Media Archive

My Milo massage

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 165, No. 39, September 24, 2003

To the editor:

I have had several massages in my life, starting in the city of Falls Church, Va., near where I live. I used to be a reporter there, and recall when a massage therapist petitioned the City Council to give her a business license in the 1980s. She testified about the healing nature of massage, but some of the old-timers did not hesitate to remind her that not so long ago, a massage parlour was a polite way of saying a brothel.

But wisdom prevailed, as it usually does in Falls Church, which was founded by Maine natives more than 300 years ago, and Marlene the masseuse opened her business and went on to become the president of the American Massage Therapy Association.

I am a summer person (well, not even that, a two-week-a-summer person). My husband, Paul, son, Ben, and I come up every year to stay with my Dad, David French, at his place on Schoodic Lake. You might know him: He went to Milo High School (class of 1956).

Anyway, Ben and I were at True Value when I saw Andrea Beaudoin's sign on the sidewalk and decided to go in. She and her husband, also named Paul, have a lot of nice stuff for sale: arts, crafts, books, made-to-order lotions, and jewelry. I learned that Andrea does a craniosacral clinic one day a week from 2-5 p.m. This 3-hour session is only $5. It would be $30 in Washington, so, being one to pinch a penny 'til it screams, I was there the next day for a session, and was pleasantly surprised that I did not get pinched until I screamed, because I had no idea what to expect.

I was ushered into a nice room in the back of the shop. Soft music was playing. I lay down on the table with a pillow under my knees and Andrea, who has a very gentle touch, began what I will call the laying on of hands. I believe this has been around since biblical times, when, if memory of my readings suffices, that is how they referred to what healers did back then, Christ, if I am not mistaken, being one of them.

I tend to be very responsive to this type of work because both of my grandparents on my mother's side were chiropractors, which, as you probably know, has to do with the adjusting of bones and the muscles that support them for improved health. So I grew up getting what my grandmother called treatments. Most people would call it a neck rub.

I learned that craniosacrai merapy is used to detect imbalances in the craniosacrai system (membranes and fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal chord), which can be the cause of sensory, motor or neurological dysfunction. The craniosacrai area extends from the bones of the skull, face, and mouth, which make up the cranium down to the sacrum, or tailbone area. Well, after a half-hour of this gentle laying on of hands, I found myself to be more balanced, and I also found myself to be signing up for a full-hour massage with Andrea the following week.

For this I was led to a lavender painted room on the second floor of the building at 26 Main Street. Andrea has been there since November 2002, having moved from Westbrook. After filling out a short health form, I disrobed and lay down between clean-smelling sheets on a massage table, again with a pillow under my knees. Soft yoga chanting music was playing. It was from India but sounded kind of like Country and Western. I started out by laying on my back, and Andrea gave me such a nice scalp massage that the staff of Komer Kreations, which used to occupy the building she is in, would be proud. Then she got to work on my neck and limbs.

Massage therapists have this way of respecting your privacy by uncovering one arm or leg at a time to work on them.

According to Andrea's brochure, therapeutic massage is a relaxing form of bodywork that is used to relieve a specific body complaint or just to feel wonderful. Neuromuscular techniques are used to relieve tension, stress, knots, and pain at a very deep and healing level. This professional body work can help restore a body's natural ability to maintain health and vitality.

To me, it is like a combing of the muscles, and leaves me feeling very relaxed and creative, which is good because I am usually anxious and blocked on account of working in the nation's Capital on security-conscious Capitol Hill. When Andrea was done with my front side, I flipped over on my stomach, and placed my face in the face cradle, only to see the following words written on the massage table:

"There is no substitute for the human touch." The cost of the massage was $50, but she often works out barter situations, she said.

I don't know much about New Agey stuff like polarity work, which holds that disease begins in a person's energy field and later manifests in the body, but I do know that we have not advanced much as a species. We are still fighting wars, and, with all due respect to good country attorneys, we also have quite a proliferation of law school graduates.

Andrea seems to have the ability to balance a person's energy, comb their muscles, and add to their general well being. Living somewhat in the fast lane, I realize how lucky I am to come up here to Milo-Brownville, where year-rounders have the woods, lakes, mountains, springs, nature in general, and now Andrea, to work out their kinks. I'll be back next year for all of the above, and let's hope the war mongers and law schoolers do the same - but in their neck of the woods !

Yvonne French

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.