Cahra is more salon than day spa. You walk through the lobby, filled with hair products for sale, past the hair stations, and upstairs to a tiny waiting area and three treatment rooms. You don’t get a robe or slippers. You leave your clothes on a chair in your room. There aren’t any female massage therapists.
None of this mattered. Steve, an auto mechanic for 22 years before deciding three years ago he’d rather work with people, gave me the best massage I’ve ever had.
A few minutes into my $75 one-hour Swedish massage, Steve asked if he could cover my eyes, which he’d noticed I wasn’t closing. I was so tense about having a male therapist that the dim lights and soft music of Pachelbel’s Canon weren’t helping. “It makes the world go away,” Steve said as he placed a cloth on my face. The darkness did the trick.
“I won’t see a thing,” he said early on. Steve draped the sheet over me like a tent when I switched sides. I wasn’t paying for a deep-tissue treatment ($85), but I asked him what one was like. He felt cricks in my upper back and said he’d do deep tissue until I wanted him to stop. I didn’t. He rubbed the pressure points on my palms and temples, did soothing stretches throughout, and finished with a gentle back scratch. Steve went an extra ten minutes, and we chatted afterward about exercises.
When I’d called Cahra to make my appointment, the desk attendant told me that Steve has a great reputation. It’s easy to see why.