What bliss is this

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 14, 2005

This week we are profiling the Tender Touch Massage as our Lifestyles feature of the week.

Tender Touch is a unique business here in town. Sylvia Harrelson, who happens to be a former classmate of mine (GHS class of ’78, mighty great) also happens to be gifted with some marvelous hands – healing hands, indeed.

I’ve always thought human touch has a special power to comfort, uplift and soothe.

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From the days when my mama used to shampoo my hair to sharing an impromptu cuddle with my great-niece, it just makes me feel better.

Since I have been battling with some sort of infection in my lymph nodes, I confess I haven’t felt on top of the world lately.

So the idea of a one-hour full body massage sounded like bliss, especially if it could get those nodes unclogged a bit (after all, massage does help the circulatory system among its many other benefits).

When you step into the massage room at Tender Touch, the lighting is dim; instrumental music plays softly in the background and you hear the sound of water trickling over stones in a nearby fountain.

It’s a serene setting, one where clients not infrequently drift off to lullaby land, Sylvia says.

&uot;After about 15 minutes, they will get very, very still – and then I hear this sound…snoring,&uot; she says with a smile.

Now, I didn’t fall asleep but I did chill out nicely during my massage. It was a lovely treat to simply lie there and let an expert knead my tight, tired muscles and get those knots loose. Since even my face has been hurting lately, it felt wonderful to give it some TLC, too.

My perpetually stiff neck was loosened up

– I can actually turn it at a 90-degree angle again – and my tight shoulders had more &uot;give.&uot; Fingers, toes, arms, legs, back – everything got the benefit of Sylvia’s gifted touch by the time the hour was over.

And may I say she has naturally warm hands, no heating device needed. &uot;The only thing I do is rub the massage lotion between my hands to warm it up a little – I’ve just always had warm hands, it’s like a gift from God.&uot;

A therapeutic massage helps get those toxins flowing, Sylvia told me, so she has her clients drink water right after the massage to help further flush the bad stuff out.

I hope to be able to treat myself to a massage at least a couple of times a month.

Maybe it will be a quick chair massage, or maybe I will choose to indulge in that wonderful-sounding hot stone full body massage. Either way, I know I will feel the better for it, whether experiencing a few minutes or a full hour of bliss.

We all need to give ourselves some tender loving care now and again, don’t you agree?

Angie Long is the lifestyles reporter for the Greenville Advocate and can be reached at 383-9302, ext. 132 or via email at angie.long@greenvilleadvocate.com.