A fantastical voyage at Seraphim Wellness
Sometimes writing reviews can become tedious. You never really know what you are going to be walking into. It could be a wonderful night at the theatre or a jaw clenching night with an “experimental” jazz trio with sounds akin to wounded animals. But, when the chance came to go to Seraphim Wellness Spa in Center City to get a deep tissue massage…it’s probably no surprise that I jumped at it with a resounding, “YES!”
Now I do need to say that I have had my fair share of massages good and bad. I am a regular at acupuncture and have an established yoga practice. I’ve walked some miles in the holistic world. So not knowing anything about where I was going, my expectations were kept in check. I’ve been disappointed before. But hey, a massage is a massage right?
So I hopped on the train, got off at City Hall and made my way to 123 S Broad St., took the elevator to the 18th floor and met the co-owner and massage therapist, Jamie Lester. Once in the space I was quickly at ease. All of the de rigueur dream catches, waterfall art and meditation music greeted me and I was able to just settle in.
Jamie, was at once welcoming, endearing and professional. She offered me a beverage and asked if I would fill out some forms. These were somewhat akin to the forms you would fill out at a doctor’s office but clearly tilted more towards the body. It wasn’t filling out a form like this that caught me off guard but rather how thorough the questions were.
In fact, over the course of the next 10-15 minutes it started to become clear that Jamie was not an average practitioner. We went over in detail my (numerous) injuries. Until she felt she had a strong picture of what I might need. She then gave me an impressive anatomy lesson about my own ailments. I really can’t remember any masseuse taking that kind of time to ensure she knew what was going on.
Jamie’s knowledge and professionalism were certainly front and center. The massage itself was nothing short of a fantastical voyage. Her voice was calming and empathetic. Where most sessions can be a bit paint by numbers, it was clear that Jamie was continuing to explore my shoulders (where my current injuries reside) changing rhythms, directions and techniques with each new discovery. My back is usually so knotted up that traditionally I am jumping off the table as someone is working out knots. Past masseurs have mistaken bones as knots! About 3/4s of the way through, I realized I hadn’t grunted or yelled out even once and yet I could tell that most of the knots were gone. I mentioned my surprise to her. She informs me that part of her technique is to be sure to warm the muscles up in the same way an athlete warms up before a game. Which is why she is able to give me relief without having to feel the pain normally associated with deep tissue massage. Just impressive is all I can say.
When we were done we sat down for a brief interview. Which was not easy with all the endorphins running through my head! I hadn’t had relief in my back like this in months that I wanted to do was take a nap. But, I truly wanted to know more about Seraphim Wellness.
What came through in our conversation was Jamie’s unbridled passion for the work that she does. She spoke about the difference between relief and true healing. When I asked her what was fulfilling about her work she lit up like light bulb. Saying that because her work is fundamentally results driven she knows she is able to “help change the world one hour at a time.”
I’d be remiss not to mention Jamie Lester’s passion for Reiki. Although this wasn’t a part of my scheduled visit, I have to say, I am completely intrigued and hoping to make a return visit.
Seraphim Wellness Spa
123 S Broad St
Philadelphia PA 19109