Monday, February 7, 2011

Boulder Benefits, or Massage Part I

I mentioned in an earlier post that there is far too little sushi in my life. Another luxury I experience far too infrequently is every runner's good friend: The Massage.

Well, it turns out the month of February will be good to me on the massage front because many of my family members gave me gift cards for a good rub-down for my birthday last month. Today--a rare and precious comp day off work--I had the first of three (count 'em, three!) massages that were bestowed on me, this one by my ingenious husband.

It was massage that only Boulder (and probably a few other places like California and Santa Fe) could provide. I entered the "treatment room" via a sliding bamboo door. A salt crystal lamp (see photo above; my son is apparently obsessed with these, having seen them in Whole Foods) glowed orange in one little nook. Candles burned in several others. An array of non-glowing crystals decked one low table, presumably sending healing vibes throughout the room. Sitar and chant music whispered from discreet speakers. After I disrobed, crawled under the sheets and comforter and lowered my feet into a bath of hot scented water, my therapist entered.

She began by offering me--I kid you not--a fairy card. I think it was supposed to set the theme for the massage, or something along those lines. I drew the "Romantic Partner" card. I attempted a joke about how appropriate that is, given that my romantic partner purchased this massage for me. She laughed wanly, and read the explanation of the card from a little book. It seems my romance will soon be invigorated (or that I will have a new and exciting romance, not really an option for me given that I'm not in the market for that, regardless of what the fairies think). Once we were done with the card, she placed it in the arms of a small black teddy bear (again, I am not kidding) who sat on the counter and watched us during the massage.

Then she offered me a shot of kombucha, which I drank. Though I don't believe all the hype about its health benefits, it tastes good. And at last the massage itself began.

Of that, I have nothing funny to say because it felt awesome. She used hot stones, which I've never had done before, and I also got a special mini-facial and foot rub. The product smells were heavenly. By the time she sounded a gong to mark the end of my experience and left me lying supine with a mask on my face and two stones under me on either side of my spine, I was in a state similar to what I imagine sleep would feel like if you could be awake to enjoy it. Even my bum foot felt better. And when I stumbled out they gave me pieces of dark chocolate laced with cherries.

Hokey bits aside, I'll definitely be returning to that particular spa the next time I get a good chunk of discretionary cash. Or the next time I have a birthday, which is more likely. I say that even though I noticed they also offer a session with a "clairvoyant" for (get this) $66. Do you think anyone actually pays for that??

Post-Script: Speaking of my bum foot, I finally made an appointment to see a sports medicine specialist about it. I have to say thank you here to my co-worker, Donna, who suggested I visit the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. The appointment isn't until next Monday, but I already like them, and here's why:

The woman on the phone asked me if I had a referral from my primary care doctor. I told her that my insurance had just changed, and at the moment I have no primary care doctor. She told me that was actually a good thing because the sports medicine M.D. I will be seeing can therefore *be* my primary care doctor. One look at his bio and I was sold. Check this out:

"....Board Certified in both Sports Medicine and Internal Medicine. He is also a former USA Triathlon All American and currently coaches other high-level triathletes, which gives him a unique perspective as he treats injuries, illnesses, and helps his patients achieve their personal fitness and performance goals...(His) background in the world of sports includes serving as a team physician for the University of Colorado Football, Cross Country, Track & Field, and Women’s Soccer teams. He also serves as a team physician for Garmin-Transitions U23 Cycling Team. He brings with him expertise in physiology testing and gait analysis, as well. As an athlete, (he) has been a successful triathlete, cyclist, and runner."

Of course now I'm afraid that his office will be intimidating in the manner of the Flatiron Athletic Club and the trails around here, that I will be least impressive specimen he's ever examined. But I am *very* happy to have found someone who will understand why I like to run and (I'm guessing) will do his best to help get me to Boston.


  1. My old roommate totally had that lamp. She claimed the warming salt cleansed the air...then I laughed at her. She was convinced though.

  2. Glad you found a good practitioner. Sometimes it can take forever, but it's worth it to keep pushing until you find the right one. Good luck with it!

    Massage sounds lovely to me, fairy card and all!

  3. Jessica--I hadn't ever heard of the lamps until Will spotted the one at WF. Now they seem to be everywhere. More wacky Boulder cures!

    Misszippy--Yes, I'm really excited about him! The fact that it sounds like he's so in tune with athletes who do not want to stop their training makes me feel like it's just another adventure on the road, rather than a stumbling block. Of course I'll find out for real on Monday....The massage was *great.* Just bummed I wasn't given the teddy bear. :^)