Before sinking into “the zone” while on the massage table recently, I remembered the first time I’d tried massage. My friend Madeline and I were visiting my daughter Amina in the Bay Area. Amina encouraged us to try it at the nearby massage institute, where she’d been training. It was heaven at first touch.
Since then, I’ve had massages all over the world. When staying with my daughter Asila in North Carolina, I make sure to get scheduled for a massage with Laura at Hands-on Health. That’s the massage that has set the standard all others must meet. I’ve been massaged while on safari in Tanzania and on a boat on the Yangtze River in China.
In Chongqing, famous for its foot massages, our tour guide took us to a massage establishment. Nine of our group members congregated in one room and enjoyed the attention of our own personal massage therapist, who kneaded and chopped our shoulders and backs while our feet were readied by steeping them in a tub of hot tea.
Massages come in a variety of flavors, too. Once, I had a chocolate massage in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. And, in Cuzco, Peru, the massage therapist came to our room and brewed a hot herbal tea in which she soaked towels that she laid on my back before beginning to work the muscles.
More than luxurious pampering, massage therapy brings health benefits. I’ve heard from therapists and read articles about such notable effects as reduced stress, lowered blood pressure, pain relief, and increased circulation to provide more oxygen to the vital organs.
I may wince a little when Michelle, of Body XChange, hits some of those muscle knots, but I feel the stress melt away and have been known to produce a gentle snoring noise while on her table. Besides being pampered and taking time for myself, my plan is to get regular massages just for the health of it. I’m already scheduled for another of Karen McGuire’s deep, therapeutic massages the first week I’m in Coos Bay. Yea!
What pampering are you doing for yourself?
~ xoA ~