Cathy Ulrich

Tables for Two

Couples Massage in the Spa Industry

The glow from the fireplace reveals a richly appointed oriental-style room. Fresh flowers adorn the side table, creating a foreground for breathtaking views of New York City. An inviting Chinese Kang bed, steam shower, and tub await as the robed couple enters.

Romantic honeymoon suite in an upscale hotel? No, actually it’s the VIP suite in The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, New York. In addition to these luxurious furnishings, the VIP suite includes two massage tables and is used primarily for treatments for two.

Breathe Into Your Massage

As You Tune Into Your Breath, Notice Your Body

Elaine was having trouble relaxing. And while I don’t command my clients to relax, I found her constant talking distracting. As the session continued, her body grew more tense, not because she was in pain, but because she was talking about all of the stressors in her life. I felt the frustration rising in my own awareness, unable to help her settle her body and create the changes she so badly needed to feel comfortable. Then I remembered a basic technique I had shared with many others during my years of practice.

The Science of Massage

Soft-tissue Techniques

Lisa sat on the side of the table after her first Rolfing session. Her eyes shone bright, her breath filled her chest easily, her shoulders rested comfortably on her rib cage. Her expression of puzzlement and wonder was one I’ve seen many times before. “What just happened?” she said. “I feel so different!”

The Power of Touch

Understanding the Body-Brain Connection

I can’t tell you how glad I was to see your name in my calendar this week,” said Elaine as she rushed into my treatment room. “I’ve been really stressed at work — the timing’s perfect for a
session.”

“Any specific areas you want me to check today?” I asked.

“I guess mainly my neck and shoulders, whatever you find,” she said.

She lay down on the table, and we both took a deep breath as I gently contacted her neck with an open palm. Before long, she was breathing deeply, relaxed and calm, on the verge of sleep.

Dance Your Way to Fitness

Marcia McConnell is attractive and trim, and in the six years I’ve known her (we share an office suite), I had no idea she was a dancer. “Oh yes,” she said when we went out to lunch recently. “I danced tap as a little girl. I loved it. Then we moved, and the only kind of dance available in my new town was ballet. I think ballet is beautiful, but it’s not for me. I quit dancing but always wanted to get back to tap.”

Freedom for Feelings

Bodywork and Emotional Release

It started as a typical visit. Jennifer was seeking help for chronic low back and hip pain and over the course of several bodywork sessions, we worked to clear areas of tightness throughout her legs, hips, and lower back. But on this day, as I gently freed the side of her hip, her facial expression changed from one of pleasure to one of puzzlement.

“That’s interesting,” she said. “I just remembered when all this started.”

I listened as she recalled the accident that began a pain cycle she had endured for years.

Expanding Little Minds

Craniosacral Therapy Helps Youngsters Thrive

The beautiful, 18-month-old child named Emma stood in front of me. Her piercing blue eyes held mine in an unblinking stare as she took my hands and placed them on her head. She was telling me to treat her.

Following her wishes, I gently cradled the sides of her head, felt the movement of the bones, and followed their lead. As her cranial bones reorganized themselves, Emma stood and held my gaze. When her skull balanced, she took a deep breath, grinned, and stepped over and hugged her mom, Kristen, who was sitting on the floor with me.

Return to the Sea: The Caribbean Spa Experience

Spa Élan

Close your eyes and imagine the Caribbean. What do you see? Palm trees, crystal blue waters, sandy beaches? What do you feel? Warm tropical breezes, moist salt air, the weightlessness of floating in the ocean?

Now imagine a spa that utilizes those sensations and the natural, soothing environment of the Caribbean Sea. More than a massage on the beach, these treatments incorporate water, salt, sand, and the rhythms of the sea to create a powerful healing experience.