Salt Lake City Airport, UT
The Place: XpresSpa, Salt Lake City Airport, Terminal D, http://www.xpresspa.com/locations-a/365.htm
The Face: Aline Santos
The Space: Open to the concourse, where an errant “Nathan,” was being screamed at to “get over here right now before I have to come get you!” More favorably, not far from Jamba Juice.
The Saturation: No oil or lotion anywhere.
The Situation: Less than 48 hours in Provo, Utah. Fifty minutes until a two-leg flight and my right shoulder felt like it had made contact with my right ear and boxed around my jaw and eyeball.
The Session: Aline Santos should be the face of chair massage, the way Jennifer Aniston is the face of Smartwater, which means good massage therapists should be of celebrity status. Aline could, double-handedly, make for planes full of less disgruntled passengers. She produced almost every effect of table massage in 30 minutes and dispatched a medical-massage-level of postural analysis. My only request would have been a little more pressure. However, there have been a few voices in the past saying my threshold is unreasonable.
With a half-ounce of shame, I have, in the past, classified chair massage as the lesser therapy. I never enjoyed providing it as a therapist and, as a customer, didn’t think it was really worth it. Until I was no longer a therapist, my budget changed, and I was in an airport every few weeks.
After hearing my quick complaint, Aline noted my high left shoulder and a hip misalignment likely at the root of it. Then she put her thumbs right on the trigger points between my scapula and neck, pushing them into submission. She did this along the whole spine, as if trying to straighten each vertebra from skull to sacrum. At the base of the skull she sewed little Xs of relief, where the muscles felt like they were trying to pull my head backwards.
At the SI joints, where the back of the hip bones meet the top of the bum (sacrum) she pressed and stretched with tiny, diagonal movements that, without fail, soothes the nerves all the way into the legs.
The Saving Grace: A back and neck that didn’t mind the next economy-cramped six hours and a brain that was a little blissful.