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Full Body Massage - For Whatever Ails You!

Ahhhhhhh. Today I treated myself to a 80 minute full body massage at the famous Cooper Clinic Spa off Preston Road in North Dallas. Dr. Cooper is famous for his research in aerobics as well as being one of the President's medical advisors (George W).

First Lady Laura Bush has been known to travel to the esteemed Cooper Clinic for her annual physical, as do many CEOs and executives of leading corporations. Many famous people including political leaders and business czars have passed through the doors of Cooper Clinic and the Cooper Clinic Spa.

I have been going to Cooper Clinic Spa off and on for close to ten years, whenever my body demanded I stop and have a much needed massage.

Cooper has a gorgeous spa right (complete with soothing waterfall) on the campus of the Cooper Clinic grounds and offers all types of spectacular massage treatments, manicures, pedicures and facials. Their staff is exceptional due to the very strict requirements for becoming part of their team. There is very little turnover with several members of the massage team having been there for 10 years, which is how long the spa has been open.

They also are always up on the latest techniques such as hot stone massage or the use of special aromas or techniques.  Lisa, the massage therapist team lead is always researching all the latest techniques which allows for the option to try out leading edge treatments.

I doubt that you could get a bad massage at Cooper even if you tried. However, I do have a few favorites on staff. Today, in preparation for my upcoming birthday in a few days, I booked a full body deep tissue message with Kevin. I have had massages with Kevin several times before and he is excellent. He has been with Cooper approximately 9 years, is very professional and has a soothing touch. Kevin knows when to let you rest and be quiet but he is also willing to chat if you feel the need. If he can pop kinks out of my back, well, he can probably do wonders with just about anyone who visits him.

It had been close to six months since my last massage due to my inability to schedule some time to get to the clinic. Besides booking a massage for myself, I also booked an 80 minute massage for a dear friend of mine (Jeff Hines) whose birthday is coming up right behind mine. He had been complaining lately of hip pain and what better way to deal with sore bones than a massage? Of course he loved the idea.

Although initially he had hoped to book a massage with Cooper's Wendy Menedez who he had seen before in the past, we discovered when we called she was unavailable on weekends. Jeff decided to throw caution to the wind and try whoever was available. He was set up to have a massage with Rose.

If you have never had a full body massage you are missing a great stress reliever and all around feel good treatment.

Studies have shown that full body massage (the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body by a massage therapist) provides many holistic benefits to the entire body. Those benefits include the muscular, skeletal, elimination, digestive, circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, lymphatic, emotional, mental and nervous systems.

And yes, massage can help with hair growth since it strengthens the circulatory system. If you wish, ask your therapist to spend some extra time massaging your head and scalp. At the beginning of every session the therapist will ask if you have areas of your body that need extra attention.

Body massage is generally thought to have originated in China and is an age-old healing art which can alleviate mental, physical and emotional ailments.

Historically, for me, massage dramatically helps release stress and tension (I am always stressed from my workaholic lifestyle) by increasing oxygen flow and blood circulation in my body. Excessive unresolved tension and stress in our daily lives can cause continuous muscular tension.

This type of mental tension or stress diminishes the flow of oxygen and blood to the muscles and organs causing pains and aches, feelings of fatigue, symptomatic heaviness, tightness of muscles and stiffness. This can even increase the chance of strains and injuries.

Studies have shown that continued stress and tension creates a tendency for a build up of toxins in the body, and reduces the flow of the more subtle energy or life force (Prana or Chi). Muscular stress also deforms the skeletal anatomy, which further compounds present problems and develops new ones.

Always prompt, Kevin greeted me a few minutes before my 2:00 pm session and escorted me downstairs to his usual massage room. He left me alone to undress and get comfortable on his fabulously heated massage table in the softly lit room. After positioning myself face down and covering myself up with the super soft sheets, he entered the room and asked if I had any areas of my body that needed special attention. Nope, I told him. Just perform your magic.

During the first 15 minutes I could literally and dramatically feel stress draining out of my chest, shoulders, neck and back. I started to breathe in a more relaxed manner while feeling so much calmer. I have been really edgy lately due to a number of pressures. The edgier I get, the tighter my back and legs get. Also, as a side not, the crabbier I get. Which is never a good thing for anyone that has to deal with me.

After the first 40 minutes of my time with Kevin I felt like I was floating outside of my body with my breath completely relaxed and deep. I might have fallen asleep but decided to chat a little to stay present for the massage. Since Kevin had massaged me before on a number of occasions, I asked about some topics we had previously discussed. As always, he was warm and calming, as we discussed all sorts of random topics.

Kevin always has me start the massage by laying on my stomach, which I really like, because it means he can devote extra time to my neck, shoulders, upper and lower back, where I carry most of my tension. He always has me turn over about halfway through the treatment and then finishes the session at the top of my head. I like that the oil he uses does not feel oily in the least bit.

Although there are a variety of types of massage you can book at Cooper, I long ago discovered the 80 minute deep tissue treatment was the best, for me.

The 50 minute massage, which is also a good option, always makes me feel like it ends too quickly. Many of the massage therapists have also told me that they believe the 80 minute massage is ideal because it gives them more time to really make a difference. A 50 minute massage can be a little rushed, especially when your body is all twisted up like mine usually is. For some people though, 50 minutes is all they can handle. At least at first when they are new to massage.

After he completed the massage Kevin left the room so I could dress. I always dress in the easiest clothes I can find so that I can dress and undress quickly without any stress. As usual I was able to slide on my flip flops and pop on my summer dress and be ready to roll in no time.

Like all the massage therapists, Kevin is always waiting outside the door and provides me with a glass of ice water to drink before I head back upstairs to the main spa reception area. Today was no different than my past visits for massage except that Kevin's work was more fantastic than ever before.

Maybe it was because he had worked on me in the past and knew where to focus the trigger points? Or maybe because it had been a few months since my last massage, I appreciated the bodywork more than normal? Regardless, I was very pleased with the results and felt like a jiggly jello blob as I made my way upstairs to meet Jeff.

I always pay before my services (rather than after) because I don't want the stress of dealing with money after I am so relaxed. It was great thinking this time because my mind was totally blank and I barely remember leaving the spa for Jeff's SUV.

The trip to the Cooper Spa was a major success for both of us. Jeff looked incredibly relaxed as he came out of the area where the massage rooms are located. He told me "Rose was really great and he felt wonderful". All right. Mission accomplished.

Even though in the past he was a huge fan of Wendy Menedez and her massages, he said that Rose was just as good, if not better. He explained her background, which was from South Africa, and how she was able to zone in on his sore hips and work out all the kinks.

I reminded him that you really can't get a bad massage at Cooper Clinic Spa. In the past I have had Roxanne who is also excellent (and a lot of fun to chat with) and can go incredibly deep with her touch. Other friends have raved about Barbara, who has been at the Spa the longest (over 10 years) and gives an amazing deep tissue massage. Lisa, who went to school with Kevin, is famous for her very soft massages.

I would highly recommend Kevin, Roxanne, Wendy Menedez, Lisa and Barbara from personal experience but Jeff now has added Rose to the list. Besides all of those great massage therapists, you really can't go wrong with anyone you might be scheduled with if your first choice is already booked.

If you want a fabulous massage in an amazing setting definitely check out the Cooper Clinic Spa. Although they have two locations, I have only been to the North Dallas location off Preston Road.

I know one thing for sure. My body feels so great right now, I am going to make a promise to try and get a regular massage to keep the good feelings flowing.

Even if you can't afford a full 80 minute massage, check out the 50 minute sessions or sign up for their mailing list. The regularly offer email deals on various treatments that are well worth it.

A few things to remember....the spa requires 24 advance notice for cancellation or you will be liable for the full cost of the treatment that is scheduled.

Also, it is not advised that you have a massage if you are ill or feel the onset of a cold, virus or other illness. Massage puts a strain on your immune system, which ultimately is a good thing, but if you are coming down with an infection, massage can accelerate the onset.

Also, always drinks lots of water after a massage to flush newly released toxins out of your system.

Yes, I know there are tons of places to get massages out there and lots of great therapists but for me, Cooper Clinic Spa has consistently delivered great body treatment results for the past 10 years and for me, consistency is a very high commodity that I count on.

Meanwhile, I am going to try to keep the mental and physical bliss going for at least the rest of the day.

The Cooper Clinic Spa I visited is located at:

12200 Preston Rd

Dallas, TX 75230 972-392-7729 or 888-964-8875

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