I had a 7:30 a.m. meeting the other morning and knew my workday would probably end after 8 p.m., so I figured my body would appreciate a little healthy attention during the day. However, I didn’t have much time to spend away from the office. On a whim, I stopped in at Santa Monica Massage and Reflexology Center, just steps off the Third Street Promenade on bustling Santa Monica Blvd. The small old brick building is cozy and calming, even though there is a bus stop right outside. You rarely see such beautiful old brick walls in retail spaces.
Once inside, I was given the option of foot massage reflexology or a full body massage. Their business card also touts Thai massage, acupressure, hot stone massage and Shiatsu. Writing this, I realize I should have asked for definitions of what those choices are, but they had me at “full body massage.” A 15-minute massage is $15 and the $30 massage is $25, and being a good consumer, I opted for the 30 minutes. You would do the same, right?
If you are looking for a full on spa experience with private rooms, soft robes and candlelight, this isn’t the place for you. Here the massages are done in small areas with screens between them, you stay fully clothed and you can hear what is happening around you as people walk in the door. It is clean and comfortable and that is what I really wanted.
There was only one massage therapist on hand so the person at the front desk had me relax on a bed waiting for my turn. She told me that Lily, my future masseuse, has a “beautiful aura.” The client being worked on was behind a screen next to me so naturally I eavesdropped on him and Lily between the soft sounds of Beethoven. Oh come on, I think you would have also if you were in a new business and wondering if you were aura worthy. The client said his back already felt better and that his mother (note to self, do not check him out as a potential date) was right to send him. Lily then said she was going to send him home with herbs to make his cold better. I could also hear her pounding on him a bit, but not at all hard so I felt I would be in good hands.
When my turn came I was very pleased with the massage. It was relaxing and Lily applied the right amount of pressure. She told me she started learning Chinese medicine and massage 20 years ago at the suggestion of her mother’s doctor. There was a long history of cancer in her family and she wanted to stay strong and healthy. She also said that I was very flexible (also great to know at my age!) but that the pressure from sitting all day wasn’t doing my sciatic nerve any favors. She worked through that area and said it would help. The most interesting part of the massage was when she got on the end of the table and used her body weight to put pressure in certain areas. I have never had anyone do that before but it certainly seemed to do the trick.
After 30 minutes I was back out on the street with the request to recommend the place. As someone who strongly believes in getting good service and supporting small businesses, I was happy to oblige. I felt well cared for, left feeling good and I still feel the afterglow today. It was $25 plus tip well spent.
If You Go
Santa Monica Massage and Reflexology Center312 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 260-7770