By Sue Shekut, Licensed Massage Therapist, ACSM Personal Trainer, Certified Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage
Where can you get anything in a few minutes that makes you feel happier, more relaxed and less worried about your life these days? Better yet, where can get you something that makes you feel better, less stressed and reduces your physical pain …for only $5, $10 or even $20?
I admit, I am both blessed and cursed to have the secret to affordable, effective, mood altering relief from modern day stress. (And I don’t mean a morphine drip!) Blessed because I know where to find instant relaxation and pain relief all over the country. Cursed because I am a massage therapist AND business owner myself. I have my own aches and pains to contend with. Like many of my clients, some days I work long hours…and then go home and work some more! How do I do it without being in constant pain? How do I maintain a business, write this blog, exercise, manage two massage stations and a host of corporate wellness accounts and staff without melting down?
It’s simple really. I get regular chair massages at Whole Foods Market.
Now, you may say, of course she’s going to say that. She has a vested interest. She works there. It’s true, I do run some of the Chicago chair massage stations. But even if I didn’t, I would still be using the massage services at Whole Foods. Why? Because Whole Foods Markets tends to attract good massage therapists and good massage therapy companies. (Note, I do get longer forms of bodywork and exercise for stress relief as well. But I am not able to schedule hour-long massage session as often as I can get chair massages!)
When I go to other parts of the U.S., I gravitate towards Whole Foods for three reasons:
- I have a lot of food allergies and I know I can consistently find healthy, tasty food I can eat there.
- I know I can often find a chair massage station where I can get instant neck shoulder and back tension relief.
- When I am traveling and want to get an actual table massage, I have no idea if a therapist I find off the internet will be any good. For $10 or so, I can “audition” a massage therapist at the Whole Foods chair station. If they are good, I may extend my chair massage to 30-40 minutes or book a table massage with them while I am in town. If I don’t like their style, I can leave after 10 minutes–without throwing away $80 on a one-hour massage I might not have enjoyed!
Especially when I fly, I need someone to knead my sore neck and shoulders (bad pun intended). This spring I was fortunate enough to visit California for a few days. One of my first stops after getting off the plane was to the Whole Foods Market in San Fransisco on 4th Street, to stock up on groceries for the road and visit the On the Spot massage station.
At home in Chicago, I know the massage therapists at Whole Foods Market Gold Coast and Lincoln Park are some of the best in the city. I did hand pick them and I am choosy so I know this for a fact! But even at other area Chicago stations, when I see a chair massage sign, I know relief from pain and stress is only minutes away.
I’ve been giving chair massages myself at various Chicago area Whole Foods Markets for the past 10 years. Prior to that I was a regular chair massage customer at the Lincoln Park store before I became a massage therapist. I believe in massage. I know the quality of Whole Foods products. And I know the quality of massage therapists that give massages at Whole Foods chair stations.
Although my company, Working Well Massage, is based out of Chicago, I’ve compiled a quick list of chair massage stations I found at Whole Foods Markets across the U.S. (and now LONDON!) for you. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, just what popped up when I ran a google search. Why should I be one of the lucky few in on the secret? (That’s me, saving you time and shoulder pain any way I can.)
So, if you want a quick way to relax and relieve some of your modern day tension, stop by the Whole Foods chair massage station in your local area. For just a few dollars, give yourself a break from the stress and muscle pain you build up working at computers and even reading this blog!
Note: If you do not have a chair massage station inside your local Whole Foods, ask Customer Service if they would set one up. Or if you know of a local massage therapist that might benefit from marketing their services to Whole Foods shoppers, tell them to ask the store if they can set up a chair station.
Chair Massage Stations inside Whole Foods Markets