Saturday, June 19, 2010


I must be one of the only people in the world leaving a professional massage feeling worse then when she walked in!

My mom got me a bunch of Spa Finder coupons as a shower gift (so nice!) and I decided to use a couple of them at this local "petite salon & spa" nearby. (The place shall remain nameless, as I am about to bash them to bits online!) I had been craving a prenatal massage for quite awhile, and decided to treat myself yesterday.

I admit, when I walked in to book the appointment, what I saw was a tiny salon with a room in the back for massages. But I didn't let that deter me, thinking, a)"don't judge a book by its cover" and b) "it's so close by, you can walk there and then take a leisurely stroll home, you don't have to worry about parking or navigating a new neighborhood." I did ask specifically if they offered prenatal massage, and the salon owner said yes.

When I arrived for my massage yesterday, the masseuse was not there yet. I guess it was ok since I was a little early. I had a seat and started waiting. In the background was really LOUD and annoying be-bop type jazz - as well as some hip-hop that one of the manicurists decided to have playing from her phone on Pandora. I thought to myself, "Is there any way that I will NOT hear this music during my relaxation time?!?!"

The massage therapist arrived about five minutes late, and then had to "prep the room."  I was invited in by the salon owner, but was not offered a drink of water or anything else that one might expect before getting a massage - not to mention a prenatal massage on an 85-degree day! I mean, I've gone to hair salons that have offered me a drink before. I thought it was just par for the course. I mean, I wasn't expecting fresh cucumber water, but something. Oh well.

I go in an am not even greeted by the therapist - just instructed to undress and lie on my back (another sort of red flag - lying on one's back for an extended time in pregnancy isn't exactly recommended). I figured that it would just be for a little while to do the neck and scalp and then she'd have me lie on my side.

Well, the first thing I notice in the room is that there's a CD player playing - gag - smooth jazz. Ugh! Ok, maybe I've been spoiled in the past, but I have always had some kind of new-age music, or maybe ambient noise or nature sounds. But elevator music? That is not relaxing. Plus, I could hear the main room's music loud and clear. Also? You know how it's sorta supposed to be dim in a massage room? Well, the lights were off, but there happened to be a SKYLIGHT right above the table!!! Are you kidding me? And I guess they knew that was bad, because they TAPED a pillowcase over the skylight with blue tape. Wow.

The table was set up with what seemed like sheets from this person's home, complete with mismatched, stained pillowcases to bolster me up and make me "comfortable."

She asked me if I would like the table heated, and I said no. But it was anyway. When I mentioned this, she was like "Oh! I guess she plugged it in before I could check with you." I was starting to trickle sweat. And the lotion she was using was not really pleasing, especially when she went to war with my face (seriously! I felt like I had signed up for a facial!).

By the time she was done with my shoulders, neck, face, and scalp, I was about ready to change positions. But then she got to work on one of my legs and feet. And WHOOAAAA, for some reason I was not feeling good. At first I found myself a little short of breath. Then my head started to spin. I don't know if I was having a panic attack, or whether certain toxins were being released, but for the first time in my life I had to stop a massage. I said, "Excuse me, I'm sorry, but I am feeling really dizzy and nauseous. Do you think I could get some water?" I sat up at that moment and just felt like I was going to pass out. Wow, horrible! They didn't have any bottles of water so she got me a mug and filled it from the sink. Sweat was pouring down my body. I don't know what happened! Maybe I was just worried about things, like getting dehydrated, and being overly paranoid that maybe she was not experienced enough in prenatal and was going to do something weird like trigger contractions. Plus there was no air circulating in the tiny room and the lotion scent was making me queasy. In any case, I told her that I needed to lie on my side from that point on.

 After I finished the water, and lay back down on my side, I began to feel a lot better. Still, just as I started to get comfortable and into it, she would continue to make small talk with me. Like, I understand this when you're getting your hair or nails done, but I don't really think a massage is time to be having a conversation. Maybe it's just me.

She did ask me if I would like more water when we were done, which I happily took. I put on a fake smile when I went out to the main area and coughed up three of my coupons with regret. I did tip the masseuse, because most of this wasn't her fault and was just a result of working in a crappy place (though her bedside manner could use a little work.)

Walked home and felt alright, but then spent the evening feeling way too dehydrated and had a TON of Braxton-Hicks contractions, which got me worried. But I eventually felt like I was able to relax.

Bottom line: next time I will go to a place that ...

1- specializes in prenatal;
2- has a clean, professional environment; and/or
3- makes me feel pampered.

Because it's different if I go to get my nails done or something, and then I see that they also offer massages, and I know it's not going to be super great. But it's one thing to advertise yourself as a spa and then offer pretty much nothing more than a closed door, a lit candle, and some lotion. Not worth the 85 bucks for sure!!!

THANKS for listening to my rant!


  1. You should have complained! The squeaky wheel gets the grease--and discounts on crappy massages.

  2. If I had to guess, I'd say the laying on your back caused much of the dizziness/shortness of breath. Your uterus puts pressure on some vein in your back and causes bad things. Sorry it was such a crappy experience!

  3. That sounds awful!!! Hope you are okay now.