I’m a Groupon junkie. There is something about $30 massages, $25 facials, and half price restaurant meals that just makes me tingle a little. Money is tight, especially now that I’m separated, so if I want to indulge in these types of luxuries, Groupon is my drug of choice.
About a month ago, I purchased a steal – $25 for a 60 minute massage at “Ancient Massage Techniques.” I hadn’t heard of the place before, but it was a reasonable distance from my home and…$25!! Once I purchased the Groupon, I Googled the address and the street view showed me a home…in a subdivision. I thought that was a little strange and it weirded me out a little, so I put the voucher aside – and forgot about it until I got an email reminder a few weeks ago.
I called to make my appointment and Victoria answered. We set a date and time, and then she let me know that her massage studio was in her home and told me to look for the “sun/moon plaque” above the garage. However, when I arrived, the first thing I noticed was the plethora of gargoyles that decorated the outside of the house. It was like a teeny tiny Notre Dame – without the flying buttresses. Victoria greeted me when I rang the doorbell, asking me to remove my shoes and follow her into her office. After I filled out the paperwork, she asked me if I had ever heard of acupuncture. I must have looked alarmed, because she assured me there would not be any acupuncture – at least not with needles. She explained that she used “Acutonics” – which was similar, except tuning forks were used instead of needles. She said that when the tuning forks were applied to acupressure points on the body, it helped muscles to relax and also helped to balance the body’s energy. She also mentioned she liked to use a Tibetan singing bowl. When her back was turned, I may have rolled my eyes a little.
I was shown into the studio and left to disrobe. I noticed that there were crystals everywhere, as well as wall hangings, Asian art, and a lot of other new-age décor. Not spa-like at all — more like “prepare to have your chi balanced and gain peace and enlightenment!” However, when I climbed on the massage bed and plopped facedown as instructed, I found it was supportive, but wonderfully soft and cushy.
I was drifting off a bit when Victoria joined me, but was jolted wide awake when she placed a Tibetan bowl ON MY ASS and hit it with a mallet. I have to admit that, after the initial “What the fuck!?” I found sound and the vibration of the bowl to be pleasant – which was lucky, because she banged the gong two or three more times. In between, she knocked tuning forks together and placed them along my neck, back and arms – again, the vibration was nice – I could practically feel my chakra aligning!
Then the real massage began – Victoria did a great job of working on my kinks and knots in my back and shoulders. She also worked on my hips and upper buttocks – a bit lower than most massages I’ve had, but it was clear she was working and not copping a feel. When she finished, Victoria then asked me to turn on my side – which was something I had never seen or done before – but I complied. The next thing I knew, Victoria was up on the table with me, manipulating my arm and shoulder, tucking her arm through mine and leveraging it to give my shoulder an extra good stretch as she massaged it, my back and my hip. I may have flashed a boob once or twice, but Victoria didn’t mention it and kept on with her kneading. After working on my other side and then again on my back, and then my legs, she had me turn on my back.
Victoria gave my arms a good workout, positioning them in various poses as she rubbed and squeezed. Then it was onto my legs. Once again, she climbed onto the table with me, bending my leg at the knee and pushing it into my chest, checking with me to make sure the stretch was not painful before massaging my entire thigh and calf. She then moved my bent leg to the side, pointing my knee at the wall, stretching my hip and, possibly, when the sheet shifted, getting a peek at my hoohaw. Surprisingly, I didn’t really care – Victoria kept on with her work, not at all inappropriate even though her techniques were foreign to me.
Near the end of the massage, Victoria again fetched her Tibetan bowl – this tine placing it on my stomach and ringing my bell-y several times. Between gongs, she worked on my upper chest and neck – and used the tuning forks again – this time on my shoulders, neck, face and head. She then gently cupped my face in her hands, softly massaging my chin, cheeks, forehead, ears, and head.
I found out later that Victoria uses an integrative massage technique – combining Swedish, Thai, Lomi-Lomi, and of course, the Acutonics, into one treatment. One FABULOUS treatment! While it may have been strange, this mystical massage may have been the BEST massage I have ever had! While I have a few more massage Groupons to use up at other locations, I may have to find a way to save my pennies to pay for another visit to see Victoria – my chi insists on it.
What was your best (or worse) massage? What do you think of new age techniques like harmonic attunement or aligning chakras? Are you addicted to Groupon or other bargain websites?