If You Haven't Tried Massage on Demand, You're Doing Life Wrong

Photo by BraunS/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by BraunS/iStock / Getty Images

I'm terrible at relaxing. Thanks to television and movies, I know that I won't realize the American Dream until I'm kicking back with my girlfriends at a spa getaway in wine country or Arizona or Mexico, but I'm simply not wired for downtime. When I finally break down to get a massage, it's because my body hurts and it needs to be fixed. Those massages, of course, are anything but fun. They're generally punctuated with statements of "On a scale of 1-10, tell me when the pain is above a 6." 

If you're going to relax for a day, lounging around a beautiful spa makes sense. But when you're only seeking treatment, why should you have to deal with traffic and parking or Uber? There's a better way, and it's massage on demand.

I first received pitches for two on-demand apps, Soothe and Zeel, while writing for a lifestyle publication. They wanted me to try out a service where I could book a massage as easily as I book a car. Frankly, I was turned off by the idea that I wouldn't be able to choose my therapist, and I never took either one up on a free session. In hindsight, that was a mistake.

I changed tack on the issue this year after a friend raved about her Zeel experience, and now I'm a massage-on-demand super fan. I've been using Soothe because it costs $99, tip included, while Zeel is a little pricier, $99 plus 18 percent tip.

I tend to procrastinate when booking massages, but Soothe doesn't care if I wait until the last minute. Though I probably won't be able to book a therapist at 7 pm on a Saturday night—yes, I've tried, and it just hit me that it probably seems skeevy—I've always been able to get a massage if I either schedule early in the day (for a night appointment) or book by 5 or 6 pm.

With both Soothe and Zeel, the therapist arrives at your home with a table, sheets, and all the necessary massage implements. Both services ask that you have sufficient space to set up the table—they suggest 10 feet of open space, I was fine with 8 feet—so you might need to push chairs or a sofa out of the way. The rest of the experience is just like going to a massage therapist's office. The service. The muzak. A great massage. It's all there. And when your time is up, you're already home.

Wanna try it for yourself? Use the code AOSFS to take $30 off your first Soothe experience. (No, this isn't a sponsored post, but I will get a $30 credit if you use my code.) Or hit up one of your Soothe or Zeel-loving friends for a promo code; it's all good. But for God's sake, try it. It will change your life.