When my mum told me that she was going to take me to try out a bed when I next visited her, I have to admit I was more than a little surprised. She did explain that it was a massage bed, but even so, I didn't really know what to expect.
At the Ceragem centre in Preston, you can turn up once a day to get a free massage using these special massage beds; there are fourteen sessions per day so they can fit a lot of people in! Of course, what they really want is to sell the £2000+ beds, but I think it's nice that they're happy to let people attend regularly for free. We went along for the first morning slot on Saturday, which is at 8.30am.
Although the centre is large, the beds are packed in quite tightly, and it feels strange to be stripping off your coat and shoes and "getting into bed" just a few inches from the next person over. You arrange your sheets and yourself on the bed, make sure your spine is centred, and wait for one of the staff to come and start your machine.
There are jade rollers which move up and down to massage your back, shoulders and neck. It's also heated to 55°C (131°F), which feels surprisingly hot through only a t-shirt and thin sheet. I wouldn't call it a relaxing experience, as the rollers really pummel your muscles, which was sometimes painful. But that's also true of regular massage.
I don't yet know whether it's been good for my back pain, but I was aching all day Saturday, so it must have done something. I was also really hungry and thirsty afterwards, which is typical for me following a deep massage. If I lived close enough to try going daily, I might well see what it was like to do it regularly - my mum and her partner certainly find it beneficial.