I began getting massages a few years ago in the months leading up to my first marathon. I was logging a lot of miles at the time, so my massages focused mostly on my lower body, and I believe they helped me get through that intense training period without the knee and IT band pain that had previously affected my running. But even when I stopped doing marathons, I continued getting massages regularly. I had found that in addition to helping prevent sports-related injuries, massages reduced my overall muscle soreness and made my mind and body more relaxed – and what’s not to like about that?
Recently, after a few weeks of intensifying my workouts in preparation for an upcoming warm-weather vacation, I was looking forward to a Signature Treatment Massage at Elizabeth Grady in Seekonk. I could feel that some of my muscles were especially tight, and an hour with a massage therapist working on those areas was just what I needed. I had never had a massage at Elizabeth Grady, but I knew that the salon had a reputation for offering nourishing skin care and body treatments, so I was anticipating an enjoyable experience.
My appointment was scheduled for late afternoon on a Friday, and I arrived at the salon feeling a little drained. My massage therapist, Olga, on the other hand, was enthusiastic, showing no signs of being worn out from the workweek. I admired her Friday afternoon attitude and liked chatting with her while we discussed the areas I felt needed the most attention, among other things (it turns out we are both fans of endurance sports and big dogs).
The Signature Massage treatment began with me sitting down and dipping my feet in a warm bath with hot stones, while Olga gave me a soothing scalp massage. I could feel the tension melting away as I was literally pampered from head to toe. Then she gently exfoliated my skin from top to bottom, getting rid of dead skin cells and exposing the fresh skin below. When it was time for the body massage to begin, I was already so much more relaxed than when I had walked in minutes earlier.
I spend a lot of time on my laptop throughout the day, so I already knew that I carry a lot of tension in my upper back and shoulders. I also tend to be tight in my hamstrings and calves from years of playing sports. Olga confirmed all of this as she worked through the massage, but instead of just leaving it at that, she showed me exercises I could do to stretch and strengthen those specific areas at home. She would check in once in awhile to make sure I was happy with the amount of pressure she was applying, but other than that she allowed me to just relax and enjoy the massage. That wasn’t hard to do – between the massage itself, the dimly lit room, the warm massage table, the soothing music and the smell of lavender oil, the Signature Massage experience can be best summed up with one word: Ahh. It was truly therapeutic for both my mind and body – just what I needed to feel a sense of renewal at the end of the workweek. When I left Elizabeth Grady I was loose and energized, and had a strong desire to make a habit of scheduling late Friday afternoon massages.