I saw a meme recently pointing out that 10 years ago, we were all told never to get in strangers' cars or meet people from the Internet, but now, we summon strangers from the Internet to get in their cars. It's certainly a bizarre, technological society we've become, but I have to admit, I don't hate it. If a product or service can be ordered on the Internet, I am thrilled to do so: rides to the airport, television shows, açai bowls. And I love that the beauty community has jumped on board, offering everything from at-home makeup services to blowouts. Maybe this is naive, but I trust the beauty strangers of the Internet, especially when their existence means I never have to leave my house.
So you can imagine how excited I was when news of an on-demand massage app slid into my inbox. If there's anything I love as much as ordering things online, it's massages. I treat myself to one every month or so and delight in trying new spas and services. (Read all about when happened when I tried the most expensive massage in L.A.).
What is the Soothe App?
The Soothe app combines my love of luxury with my quest for convenience. Here's how it works: You download the app for free and choose which type of massage you want: Swedish, deep tissue, sports, or prenatal, any of which you can book as a couples' massage. Then you select the time and location (Soothe is available in 45 different cities around the U.S.). You can book a massage well in advance or have someone show up in as little as an hour. Then, just like Uber, the app matches you with one of Soothe's certified massage therapists, and they turn up wherever you are: your home, hotel room, office, anywhere.
The Soothe app combines my love of luxury with my quest for convenience.
How to Prepare for Your Soothe Experience
My mother is as big a fan of convenient luxury as I am (perhaps it's genetic?), so I thought I'd treat us both to a Soothe massage the day after Christmas while staying at my parents' house in Santa Barbara, California. The app's straightforward interface made it simple to book a couple's massage for that same day at 2 p.m. I selected two 60-minute massages (one Swedish, one deep tissue, one with a female therapist, one without preference).
First things first, make sure your therapist knows any information about how to access your home. This includes providing any gate or door codes and any special instructions.
My parents' house is at the end of a windy mountain road, which is tricky to navigate, so our therapists called to let us know they'd be five minutes late. The two arrived looking very polished in black Soothe uniforms, equipped with all the necessary supplies: massage tables, fresh linens, lotion, lavender eye masks, and a playlist of relaxing spa music.
You'll also want to make sure you have a space set up in your home toaccommodate a massage table and all the accessories. If you live with others, you'll probably want to choose a bedroom or other non-shared space so you can relax.
Our therapists set up their tables in my parents' sunroom, then excused themselves to the bathroom so we could disrobe and hop on our tables. By the time we were all set, it was about 20 minutes past 2 p.m., but our therapists made sure the hour started when the massage started (not when they arrived), which I appreciated, as I've had delayed masseuses cut our time short before.
What to Expect From Your Soothe Massage
The next hour felt surprisingly natural as if my mother and I had received Monday afternoon massages at her house many times before. Before she started, my therapist asked what areas I wanted to focus on and what type of pressure I preferred, and she attentively checked in with me throughout the massage. I requested a relaxing, medium-pressure massage with emphasis on my upper back and shoulders, and that is precisely what I got. Meanwhile, my yoga-loving mom was looking for deeper pressure focused on her legs, and she told me she was pleased with her experience as well.
At the end of the hour, our therapists excused themselves again so we could get dressed; then, they carefully packed up, thanked us, and went on their way. They took their time and were extremely polite.
The total of our massages came out to a shockingly reasonable $99 each. As in, less than $100 to have a massage therapist show up at your front door and give you an hour-long massage in your living room, like something out of Beyoncé's life. And just like Uber, there was no awkwardness or confusion surrounding whether or not to leave a tip or how much (tips aren't part of the Soothe equation).
The Soothe experience was astoundingly easy, and ultimately, it just felt incredibly decadent to receive a quality massage without having to drive anywhere. For the price especially, I can see myself using the app much more in the future. I would also consider giving it as a last-minute gift—Soothe gift cards are easy to purchase on the app's website.
The Final Takeaway
In the end, Soothe not only provided a great massage it also bolstered my faith in the glorious world of online beauty services. Decades ago, the idea may not have seemed wise. I have to say; if you haven't ordered a masseuse to your house via the Internet, you haven't lived.