FEATURE — In the frenzied pace of today’s world, where being busy is overglorified, we often forget to seek out avenues to help us manage our stress, maintain self-esteem, increase productivity and find a healthy life balance.
But all too often, this need to practice self-care takes a back seat to, well, everything else.
Enter Melted Massage.
Located in Rio Plaza on Riverside Drive in St. George, Melted Massage provides affordable, upscale massage therapy and bodywork to Southern Utah.
With a wide variety of massage therapy modalities available, Melted Massage may just be the perfect place to spend some time taking care of yourself.
But if you are anything like me, it still may be hard to take the time for yourself.
The busy before the “ahhh!”
It was nearing the end of another long, stressful day as a working mom. My car had fast food wrappers strewn across the front passenger seat – visual evidence of me trying to deftly maneuver through the “strategic plan” I made to get to all my work appointments and the kids’ end-of-school-year activities and programs on time.
Really it was just a typical Monday. But finally, I only had one thing left written on my calendar: Get a massage.
Massage. Just saying the word relaxed my shoulders – and also made me realize they had been pinned to my ears all day – and yet I still wasn’t sure I wanted to go. I could think of 10 “more important” things I should be doing with 80 minutes of time, and none of them involved self-care.
Explained broadly, self-care is simply anything a person does to be kind or good to themselves with the ultimate goal of it benefiting their mind, body or both.
When it comes to massage most people know that it feels good, but not as many people know that there are real health benefits, both physical and emotional, that professional massage therapy can offer.
“Sometimes a lot of people think that massage is more of a luxury versus an actual health benefit,” said Ryan Gallian, owner of Melted Massage.
According to a recent article on massage from the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown that massage therapy can be an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. The articles goes on to say that while additional research needs to be done, massage therapy may also be helpful for the following conditions:
- Digestive disorders.
- Insomnia related to stress.
- Myofascial pain syndrome.
- Soft tissue strains or injuries.
- Sports injuries.
- Temporomandibular joint pain.
Top of the list of benefits for me was taking a break from the anxiety and stress I feel on a daily basis. I love my dual roles as a mother and a reporter, but finding balance within, and even further, finding a respite from trying to balance it all on the outside, is sometimes difficult. Telling myself it is OK to take a break and that I am worth it is near impossible.
Besides finding those rare moments of peace, Gallian also touted massage therapy as a way to dive into the body on a deeper level to help ease pains and discomforts that a person might not have been acutely aware of before.
“Most of us are pretty numb around our whole body, and we don’t even realize it until someone goes in and works on it,” Gallian said.
The idea at Melted Massage is to be able to pull people out of their headspace and really help them be more aware of themselves, he said, adding that whether you are an athlete or someone who sits at a computer all day, massage therapy provides a person with a heightened body awareness that is beneficial beyond the massage.
“Touch is amazing,” he said.
So now that I understood why massage therapy is an ideal form of self-care, it was finally time for me to experience it firsthand.
At Melted Massage the goal is to offer a mulitsensory experience, Gallian said, which is why every massage comes with the Melted Signature Treatment; a combination of aromatherapy and hydrotherapy that help promote healing and ultimate relaxation.
Prior to my massage I was given a choice between the scent of lavendar or sweet orange. I chose the latter, which I knew was the perfect choice as the room was immediately filled with the smell of fresh oranges, bringing with it a flood of happy thoughts and memories associated with the smell.
Hot steamed towels placed over key areas of my body created a soothing warmth and pressure that added to the inviting ambiance. Already I was feeling more relaxed than I had in weeks.
While Melted Massage offers most of the standard massage therapy treatments – Swedish massage, deep tissue, reflexology and more – Gallian says he likes to think of the massage therapists as artists who can create a customized experience for the client.
My massage therapist was professional and courteous. He not only asked me what areas I particularly needed work on but what areas to avoid (ticklish feet anyone?).
From a physical perspective, the massage was blissful. The therapist was able to find all the areas where I hold tension and stress and made them feel loosened and relaxed – dare I say, melted?
From a mental standpoint, I’ll admit I wasn’t quite able to leave my headspace entirely. As a reporter, I spent a great deal of the time wanting to ask a million questions, and as a dancer, I found myself choreographing in my head to the soothing world music playing in the background. What can I say? I am a work in progress.
That being said, I never once felt worried about deadlines or stressed over what I was going to fix for dinner, so I would consider that a total win.
The biggest takeaway I got from the experience is that it was OK and even necessary to take that 80 minutes to do something that not only made me feel good but that gave me the rest I needed to take on my roles with renewed energy and optimism. And that alone is worth it’s weight in gold.
Melted Massage is open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. They also offer mobile massage services to your home, condo, office or hotel on a massage chair or massage table.
Written by HOLLIE REINA, St. George News.
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