As 2021 wrapped, I vowed to practice more intentional acts of kindness with myself over the 12 Days of Christmas –– even if I had to request deadline extensions. One way was to finally book that massage I craved. I’m so glad I finally did, and even happier it was at Mood House.
Mood House has been featured in several Charlotte publications since its 2020 opening for its unique spin on traditional services and keen attention to the individual needs of each client. It even earned Charlotte Magazine’s vote for “Best Massage in Charlotte – 2021.”
The founder, Cristina Wilson, admits she too has wrestled with prioritizing self-care. “In my past, I’ve struggled to carve out one hour each month to escape, relax, and recharge. I felt like I had to justify it. Why? I hate how I convinced myself that my health wasn’t worth an hour.”
As a parent and former partner and president of Charlotte Agenda, Wilson understands the self-care deficits so often experienced by women doing a lot. These women are known as “high-performers” around Mood House.
From intake to exit, my personal experience there was a fluid and restorative one. Before even entering the space, which feels like a calming white and mint cocoon of minimalism, the process was simplified. Instead of fretting about arriving early to complete a pile of forms, I submitted just a few online. Some questions were even fun to answer: Would I like to include guided visualization? How about a heated table?
To aid in my mood goals, I had the option to choose a scent representing an accompanying mood or mindset when I arrived: Calm, Clear, Abundant, or Awake. All four scents are lovely, and considering them before my massage helped me reflect on what I was really carrying into the building, beyond my purse and phone. Initially, I thought I wanted “Calm” to de-stress, but it turns out I was actually after “Clear.” I have all kinds of exciting, creative projects happening right now; however, I came into Mood House feeling scatterbrained and frenzied about them. I was also struggling to decide whether I had the bandwidth to commit to one particular new project or not, so I chose to address my lacking focus and clarity as opposed to addressing a sense of overwhelm. Talk about an Aha moment. I hadn’t even hit the table yet.
While waiting, I enjoyed a refreshing lemon water and lounged in a sunlit, cushioned window seat. This must be the glory a cat feels each day. I noticed a male client waiting as well, so remember this, ladies, when wondering what your man might enjoy (besides you, of course) for Valentine’s Day.
Side Note: In lieu of a couples massage, the Mood House approach to together time is as thoughtful as its other services. Wilson recommends booking individualized, separate massages followed by taking in a sauna experience together.
Mood House’s pared-down design extends from the hallway waiting area into the massage space. This helped clear my mind even more. Into a handled, woven basket went my belongings and cares since I’d be headed directly to the sauna afterward, donning a silky soft MH robe.
The masseuse I booked was professional and skilled, and I enjoyed every minute of my treatment, especially the aromatherapy and affirmations. My apologies, but I won’t reveal her name lest she gets booked up when I need her, you know, like the very best babysitters.
After the massage, I was able to regroup and hydrate in a posh, cozy lounge until I was ready for the sauna. I had never experienced one before this visit, so I was a little nervous. I was sure to drink plenty of water beforehand, but I still didn’t know what to expect. The technician walked me through everything, including safety features. The room was clean with calming music playing in the background, adjustable to my preference. The dry heat felt surprisingly good, and I was able to lie down or sit how it felt best. I’m not someone who stays still for long, so doing just that for thirty minutes was exactly what I needed.
When that first droplet of sweat rolled down my side, it felt as though more than just toxins had been released. While inside the sauna, I began to wonder if this is how my children must have felt in my womb –– insulated, protected, soothed. I was finally letting go of that nagging, underlying feeling I needed to be everywhere, at all times, being everyone, to all people for the day. What an important reminder. At first, I was antsy. When the timer went off, I didn’t want to leave. If it hadn’t been for the cool, Eucalyptus-scented towels I might not have.
Before my services ended for the day, I was shown the meditation space where classes are offered. It is a sanctuary of sorts. As someone who is drawn to the concept of meditation but uncertain how to navigate it, this is something I definitely want to check out. The class topics are intriguing and facilitated by trained instructors.
If you’re like me and want to try (or gift) a low-commitment membership versus the regular 6 or 12-month options, Mood House is offering a limited edition 3-month membership for $255 (valued at $315). It includes:
– Three 50-minute Signature Massage credits, which can be used any time before August 31, 2022.
– Access to member perks and exclusive member rates on services, including the infrared sauna, through May 31, 2022.
– Complimentary, members-only monthly meditation events.
Part of me wants to wait to treat myself to a membership or return visit, but part of me wonders, why wait? I tend to my physical health regularly by hitting the gym and scheduling routine medical appointments; why wait to tend to my mental and emotional health?