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  • Writer's pictureSally Kalksma

Massages and Lotus Flowers

The power of touch can do wonders to heal your soul. Professional massages are just as beneficial for sore muscles as they are for stressed minds. There are techniques for everything from alleviating chronic pain to relieving tension.

Many people pamper themselves with regular manicures, pedicures, haircuts and other superficial services. That’s great, I do too. But why aren’t they taking care of the their muscles as well as their mind? I love to treat myself after abusing my body climbing tall buildings. Nothing feels better than getting a massage after a tough workout.

Over the years I have had countless massage treatments of all kinds: hot stone, reiki, sports, aromatherapy, you name it, I probably have tried it! In fact, I get massages so regularly that my friends and family often give me gift cards to various spas. I get so many that I even found an unused gift certificate from two years prior.

That particular unused gift netted me an unsuspecting first: getting my back hit with a wooden paddle and having the therapist propel her body like a cricket cornered in a garage and then landed on my table. She then walked on my body while keeping her balance holding on to parallel bars suspended from the ceiling. And just as fast as she was on the table she dismounted like an Olympic gymnast. I called that my “Lotus Flower Massage” because the therapist was a petite and attractive young lady, but acted like a ninja in disguise. I'm very grateful for this thoughtful gift and interesting experience but most likely I will not return. I think I will stick with the styles and services I’m familiar with. Finding what works for me has been trial and error.

In the 70’s I learned to take care of myself when I ran cross country for Glen Ridge High School. After doing countless hills at Brookdale Park, I would soak my aching feet in a tub of warm Epsom Salts. Something I still do. In fact, I soak my entire body in a bath of Epsom salts to relax my muscles. It helps relieve my achy stiff joints too, which probably has more to do with age than repetitions on the stairs!

When I ran track for Glassboro State College, now Rowan University, in the 80’s I’d visit the training room to immerse my entire legs in a whirlpool bath, and check out the male athletes. Now that was nirvana! After I graduated, my former roommate, teammate, close friend and partner in crime, Pam, asked me what I missed most about college. She thought I’d reply “the parties” but I astonished her when I said “the trainer’s room”. I explained to her that there was no place to recoup after a long run. The closest thing I had was a bathtub filled with ice cubes and cold water, another ritual I still do for an injury. I succumb to this “torture treatment” to help a new injury heal faster by reducing the swelling and inflammation. I also find the shock of the ice-cold water makes me forget what really hurts.

My infatuation with massages happened in the next decade when my late husband had a convention at Bally’s in Atlantic City. I decided to spend the entire day in the spa treating myself to almost every service on the menu. I figured it was a sure bet to have the company pay for this rather than me take a gamble in the casino with my own money. Thanks to his understanding boss I had my first professional massage. It was love at first touch. It didn’t take long for me to graduate from a Swedish massage to my favorite: a deep tissue massage.

I’m excited about my next massage: A Valentines' Day Couples Massage. Sure, my date will be there to decrease stress, increase his mood, & lower his blood pressure after a strenuous work week. But I’ll be there to relieve pain, help my joint mobility and increase my muscle flexibility after a stair climb workout consisting of a 2.5 mile run warm-up, sprint up five floors 10 times and a 2.5 mile cool down.

Whatever your reason, or no reason at all, treat yourself to a massage. Why should your hair and nails get all the attention? Your body, mind, and soul will thank you for all the beneficial healing properties.

Enjoying a good massage and the NormaTec Compression Therapy after climbing 600 floors in Dallas.

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