaaaaaahhh?
Prices start from £80 for a home visit plus travel. Esther is available throughout the year, save for Christmas and New Year’s Day. For further information or to book an appointment, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.esthercatowellness.co.uk.
Caroline Phillips is an award-winning freelance journalist who contributes to publications from Sunday and daily newspapers to glossy magazines and various luxury websites. To see more of her work, go to www.carolinephillips.net.