Saturday, May 30, 2009


Nearly three years ago a reader on the East Coast (thank you, Jen) who is a massage therapist gave me a birthday gift: one free massage from a therapist living here on Puget Sound. Jen had done lots of research and found a woman whose training would be useful for the kinds of problems I have because of MS and whose temperament might complement mine. Then Jen phoned this massage therapist, Susan Karlsen, and had a long chat--interviewed her, basically. Susan agreed to come out to our house and give me a massage.

Normally, Susan works from her home treatment centre, Luminaries: a charming bright yellow Victorian in Richmond Beach, overlooking Puget Sound. But every week for the last two and a half years she's driven to my house and given me a massage.

I firmly believe that Susan, and Gretchen my physical therapist, are to a large extent responsible for me being in reasonable shape. They keep the blood moving, the muscles toned, the fascia flexible. They help make the difference between existing, creeping from day to day with aches and pains and a thousand small miseries, and looking forward to my life every morning.

Susan has been a massage therapist for ten years. She's developed her own style built on myofascial release and Swedish techniques. Sometimes during the massage we're both quiet; sometimes we entertain each other with outrageous stories about our week; sometimes we talk about the beauty of kindness.

Susan has shown both me and Kelley great kindness over the last couple of years. This post is basically a giant thank you for all her care and attention. I'm hoping that there's at least one reader who lives in the Seattle/Shoreline/Richmond Beach/Edmonds area who will immediately email (luminaries at earthlink dot net) or phone Susan and book an appointment. Or who will give a gift certificate for her services to family or friends who do live here. Or who will spread the word.

A massage is a fine thing--it can promote healing, relax you, or revitalise you. Treat yourself.

This blog has moved. My blog now lives here: