The Bodywise natural health centre is to be found a couple of floors up a beautiful old wooden staircase at Manchester Buddhist Centre in the Northern Quarter. I found out about it when a friend and I decided to do a 6 week introductory massage course in about 1999 and I encountered Jutika, who's been my favourite person to get a massage from ever since. Bodywise itself exudes a sense of calm – delicately scented with aromatherapy oils and with curving pastel walls, I relax just walking into the corridor. The one great pity is that the place only has treatment rooms and a larger space used for yoga classes and the like, and that it doesn't have a full spa on offer. I'd probably move in there if it did...
I'm not one to talk about auras and similar hippy things, but Jutika herself is one of those people who just seem to give off a calming, warm vibe. Maybe it's just that I've had so many good experiences at her hands, but my shoulders seem to loosen up as I sit in the chair in her treatment room. She always asks a range of questions about a client's physical and mental wellbeing, evaluating not just whether there are areas of their body that should be focused on or avoided, but also the kind of treatment they will benefit from. Although her massages aren't advertised as 'aromatherapy' or anything else fancy, she usually uses one or more essential oils according to what she's just heard. She's also completely open to focusing on whatever areas of the body a client asks for – so when my back and shoulders are a big ol' mess from sitting hunched over a keyboard for stupid amounts of time, she's happy to concentrate on those, skipping completely or doing a quick once-over on arms, legs etc.
Jutika is a highly experienced therapist who seems to have an enduring interest in her craft and in continually improving the service she offers. I've often visited her and heard about the new course or technique she's learnt, and many of the most effective and innovative techniques I've experienced have been at her hands – or elbows, or knees, since she's been known to employ these in getting deep into the muscles of my back and shoulders. She also introduced me to the joys of the eyebrow massage – I didn't used to like have my face, especially around my eyes, touched at all, but under Jutika's care I've had the pleasure of finding just how calming this can be.
Unusually in central Manchester nowadays, a full hour's massage from Jutika still comes in at just under £40. Bodywise also offers gift vouchers which can be bought for specific amounts or for named treatments.
Contact: Bodywise Natural Health Centre, ( 2nd floor, Manchester Buddhist Centre ), 16 - 20 Turner Street, Manchester M4 1DZ, 0161 833 2528, health[at]bodywisenaturalhealth.co.uk