Shared by: Rory O’Fee, Woodloch Staff
So… I’m not really a spa guy. Well, at least, I wasn’t. Then I threw my back out. Ugh, it was really frustrating, I could barely stand up, walking was a real challenge; I only felt as ease flat on my back staring at the ceiling. I found if someone rubbed my back it seemed to feel better – so it was suggested I “get to the lodge” because “it’ll be great” and I will “feel like a million bucks” – or something like that. But I had never received a professional massage before, and I was nervous about it.
“Alright… I’ll do it”, I found myself at The Lodge at Woodloch Sunday evening. I had frequented the Lodge many times before, as I would be working ~ a tour, a meeting, film crew, etc… ~ but never as a patron, it was about time. What I was most excited for were the spa facilities. I made it a point to try every option in the aqua garden. I spent 10 solid minutes in the eucalyptus hot tub (wow) and 5 minutes in the sauna and 5 minutes in the steam room (hotter than I expected…). Soothing music emanated from the ceilings and calmed my nerves, the smell of eucalyptus was inviting and calming. I really enjoyed having pitchers of ice water with optional lemon wedges waiting outside the saunas – unbelievably refreshing. The main pool was amazing, equipped with 2 hydro-massage waterfall hot tubs, I let the water vibrate the stress from my trapezius.
I relaxed for about an hour and then it was time for what I feared most. Vernelle met me outside the men’s retreat and led me downstairs – while I expressed my hesitation and fears. She laughed comfortably and assured me I had nothing to worry about. Well, before going to the Lodge, everyone told me “if it hurts, you can stop the treatment” and “they shouldn’t hurt you, this is relaxing” – ok, great, so it’s not going to hurt… As we got situated in the treatment room (which was pleasantly warm and calm) Vernelle explained to me that she specializes in sports massage and injury massage therapy – ok, great, so it’s not going to hurt… “Now I have to tell you Rory, for this to work, I’m going to have to hurt you” **WHAT?** “trust me”. Against every fiber in my body, I gave in and trusted her – and she did hurt me… But in the end the pain went away and I felt so much better.
As she pressed hard on tight focal points in my back muscles she explained to me every step she was taking. She taught me about the different muscles in my back and how they worked; she released the tension and warmed the tissue, then cooled the trouble spots with ice to circulate the blood. After a about an hour our time was through, I stood up from the table and felt instantly improved (not 100% yet, but that was to be expected). What an experience, therapeutic, relaxing, fun and even educational! I showered then made my way home after that, soon to enjoy a long, relaxing and comfortable night sleep.