Posted by: Chris Maloney | September 22, 2014

How Do You Choose Your Massage Therapist? Melissa Boynton and Natural Dawnings.

Anyone who hasn’t been to massage therapy might think that massage therapists all work the same. After all, they all give massages, right? That’s a little like thinking all cheeses are the same until you get a melt-in-your-mouth Camembert or a spicy sharp cheddar.

No two massage therapists are the same. Even if they’ve been trained side-by-side by identical teachers and even if they happened to be identical twins. A massage therapist brings to the massage far more than technique and muscle strength. They bring attitude, and that makes all the difference.

Those of you who think massages are a luxury might want to consider if getting your tires rotated is a luxury. “No,” you might say. “Clearly I need that. Uneven wear shortens the life of the car.” Yep. Uneven wear shortens the life… see where I’m headed? Even if your knee or your foot doesn’t hurt now, twenty years of stomping on your left side is going to put some serious strain on that side. Just as an explosive blow out isn’t what we’re looking for in our cars, waiting for the agonizing back and knee pain isn’t really the best plan for any of us. That doesn’t mean you need weekly massages. But having it done every six months, with an extra check-in if you hit the bumps of life hard, isn’t a waste of money. Particularly if you have the right massage therapist.

I’ve been to many massage therapists. Pretty much I can tell in the first two minutes how it’s going to be. We’ve got everything from feather touch to gouge me with an elbow. I’m more of an elbow man myself. If you can’t make me laugh from the pain, then I don’t feel like I’m getting my money’s worth.

But beyond that, there’s the sense of the massage. How does the massage therapist relate to you? My rolfer (very deep massage) just sighs and pummels me again. My Reiki style (very light massage) massage person does the same. I’m a terrible patient, I don’t listen and I need to listen more.

Which brings me to my current massage therapist. I like her so much I want to keep her a secret, but I realized that’s just selfish on my part. Her name is Melissa Boynton and she runs Natural Dawnings. The thing about her massage technique is that it combines Swedish with really out there.

The key to what works for me about Melissa is that she doesn’t sigh, she supports. But I don’t get off the hook for messing myself up either. She’s like your mom, there for you but also pretty clear that she knows what you’ve done and you shouldn’t do it again. Her massage isn’t as deep as I’d like, but maybe that’s me wanting more punishment for my shortcomings. I end up feeling like I’ve been forgiven on a body level for the boneheaded things I did to my body over the last month or so.

I would encourage anyone considering massage to try several and talk to more before deciding whether massage is right for them. And even if you have a massage therapist you like, it’s important to occasionally branch out and try the sharp cheddar to see if it still doesn’t work for you.

As for my massage therapist, even though I want to keep her to myself I’ll give out her information. Remember, this is like giving out my favorite fishing spot. If you go see her treat her with respect, and don’t hog all the appointments.


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