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Love Yourself

Recently, I’ve had some pretty major health issues. Worried something was seriously wrong, I went to my doctor to undergo some tests. When all of the tests came back negative and it was clear there was no physical reason for my symptoms, my doctor suggested that stress could be the culprit. And after thinking about it myself, it made a lot of sense.

A sign hanging on a closed door reads "In Session"

With all of the political tension, Covid-19 and the “new normal” policies coming out everywhere, on top of the usual work/home daily grind, it’s no wonder my body and mind are feeling off. But how do you just stop stressing out? Daily yoga, good nutrition, and rest certainly help maintain a stress-free life, but how do you deal with the stress that’s already built up? There’s no quick remedy or antibiotic you can take, which is stressful in and of itself. How do you fix stress?

You’ll thank me later...

It turns out the answer is much more straightforward than I thought. You simply need to love yourself. Take a little time to do something for yourself every day. A friend of mine suggested that I go to Massage & Skin Works and treat myself to a back rub. “You’ll thank me later...” he assured. I was a little nervous because I hadn’t received a professional massage in over a decade, but all of that faded away as soon as I walked through the doors.

The bright and welcoming atmosphere immediately melted away some of my tension. In the lobby, I was drawn to a beautiful picture of butterflies drifting peacefully around a flower garden. With soft yellows, deep blues, and light greens, it was so relaxing I almost got lost in its scenery.

Life is Beautiful

Below the painting was a fanned-out stack of 573 magazines (Thank you Massage Works!) gracing a small table and two comfortable turquoise chairs. A little pillow proclaiming “Life is Beautiful” donned one of the chairs. With all these soothing details, I was already hooked!

Jennifer greeted me with a warm smile from behind the counter. She made me feel welcome and comfortable—she even took the time to help with the paperwork, which was brief but thorough. From the moment I stepped in the building, the staff were both kind and professional!

Massage therapist explains upcoming massage to woman

We went to a softly lit room with a chair and an inviting massage table. After I took ample time to prepare, Jennifer quietly tapped on the door. “Are you ready?” Absolutely.

Believe me, there was no discomfort...

She talked me through every movement in a soothing and relaxing tone. “Let me know if you feel any sharpness or pain. Muscle soreness is common and even expected during a massage, but it shouldn’t cause pain or discomfort.” Believe me, there was no discomfort being felt at that moment.

My muscles crackled as she dug into the source of the tension. As the tightness moved, she followed it until it had nowhere else to run. A comfort and relaxation that I hadn’t felt in a long time washed over me like a tidal wave, engulfing me completely. I let out a deep sigh.

Woman massages client in a calm and comfortable room

Soon, Jennifer introduced a massage lotion. It felt light and cool, like silk. “What are you using?” I asked.

“Soma Silk,” she responded. Aptly named, it cooled my body and made my skin feel smooth as, well, silk.

Woman massages client's shoulders with a look of concern
I was feeling wonderful!

She moved to my shoulders and then down my back. The sensations were akin to a spiritual release, and before I knew it, I was crying.

“Are you feeling pain?” She asked, slightly concerned.

Woman massaging clients laughs as she rubs across the shoulders and back

“Not at all!” I responded. It was quite the opposite, in fact. I was feeling wonderful! The pain, stress, and negativity were flowing out of me in a beautiful and massive release that was long overdue. I began to literally drift in and out of awareness. All the issues, problems, and petty drama swimming in my mind disappeared.

Woman massages client's arm in a large room with a serene picture of a natural forest and waterfall on the wall

Before I knew it, the thirty minutes were up. “All finished,” Jennifer said as she gently woke me from my euphoric world.

It was amazing! I felt like I could really breathe again. Everything felt lighter, calmer, and smoother. Note to self: don’t forget to buy some Soma Silk. Lol.

I will most definitely be back...

I emerged from the room feeling like a whole new woman, and at the same time, my old self— someone I hadn’t seen or felt like in months. It was hard not to wrap my arms around Jennifer and give her a big bear hug.

Woman smiles in front of scenic picture of forest and waterfall

“I will most definitely be back,” I told her as she walked me to the door.

“Any time,” she said with a smile.

I’m glad my friend recommended this place, and as a way to pay that forward, I’m now recommending it to you. Take the time to love yourself. Take care of your physical and mental health by putting yourself first every now and then.

...totally worth it...

As a mom, I know it can be hard to put yourself first, but it’s totally worth it. And speaking of totally worth it, go see Jennifer at Massage & Skin Works. You’ll thank me later. Until then 573, be happy, be healthy, be well.

Written By: AJ Koehler


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