Allura Salon and Spa - Massage Review
I have a confession to make. I hate massages. I'm so painfully ticklish that every visit I've had with a massage therapist has left me even tenser than before the massage. Even after requesting firm pressure, I'd still feel light, feathery touches on my back. So then, why would I subject myself to such torture? I frequently develop unbearable tension in my upper back and neck. A combination of sitting at a computer all day, martial arts at night and stress has built knot after knot in my muscles. Because of my aforementioned aversion to light touch, I avoided massages - that is, until recently. A knot formed in my upper right back that is so tight and painful, it hurt to inhale deeply. Singing sent sharp pains radiating down my arm and down my back, and sneezing was torturous. When I couldn't take it anymore, I called and made an appointment with Allura Salon and Spa's massage therapist, Nancy Sillitti.
I heard about Allura from my mom who had recently gotten her hair done there. So, I decided to take a chance. But honestly, I didn't expect much improvement from my previous encounters with massage therapists. I walked into Allure Salon and Spa on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The salon was bustling with busy stylists, chatty customers, and cheery staff. I soon became concerned about the noise level. While it was perfect for a busy salon, enthusiastic conversation and hearty laughter are not conducive for relaxation at a spa. But, I ignored it and walked up to the front counter. I was greeted by a cheerful receptionist who handed me a clipboard and some papers to fill out. When I sat down in a cozy and stylish cushioned chair, I was expecting the usual questions about contact information, who had referred me, etc. There were questions like that on there, but there was an additional page specifically for the massage therapist asking about medical conditions, injuries, tender spots, trouble areas, and preferred pressure. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to give a little more information about what I specifically needed. It demonstrated to me that the therapist knows each client comes with unique problems and will address these problems. I noted my upper back and neck as my trouble areas, marked “firm pressure” as preferred, and handed the forms back to the receptionist, who took them to the Nancy. A few minutes later, Nancy came out to greet me with the forms in her hand. She asked me about some of the problems I was having, showing great care and interest in my issues. I filled her in on the pain I’d been having in the upper right portion of my back. She promised she would work on them and led me to another room in the back of the building.
As I walked into the dim-lit room, the noise from the salon faded away. Quiet music, characterized by delicate piano keys and soft flutes, filled the room. Just walking into the room calmed my spirit. The candlelight and music exuded relaxation. The only noise I could hear (other than the music) was the occasional passing car. However, it was not too frequent and did not distract me from obtaining a relaxed mindset.
To start the massage, Nancy gave me a scalp massage, asking permission before starting. I appreciated her asking since I know several people who hate scalp massages. I, however, am not one of those people, so I thoroughly enjoyed it. Next, Nancy began the myofascial release – a process of firmly, yet gently, “spreading” the muscles out using the same motions you would use to spread out the wrinkles on a bed sheet. Nancy informed me that this opened up the fascia that surrounds each muscle. I was a little twitchy at first, my muscles involuntarily tensing up at her touch. I became nervous, envisioning another re-run of my past massage experiences. After a few minutes of myofascial release, Nancy pressed into my upper back with her fingertips, feeling out my tense muscles. She then retrieved her heated bamboo sticks. She told me that most muscles only need pressure and heat to release. “Challenge accepted!” I could hear the knot in my back screaming. But as soon as she started rolling the bamboo stick across the knot in my back, gently going back and forth over it while applying firm pressure, I felt the knot surrendering. It was the most relieving feeling to have the pain slowly fade away from my back, it was wonderful to not be tortured by tickly touches the entire time! It was clear that Nancy read everything I had filled out in the form, listened to my concerns, and remembered them during the massage. Her skill is unmatched by previous massage therapists who promised “firm pressure”, but then just lightly rubbed my back.
If you are interested in Allura Salon and Spa in Oaks, PA, please visit www.allurasalonspa.com. Once again, I am not getting any compensation from Allura as a result of this review. This is my complete and honest opinion.
By the time the massage was finished, all the muscles in my body had relaxed, my pain was gone, and I left the room feeling rejuvenated. Before I left the salon, Nancy gave me a bottle of ice cold water and informed me that I should drink plenty of water that day in order to stay hydrated. I heartily thanked her and the receptionist and left the salon one happy customer.
This massage experience was the complete opposite of others I’ve had. I highly recommend Allura Salon and Spa massage and specifically Nancy Sillitta for her expert knowledge, listening skills, and caring heart.