WHAT better way to banish the winter blues than get a massage?

And you know you’re in sore need of it when the therapist takes one look at you and says: “You’re stressed, aren’t you?”

Prior to reviewing a full-body treatment at the West Wickham Physiotherapy Centre in the High Street I had performed the worst ever possible parallel parking manoeuvres in the nearby Marks and Spencer car park.

It had taken many beeps and awkward apologies before I could get to my oasis of calm so I was certainly craving some relaxation.

Chris Tuck, of West Wickham Health and Fitness, immediately put me at ease in the clean, bright clinic where she delivers therapies. She is also a fitness and weight-loss expert so takes a well-rounded view of health and had invited me along to review a holistic massage which lasts around an hour.

Chris offered me a herbal tea and quizzed me on my lifestyle to ensure my treatment was as specialised as possible.

Luckily I didn’t have too much time to get depressed about my alcohol intake as I was told to undress and get on the heated massage table. I have never been on this kind of device before and it was amazing.

Over the next hour Chris massaged me from head to toe paying particular attention to any knots. It was a bit like a deep tissue massage and it felt incredible.

Afterwards she gave me advice on ‘dos’ (drink lots of water, have a stretch) and ‘don’ts’ (such as alcohol).

Interestingly she also told me which areas of my body showed tension – my arms and hands, probably from typing, and the legs in my legs were a bit tight but apparently my muscle tone is actually very good which was a pleasant surprise.

I looked flushed for the rest of the day, in a good way (I think), and felt relaxed to the point of being incoherent.

Massage is reported to have many benefits including improved wellbeing, reduced stress levels and boosted immune function.

Therapies at West Wickham Health and Fitness cost between £20 and £50. For more information, visit westwickhamfitness.com/holistic-massage/ or call 07932 594 712.