It was one of those office emails that occasionally slide from one employee to everyone else at The Independent: “Cheap massage this afternoon at Santa Barbara Bodyworks, limited spots available.” It’d been floating in The Indy ether for an hour already when I sent what I thought was a vain response: “Any spots left?”
Amazingly, my usually discount-hungry coworkers hadn’t jumped on this deal, no doubt because most believed it to be snagged upon reception. Lo and behold, I was in, and at 5:30 p.m. on a Wednesday, I was ready to get the cheapest massage of my life, this side of Bangkok.
I’d been to Santa Barbara Bodyworks before-which is behind a stack of buildings at 113 West Mission Street between Chapala and De la Vina-and understood that the lower price was because your treatment came from a masseuse-in-training. I arrived a tad early as requested, and relaxed in the lobby of a veritable massage classroom, where soft tables were partitioned by traditional rice paper walls.
Once connected with Shawna, I followed her to my table, de-robed, and got ready for what I accepted could be a lackluster, masseuse-in-training massage. Minutes later, I realized I was in for the real deal, her hand kneading my office-tired muscles like putty. About halfway through the massage, when Shawna was working my thigh, I heard what must have been the instructor enter. Suddenly, her hands turned my neck to jelly, my leg still being worked by the “student.” Ecstasy might be too strong of a word, but at the time, everything was slipping away.
Eventually, my bliss ended-though not before an organ-settling stomach rub-but that doesn’t mean there’s not more to be had. For those of you who need a massage, Santa Barbara Bodyworks is open to all who’d be happy paying $25-$35 for a 60- to 75-minute massage, and will do more advanced treatments seven days a week. Better yet, for those who’d rather deliver this sort of glee to others-and I hear pro masseuses enjoy a significantly stable salary-now’s the time to start one of the 14-week classes offered by S.B. Bodyworks, which is billed as the only spot in town to fulfill the state’s new 250 hour requirement.
CLARIFICATION: Santa Barbara Bodyworks is not the only massage training program in Santa Barbara that offers training to fulfill the state’s new 250-hour requirement. Santa Barbara Body Therapy Institute also offers up to 1,000 hours of training to prepare graduates for state certification. See sbbti.com to learn more.
For more info, call 569-3230 or visit santabarbarabodyworks.com.