Arcadia’s hidden space for therapy that fuses traditional and Thai massage.
Meticulously perfect. That is my best description of Space in Phoenix.
As I parked on the street in front of Space Massage Studio, directly adjacent to massage therapist John Hill’s home, I immediately got a sense of familiarity. After all, two of my favorite places to indulge, La Grande Orange and Postino’s Wine Cafe are right around the corner. I peeked to make sure I had the address correct and noticed the familiar logo on the door in front of the home.
I walked up not positive if I should knock or ring a bell, but John opened the door just in time to make my decision easy for me. He invited me inside to welcome me to the studio and chat a little bit. His warm and friendly nature made me feel like I was going to one of my best friends homes to veg out for a day. After we sat down and introduced ourselves, like any great therapist, John asked me plenty of questions about what I like, don’t like, need and expect in a massage. His true interest in what I look for in a massage and my treatment experiences was the first sign that I was going to love the next 90-minutes of my life. And then he walked me over to the treatment studio.
The “space” was clearly created with a designer’s eye, an artist’s emotion and a therapist’s touch. Everything about the environment — down to the fresh wildflowers from the backyard in a vase on the sink — was well thought out and meticulously placed, but still had the warm and comforting feeling of that one cushy place you want to kick back after a rough day. A perfect mix of rustic, earthy and clean design all at the same time. Again, meticulously perfect is the only way I can describe it.
Then came the treatment. After talking to me for a bit, John decided on a fabulous massage for me that was focused into three main types of treatment; Therapeutic, Traditional Thai (or Yoginic) and Thai Herbal Poultice. Yes, I’ll define!
First, the therapeutic massage. Incredibly relaxing right off the bat. John worked my shoulder and neck that had been affected in a recent car accident and took me to that state of relaxation I absolutely needed to be in. He described to me that deep tissue, as it’s often broadly defined, usually takes the customer to the point of pain, when the most effective deep tissue massage really isn’t that at all. It was the perfect amount of pressure without pain that loosened up my tight muscles and got rid of my knots.
Second (or maybe third — I was SO relaxed!) was the Thai massage. Somehow, Thai massage is calming and energizing all at the same time. I was stretched and my muscles and joints were moved in ways to open me up to further relaxation and healing. As he continued to knead and pull, I felt him hop onto the table, with his knees on the back of my legs, which felt absolutely awesome to say the least. Invigorating, relaxing and refreshing would be the best way to describe Thai massage.
Third was the incorporation of the Thai Herbal Poultice, a small round ball of packed herbs that is massaged directly on the skin to increase blood circulation and increase energy. These poultices are locally produced by Joel and Lauren Sheposh of Vinasanti and are only available in a few places around the Valley (Joya Spa, Golden Door Spa, Sanctuary to name a few). The steamed poultices were warm and felt invigorating on my skin. The best part by far was when John used the poultices on my face, so I not only felt the refreshing effects of the herbs on my skin but also was consumed by the awesome smell of them.
After my massage, I laid on the treatment bed for a few minutes to soak in everything. Rather than curling up in a ball and wanting to go to sleep, I felt completely relaxed, but energized enough to continue my day and go on to a few meetings. I even took a minute to read a few passages from the book with daily tips to relaxation in the entrance way.
Overall, I would rate my experience as excellent and would recommend a Space visit for all true massage lovers. It is truly a beautiful space owned by an incredibly talented therapist. Two (very relaxed) thumbs up!