We thought it'd be appropriate to begin with the very first therapist at Melt—the owner, Ms. Rebecca Raik!
Better known to her friends and followers as Becky, she is the original Melter. Melt was bred from her unique and special approach to massage and her warm, generous, and hearty spirit. Her wife Alexis, the other owner at Melt, sat down with her to go through some illuminating questions that will help us to get to know Melt's owner a bit better. In store are some helpful tips and resources, a few delightful stories, and some things she never thought she'd share in public.
Why did you decide to go to massage school?
It's a long story but the short answer involves teaching middle school and not really liking that job, then starting a non-profit but needing to make money in a flexible profession. I've always loving giving massages as early as summer camp - I just never imagined I might make a career of it. Sometime you've got an extra ten minutes to kill, ask me and I'll tell you all about it.
Other than massage, what's your favorite self-care routine?
Does chocolate count? Jkjk! Exercise all the way! It is the best complement to massage therapy too. While massage can help calm and lengthen short, hyper contracted muscles, only exercise can strengthen the weak muscles and keep you in balance. It also works wonders for managing stress.
What kind of client makes you really excited to give a massage?
I'm collaborative by nature so my favorite clients are the ones who want to work with me to help solve a problem. An athlete who is trying to heal or prevent an injury, a new parent who knows that massage will help them sleep better for the few hours they get, someone going through a rough or stressful time who is making space to take care of them self, or anyone with a tricky, achey spot that they just can't figure out how to mend. Actually, I'm usually pretty excited about massage. I really like my job.
What's your favorite massage technique to utilize during a session?
Ooh! TMJ work! The jaw responds very well - and sometimes very quickly - to myofascial release which I LOVE. Sometimes, to reach the deepest muscles, it requires I wear gloves, which is fun.
What was the last really great book you read?
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. It is beautiful and heartbreaking. I devoured it in a week about a month ago and haven't stopped thinking about it since. I keep going back to re-read passages that pop into my head. Run to Greenlight to grab it right now if you haven't read it yet. And then come find me so we can talk about it.
Milk or Dark chocolate?
Dark. Does anyone answer that differently?
Summer. No question.
Finish this sentence: Horoscopes are.....?
So much fun! And after hanging with massage weirdos for the last twelve years, I've learned that not only am I a Leo but my Rising Sign is Taurus and my Moon Sign is Pisces, which, obviously, explains everything. ;)
What was your favorite halloween costume you ever wore?
Halloween is easily the most important day of the year and I agonize over each costume for months. I work really hard on building each one so it's really hard to say. They're my babies, y'know?
Some crowd favorites have been Benjamin Franklin-stein, Roadkill, and a marionette. If you have any ideas for me for this year, my anxiety is already building and it isn't even May yet!
Although Black Panther was probably the best super hero movie of all time, I've always had a warm spot for The Tick. I mean, he popularized the Battle Cry of Flatware. Spoon!!!
Tried and true comfort food? Can we get a recipe?
When I was a kid I would make after school, after dinner, and late night sandwiches made of raisins and rye bread. Sometimes, if we had them lying around, I would swap out the raisins for Entenmann's chocolate chip cookies as the meat instead. As you can see, I've been a lifelong devotee to health and wellness.
Remember when you were 13? Try to look past the braces and bad hair. Okay, now, what was your favorite band?
In my defense, my hair at thirteen was definitely not the problem. The braces were rough though, that's true. I know you said favorite (singular) but my tastes were both varied and passionate: Guns & Roses, Nirvana, En Vogue, Indigo Girls, & Boys 2 Men. Favorite song though: Real Love by Mary J Blige. So much truth! She just really understood me, y'know?
What's one thing you wish everyone knew before they got their first massage?
I wish everyone knew the difference between good pain and bad pain. A massage session might be uncomfortable at times, but if you can comfortably breathe through the intensity, that good pain may be helpful in the long run. On the other hand, there is no place for bad pain in massage. It is counter-productive to your health.
If you don't know the difference, here's my rule of thumb: If you need to hold your breath or clench anything at all, it is bad pain. Additionally, if you don't like it, it's bad pain. Only you can decide which is which. Make sure to speak up if we're getting it wrong.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Netflix, baby. These days, Cheers reruns.
What was the last movie you saw in theaters? How many stars would you give it?
Love, Simon. A gajillion million stars. Everyone should see this movie. Especially teenagers and their parents. And people who will one day be parents of teenagers. And people who will one day be teenagers. And people who once were teenagers. I liked this movie a lot.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars. But before you judge, I think that's maybe only because I've never watched any Star Trek. I think if I took the time, I could get really into the Trekkie-verse.
What's your go-to home remedy when you get sick?
Apple cider vinegar at the first sign, absurd amounts of citrus fruits and garlic when I'm trying to fight it off, and homemade chicken soup when I'm useless on the couch and fully in survival mode.
If it were commercially available and affordable, would you travel to the moon?
No way. Uh uh! Thanks anyway.
Are we alone in the universe?
Of course not. But it's a little narcissistic to think any of those other guys care about us or are paying attention, don't you think?