I admit it, I’m a spa addict. If I have an extra peso, quid, ruble, dollar, pound, shekel, yen or rupee, I’ll spend it on a massage. Because I personally believe it’s the best way to combat writer’s block. Okay, and it feels amazing! Whenever I’m stuck on an idea, a chapter, an act, a character’s motivation… I don’t complain, bitch, whine, moan and whinge; rather, I force myself to take a break, align my mind and body and get a massage. In today’s world where “trouble falls like lemon drops, high above the chimney tops”…the trouble, the stress must be combatted. This can be done, in my humble opinion, with a variety of tools including anti depressants, booze or… my drug of choice – massage. To me, there’s nothing like being kneaded. Being touched. Allowing your body to be poked and prodded, stretched and rehabilitated by gifted therapeutic hands. Massage produces a meditative state, providing emotional and spiritual balance which results in pure relaxation and peace.

Massage has proven holistic benefits, it moves all of the Qi in your body, increases circulation, alleviates tension and, let’s face it, it feels terrific. And I’ve tried them all: Massage Envy, Burke Williams…I’m even a member at the airport spa chain Xpress Spa—miss a flight, no worries…I’ll just treat myself to a massage – thank you very much. And after years of searching, I’ve found the massage mecca. The holy grail of massage therapy: The Carasoin Spa. Despite its shi-shi address, it does not have shi-shi prices and its mom and pop feel coupled with an excellent eye for decoration and implied luxury offers an inviting and cozy environment.

Before the massage begins, you sit down to tea, served in a delicate teapot and as you sip, the stresses of the outside world melt away. You’re then guided down a long hall, into a small room where a small piece of heart shaped European chocolate sits atop crisp sheets. You slip under the sheets and relax onto the heated, yes heated table. A loofah brush exfoliates all of the dead skin, old ideas, unwanted excess and trapped energy. Then the therapeutic oil is warmed and the massage begins. Sixty to ninety minutes later…you come out of a relaxation coma as your body has been gently forced into total compliance- every muscle attended to and tension of the previous week’s meetings, traffic, headaches, phone calls, texts, emails, tweets, facebooks, annoyances and writer’s block—simply gone. And you feel refreshed, reenergized and ready…for whatever the world puts in front of you. And because all of the massage therapists are trained estheticians, you can add a facial to your massage: anti aging, enzyme, collagen…you name it – Carasoin has it. And if they don’t, they’re so accommodating, they’ll figure out how to do it.

Massage…it’s a great way to relax, get rid of the old and make way for the new. And, believe it or not, it’s a great way to combat writer’s block.