cabral_wellness_reception_find_bliss_bostonI really enjoy massages and fully understand their benefits, but the idea of spending an afternoon in mid-December doing that…. well that seemed nothing short of ludicrous! Let me clarify: I am busy and a Type A, which means I have lots of ideas, all of the time and I have the need to explore most of them, all of the time. Stopping and surrendering for a few hours in the midst of what many consider the busiest time of year was not one of them! Having reached a big milestone birthday this year, however, and having read enough self help literature, finds me becoming increasingly more comfortable with the idea that I need to don the proverbial oxygen mask first before I can truly show up in my life and serve those around me optimally.

I had the good fortune to visit Cabral Wellness Institute in Boston’s Back Bay this week. Their mission is “Caring for the Whole Person, the Whole Family, and the Whole Community!” While I was looking forward to a customized massage, I was even more excited for a session in their Infrared Sauna. Last year was a tough winter, even by New England standards, but was especially difficult on me, having been born and raised in sunny Key West. I truly suffered from SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder, and realized that I would need to be proactive this year, long before the snow starts to fall.

I arrived at Cabral Wellness Institute to find a bright and cheery reception area and was promptly greeted by Aaron, the Office Manager, who I had spoken to several times prior to my visit. Within minutes I was registered and on my way to meet the massage therapist. The treatment room was cozy and inviting: the bed was heated just right, the music was subtle and relaxing, the optional essential oils were discussed and within seconds I was on my way to complete relaxation. The therapist was professional, intuitive and incredibly skilled. I was fully awake but completely detached from any racing thoughts or ideas. This is a testament to the therapist, as I felt so comfortable with her that I trusted that I was in very capable hands which allowed me to surrender and enjoy rather than anticipate her every move. Once the massage was over, I was escorted to the sauna for additional healing. The private sauna room was just across the hall and I floated over to it in my thick spa robe with delicious cucumber infused water in hand to hear about the many benefits and what I could expect. I spent the next thirty minutes in a state of complete bliss. The heat in this type of spa is unlike the saunas that most of us have experienced. I felt as if I was laying on a beach towel in beloved Bali. The warmth permeates your skin and muscles and gently flushes toxins right out of your lymphatic system. At the end of my session, my skin had a rosy and dewy glow and felt and looked twenty years younger, my body felt limber, my mind cleared and my nervous system completely relaxed.

I highly recommend giving Cabral Wellness Institute a try! They offer many promotions like $50 off of a massage or 50% off of a sauna session for first time clients, to make self-care a vital part of your life rather than a luxury. In addition they offer Personal Training, Detoxification Plans, Nutrition Plans and Healing and Wellness Programs with founder Stephen Cabral, ND.

While massages for me may still feel like a luxury, infrared sauna sessions at Cabral Wellness Institute will now be a weekly part of my wellness routine, particularly during the winter months. I know that I will be feeling much more like myself, which in turn will allow me to show up optimally as a wife, mom, volunteer, worker and friend. If healing and warming your inner hearth sound inviting to you, there are other locations that also offer infrared saunas, that may be convenient for you.