Just reading the title makes you want to stretch your neck and rub your shoulders. Doesn’t it? The answer to “Do you need a massage?” is YES. You need a massage. Why? Because you’ve had injuries. Because you don’t stretch enough. Because you sit at a desk all day long. Because you have intense workouts. Because you woke up with a crick in your neck. Because you want to improve your exercise performance. Because it feels good. Because your spouse’s hands tire so quickly. Because you want to treat yourself. Any and all of these are good reasons to schedule a massage.

Yesterday I got a 1-hour massage by Robb Seal of Premier Bodywork LLC. How was it? Will I go back? Just keep reading.

Robb and I met at a High Tech Happy Hour in January. After a short conversation, I expressed interest not only for myself, but for my clients too. Being able to refer a skilled massage therapist is a value-add for my business. So I scheduled an appointment for March 1st.

Just walking into his office at 715 Hill Street #122, I started to feel relaxed. Was is the decor, the gentle music, the anticipation of healing hands? Probably all of the above. A health history form/questionnaire attached to a clipboard was waiting for me on a chair. After I filled it out, Robb and I talked about any immediate issues or concerns I had. Three hours later, I was on the table. Just kidding. It was a couple minutes. Unfortunately I have a laundry list of injuries due to car accidents, sports, overuse and my body just reminding me that I’m not all that and a bag of chips. My goal in getting a massage by Robb was two-fold: 1) help fix/repair any of my various muscular and fascia issues and 2) see how comfortable I would be referring him. Now, let me back up a second. Clearly, I was willing to get on his table after our initial meeting. Robb has thousands of hours of experience and uses the vocabulary of a healer. Not the typical rub and fluff massage you might get at a spa. That type of a massage has a place, but that’s not what I was looking for and that’s not what most of my clients are interested in either.

Okay, back to the story. After I got on the table, he started palpating (using his hands to examine and feel around). I noticed how intuitive he was as he let his experience and knowledge guide him. There were areas that I asked him to address and parts that I forgot to note on the questionnaire that he quickly discovered. A true professional. He used a combination of deep tissue, myofascial and trigger point work. How could I tell? Just a reminder, I did massage for eight years back in California. Had my table and chair and worked at both a physical therapy clinic and a hotel spa. Plus I have received many massages over the years. I could tell that Robb was not your typical massage therapist when he said that he could have his hands on my left shoulder for 30 minutes. Compare that to your fluff and buff massage technician. Robb is a healer.

In addition to being highly competent and intuitive, Robb tried to balance out the massage by touching on most parts of the body. If he worked on hamstrings and hips, for example, he spent at least a few minutes balancing it out by addressing the quads. While my face was in the face cradle I laughed that I could get a 100 hour massage since I had so much “stuff” going on. Robb didn’t disagree.

When we were done, I polished off the glass of water he had waiting for me. Very professional. We chatted briefly as he had another appointment showing up in a few minutes. I told him that I was very interested to see how I would feel that night and the next day. He reminded me that things would continue to release over the next 48 hours. When I got home, I was ravenous and devoured the chicken and vegetable stir fry that I had made earlier. In bed I did some light stretching and noticed significant improvement in my range of motion and reduced pain in my right hip/piriformis.

How about this morning? Great! A little sore where he spent more time and used more localized pressure. As an aside, I attended the Middleton Chamber Breakfast today, and my friend, AJ Sue, asked me how I was doing. A simple question. I answered him that I was processing yesterday’s massage and how I was feeling. Not in a concerned way, but more introspective. I consider myself to be very body aware and I wanted to pay attention to what my body was telling me about the massage. I forgot to mention that after I got home from my massage appointment, I felt lighter and could walk up the stairs easier. I also felt like I could breathe deeper. So Eric, it sounds like you had a good massage and can highly recommend him. Absolutely! Robb is extremely competent, professional, intuitive and sensitive. I will go back soon, and I hope you book an appointment with him too. Thanks again, Robb!Premier Bodywork LLC