Last week I experienced a long overdue treat. Using a gift certificate I received for my birthday back in April, I got a massage. That should tell you how often I get massages, I knew it was time. A muscle in my neck and upper back that had decided to revolt after too much heavy lifting of laundry, 30 lb. kids, groceries, and probably too much typing on the computer as well. So I decided to fight back at my angered muscles by having a professional work them out. Here’s a run-down of my experience.
I arrived for my appointment 15 minutes early as instructed so I could check-in, fill-out my questionnaire, and prepare for my one hour of extreme unwinding. The ‘preparation’ included listening to piped-in relaxation music while sitting in the reception area on a comfy sofa and looking at their products for sale and books on Zen-inspired living. Normally, it costs $39 or more for a service, depending on if you go to a full day spa or to a massage franchise store (like Massage Envy, or Zen Massage where I went) but since I had a gift certificate, it was FREE for me and I was especially giddy.
I always like it when massage places have me fill-out an information sheet, because it conveys quality. They ask about your overall demeanor, what you are looking for in the massage (exercise muscles, relaxation, or to lessen depression/anxiety), and if you have physical limitations or medical concerns they should be aware of. They also ask for contact information for your doctor and a responsible adult, possibly in case my muscles turn to mush after they have been massaged rendering me unable to walk or drive.
After filling out the form, I elected to choose an aromatic scent to be used in my treatment—it was an energizing blend of flowers and citrus. My massage therapist then emerged from the ‘magic door’ and greeted me. She invited me back into the hallway of relaxation rooms, and showed me to one where a shelf-top rock fountain trickled, lights dimmed, candles burned, and meditative music played. The room was filled with relaxing scents of indistinguishable herbs and flowers. A massage table nearly filled the room, and was covered in linens.