I am a big believer in treating your body well, both in what you put in it and do to keep it in good working order, but also giving back to it. For this reason, I try to get massages every few months, and if I’m training, more often.
I’ve done really high-end massages, like the Muscle Tension Melt at Lake Austin Spa, and I’ve had at least a half dozen that I purchased through Groupon or Living Social. I’ve had fluffy massages at day spas, and phyiscal therapy type massages at chiropractors, and I’ve had bad massages by new or inexperienced therapists. If you’ve never had a bad massage, trust me, they exist.
A few weeks ago I booked a massage knowing I’d want one after my half-marathon. I was sore and tight from the race, and lots of car travel for work, and was ready to be worked. My legs were especially of interest. I wanted them to be beaten into relaxation. I arrived at Massage Envy Greystone ready to be worked. I had forgotten how focused these places are on selling. They aren’t about health and wellness, they’re about commercializing healing. I was not offered water, was sent into a horribly lit waiting area, and 10 minutes after my appointment my therapist came to get me. She was nice, and did ask if there was anywhere she should focus her attention. I said, yes, my legs and glutes. As most do, she started in my shoulders and back, which on me are chronically tight. She proceeded to work those very well, but I knew, she’d just spent more than half of my 50 minutes on them. She did very light work on my legs and feet, and didn’t hit my glutes at all. When I left, again no water. If there’s one thing a massage therapist will tell you, it’s that after a massage, hydration is key to reducing soreness and flushing toxins out of your body. I was annoyed, hungry, and tired so I didn’t say anything when I left, but was disappointed with the service I had received. I knew, I’d need another one soon.
Fast forward a few weeks. I decided I did need a good massage, so I did a little research to find a therapist that would be more about the healing, and less about fluff or commercialization. I happened upon Pam with Intuitive Touch Body Works, and she had an opening the next night for a 90 minute massage. I knew I went going to a spa, so I brought my own water, wasn’t greeted by a receptionist, but as soon as Pam started to ask me what I needed and wanted, I knew it was going to be great. She proceeded to pamper and stretch my body in exactly the way I wanted and needed. She worked my legs and glutes to make them know they’d been worked, but felt like they were relaxed a bit. I left feeling like a new person. My body was happy, I was happy, and I left her such a ridiculous tip, she questioned me twice. She listened to my words, and my body to give me what I needed, and for that, she definitely deserved some extra love. If you live in the Birmingham area, call Pam. She will work wonders on you!
So, the next time you make a massage appointment, know what you want. Do you want to be relaxed and pampered, do you want to just have your body mushed, or do you want someone who will stretch you in a healing way? They all have their purpose, but know what you want before you go.
What’s your idea of the perfect massage?
Do you have a go to therapist?
Massage horror stories?
Hint on my big news (I think this is #7)