The massage chair has had a 2020 makeover and I implore you to try it
Mention massage chairs and the first thing that springs to my mind is those black leather vibrating seats you see in motorway service stations. Get that image of your dad sitting in one halfway down the M4 out of your head, because there’s a new massage chair in town, and the 30 minutes I spent in it was the best half an hour of my year so far.
Housed in The Khera Griggs Cleanse Clinic at Urban Retreat in Knightsbridge are two Bodyfriend chairs (the only two in the UK, at the time of writing). For half an hour you surrender yourself to the chair; you insert your arms and legs into glove-type sleeves and wait for the magic to happen. And what magic it is! It squeezes your hands, feet, bum and back and at one point I had to open my eyes to check a masseuse hadn’t come in and taken hold of my feet - that’s how much like an actual massage it felt.
The seat is so powerful I could actually feel it moving me about as different parts of it target different parts of my body, and when the zero-gravity function (airbags that raise you up, basically) was enabled I actually felt like I was floating on a cloud.
I didn't want to upload this photo, as I do look a bit like I'm dead, but I suppose that's testament to how relaxing the Bodyfriend chair is. As you can see from my lovely photo, to make the experience even more serene, you’re given a pair of noise-cancelling Beats By Dre headphones to help you zone out from your surroundings - you pick from six different options of what you listen to, depending on your needs. I opted for Heal, which played plinky-plonky meditation music designed to aid with anxiety and restlessness
A session in the chair costs starts at £35, and the clinic is touting it as a way for anyone to grab a mindful 30 minutes to themselves - an act of self care you can easily fit into your week.
I floated out of the clinic daydreaming about how I could move the furniture in my living room around in order to accommodate the chair...