Massage does many things; it unwinds knots, releases tension and alleviates stress. But I never thought the service might unleash a waterfall of tears. And yet there I was on a comfy, heated table as a therapist worked a particularly stiff area in my shoulders and the floodgates opened.
I was totally confused. I felt great! I was getting a massage! I wasn’t sad at all! But this apparently (thankfully) doesn’t make me a basket case: “The limbic system in our brain controls our emotions, responses to stimuli, behavior and memories,” says Amy Olthoff, Spa Director of Spa Nalai at the Park Hyatt New York. “When the nerve endings in our tissues are stimulated, it’s not uncommon that this releases trapped emotional memories, even if you may not feel a sense of trauma or sadness."
Who knows what I was holding onto? All I know is that I walked away from that spa feeling lighter, freer, and more at ease than after any other treatment before.