October 02, 2009

Spa Scoop: Massage Williamsburg

Massage Williamsburg is nestled in that ever popular neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. As I hopped off the L train feeling the cold chill of the weather that had just turned on us - I was more than ready for an hour of relaxing massage! What I found at Massage Williamsburg was not only a warm calming experience, but the perfect blend of comprehensive body work and pampering!

Type: Swedish Massage
Time: 60 Minutes
Price: $80

Sight: After being buzzed in by the welcoming voice of fellow Laurel (fellow LMT at Massage Williamsburg) I made my way downstairs, through a basic hallway to suite #107. Once entering the office, I smiled at the way the owner Rachel Beider had established her space. A comfy sofa decked with sage patterned pillows, a few bright green plants, books on Massage and Health Modalities there for the reading and her certificates of accomplishments proudly mounted above a table harboring information on her suite mate - Acupuncturist Gretchen Sampsen. This simplicity made for an instantly friendly reception area. Laurel was happy to show me one of the massage therapy rooms as well as the acupuncture room, both designed to be the perfect size for practitioner and client. Clean white walls, soft lights and a great wooden floor (that later I learned Rachel specifically had padded like a dance floor so that employees could work on their feet all day and have their own joints be taken care of) makes this place a gentle environment!

Sound: Having built the Massage Williamsburg's office from scratch - Rachel has a sound system installed to each room. The same peaceful melodies are floating to each area, but the volume in each space can be controlled for the clients individual volume preference.

At Massage Williamsburg you have the option of their signature blend of Lavender Aromatherapy Oil or an unscented moisturizing Grapeseed Oil. I chose the Lavender - and when Rachel asked me to take a deep breath from her hands beneath - literally, the most comfortable face cradle I have EVER laid my head in - I was ready and willing to be whisked away by her work.

Taste: Not only do they offer you a simple glass of water - they have individual packets of Emergen-C to encourage their clients to fend off the coming cold and flu season. It's great when a company takes even that little step - knowing prevention is better than cure - and makes Vitamin C available to all who visit!

Touch: Rachel herself was my therapist - and having graduated from the school I am currently attending (Swedish Institute) I was excited to get a flavor for the kind of successful massage therapist my training can jump start. One of the first things I loved about the way Rachel presents body work, is that she approaches it from a very intelligent foundation. Yet still makes you feel like you are about to pampered. In other words - She creates a world of indulged healing. Using Aromatherapy, a warm moist towel tucked under your neck and soft warm sheets - are some of the small but encapsulating additions to the Massage Williamsburg session. Rachel incorporated the breath to deepen my release, and gently acknowledged when areas were found that she was feeling would be tender for me. Her touch was always right on the mark. She was reading my muscles perfectly as they submitted under her trained strokes. She was happy to "hang out" with the muscles in my hip that were being eased by her forearm work and range of motion techniques. What I found to be a wonderful difference with Rachel's massage was her ability to blend relaxing, deep, sports medicine and Shiatsu massage into one organically flowing experience. Rachel is massage therapist with many healing hats, and she's flexible enough to use what works!

Loved: When Rachel addressed how working through some adhesions or contracted muscles may not feel the nicest - she explains that at Massage Williamsburg - they only want you to feel "Delicious Pain" and I loved they way she put it!

Learned: It may sound simple, but it has to be said - Not all intake forms are alike! Massage Williamsburg's intake covers the standard practice of injuries, illnesses, pregnancy info and medicines - but also proves they want to communicate with their clients. Having head Laurel take a client into a session and sitting with Rachel, I know it is important at Massage Williamsburg to let their visitors have a place to document AND talk about what has brought them in for body work. To genuinely find out how the healing can begin. It was also the first place I have ever been to that puts a client at ease about the massage experience by writing out all the things that may happen to the human body during this kind of work. Making it clear that these reactions are not only possible, they are totally normal!

What else? Find out in a more in depth post of Meeting of the Massage Minds with Rachel Beider of Massage Williamsburg coming soon!

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