I hate showering, so imagine how much I love getting lubed up during a massage. This is the main reason I do not get massages more often, despite my belief that human touch is critical to overall wellness (even if you have to pay for it). Contrary to popular belief, massages are not cost prohibitive. Trade with a friend/partner or get bodywork (foot massage, cupping, full body massage) for just $39 in almost any of the Asian bodywork spots on 8th Street in the West Village (NYC). “Just get touched,” as my master masseuse recommends. I recommend bringing your own oils because most places use some form of mineral oil, which clogs pores, keeping toxins in the body.
That said, I have found my master masseuse right here in Downtown Jersey City. Ceallaigh Pender, owner of Knead on Jersey Avenue, is a highly skilled and trained massage therapist and lymphatic drainage expert. She underwent intensive training at Sloan Kettering, so she clearly knows her shit. Bonus: she only uses natural oils and essential oils as needed, so you won’t need a shower afterwards.
Ceallaigh has taught me a whole bunch of shit, most of which just goes over my head. When you go for Ceallaigh’s custom massage, you are not only getting legit bodywork done, you are getting an education on anatomy. It never ceases to amaze me how interconnected the body is and I always leave Knead with a newfound appreciation of this connectedness. For example, Ceallaigh releases the knots in my shoulder by addressing the tightness in my jaw and by digging her fingers into a very specific point in the front of my neck. I told her my arms and legs fall asleep frequently in certain positions, which she attributes to tightness in my hips and armpits. Her custom massage is a combination of relaxation and constructive pain.
Lymphatic drainage is a more gentle treatment designed to drain lymph (or cellular waste) from your tissues. “It’s like a colonic for your cells,” Ceallaigh explains. In fact, lymphatic drainage is recommended daily for patients who have undergone radiation and other treatments that may kill lymph nodes in order to avoid lymphedema, an accumulation of fluid that results in swelling. Lymphedema is also common in those who have undergone liposuction because much of the lymphatic system is actually sucked out with the fat cells! So while lymphatic drainage may feel like a tease, it is actually moving stagnation (the cause of all illness) into your colon and out your ass.
In short, get felt up as often as possible.