Erin Hamon. I use to go to her every single week. I believe she single-handedly (okay, she did use both hands) saved me from surgery for carpal tunnel. Sadly, she moved to Utah -- but if she ever moves back I will be first in line at her door.
And she was so quiet. I didn't even realize at the time what a talent that was.
That said, I've had a lot of very good massages through the years -- and a lot of time during those massages to think about what makes a really top notch therapist.
It isn't just technique or an understanding of anatomy. It's something less easily defined. Maybe a combination of empathy and imagination? Some people just have a healing energy. And some people just know what feels really, really good. And some people are gifted with both -- and those are the therapists you want to pre-book into the next century.
I've also had not so great massages.
Is it possible that there are massage therapists who don't enjoy getting massage themselves? Because sometimes I'll be lying there thinking you CAN'T honestly believe that absently patting my shoulder blade is going to do the trick!
I've had therapists who will not SHUT UP. And on the other side of the spectrum, I've had therapists nearly nod off during our session. :-D I've had therapists come in sick -- I mean noticeably sick -- and spend the entire session sniffing and gulping in a most unlovely and distressing manner. I've had therapists forget limbs -- er, that would be mine -- bump into furniture, and pant heavily through the session (talk about sending the wrong message!). :-D . And I don't mean to sound ungrateful because massage is physically taxing. There's no question it's a demanding job which, at the minimum, requires strength and knowledge.
When you've got a good therapist, there is just nothing better than a long, relaxing session. The soothing light, the soft music, the warmth of healing hands. If you've never treated yourself to a massage, you are missing one of life's loveliest simple pleasures.