Health: Mandatory Massage

A little R&R at work goes a long way

Right now, I am so relaxed I’m having a hard time putting words on paper. I just had a 15-minute massage from Bob Smith, a certified massage therapist who works out of Optimal Gym (325 Bainbridge Street, 215-627-4900,

No matter how often my boyfriend does his best to knead them away, beneath my skin my shoulders are nothing but a thick mass of gnarled muscle, seemingly held together by knots upon more knots. It wasn’t until after sitting in Bob’s little portable massage chair in the conference room down the hall (that’s right, bosses, there’s nothing more moral-boosting than treating your employees to an at-work massage!) that I realized my upper back doesn’t have to feel like a big, unmalleable block of wood.

Bob used the perfect amount of pressure — enough to break up the tension, but not so much that I felt more sore when I stood up than before he started working on me. And, for anyone who’s had more than a few massages, finding the right combo in a masseuse is not easy.

So, if your back’s been full of aches and pains — and HR isn’t planning a little health-oriented thank-you anytime soon — treat yourself to something even better: 60 or 90 minutes with Bob. Just make sure you have someone pick you up afterward; If I can hardly walk after 15 minutes, you’ll be nothing but Jell-O after an hour.

Bob Smith, certified massage therapist, 267-693-4623;