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Aromatherapy massage transforms pains to sheer bliss

By: Yuriko Shimosato

Date Posted: 2005-07-29

A non-stop headache was driving me crazy, I was tired.

Tired of swallowing dozens of prescribed pills, I wanted some real solutions. As I told my friend, she said “You’re missing the boat. You want to be cured? Try an aromatherapy massage.” With a throbbing temple, I decided it was worth a try.

It worked! Until I was ready to leave the Secret Garden, I was not convinced it would work, but I was pleasantly surprised it did.

Secret Garden is an aromatherapy massage parlor catering strictly to women who want real relaxation and relief from psychosomatic ailments such as headaches, insomnia and other pains triggered by stresses of daily life. As I entered, I was met by owner Ms. Miyuki Izena. She is both a practitioner and instructor certified by the Japan Aromatherapy Association, and she immediately put me at ease.

Asking “Have you ever tried aromatherapy?” as she led me into a waiting room filled with the pleasant scents of essential oils, I said “no” and she smiled. After an explanation of what aromatherapy is, and how it works, she asked about my conditions. It was, she told me, essential to know exactly how I was feeling so she could apply appropriate treatment. The recommendation after the talk was a one hour Full Body course, performed at a nominal Y5,000.
As I lay on the therapy bed in the massage room, she began massaging my feet with blended essential oils, moving slowly upward in a treatment that made the pains and headache literally begin fading away. Somehow, Ms. Izena ‘knew’ exactly what my aching body needed.

Ms. Izena, who speaks English, told me her “aromatherapy massages are designed to reduce stress, improve circulation, ease tensions and sore muscles and ultimately strip away my horrible tension headache” I’d been suffering with for far too long. She said it would rejuvenate and energize my body, and she was right.

Her prediction that “you’ll feel your entire body warm up from the inside” was absolutely correct. And that, she says, is what makes aromatherapy different from other forms of massage.

The privacy and individual attention are what makes Secret Garden special, too. It is for women only, so I felt even more comfortable letting myself relax. It was wonderful. With the headache gone, I was able to think, and asked about other services available. Secret Garden offers several:
A facial and Upper body massage of the head, neck, arms and shoulders lasts 50 minutes and costs Y4,000. A 40-minute full legs and feet massage is only Y3,000. A 40-minutes massage of the back, hips and shoulders is also Y3,000, and there’s a super aromatherapy session that takes two hours and costs Y8,000. That is a full aroma facial and full body combination massage.

As I arrived home, my curiousity couldn’t wait any longer. I had to know exactly what the official definition of aromatherapy was. The answer: Frequently categorized as “alternative medicine”, aromatherapy is an innocuous therapeutic massage that employs essential oils extracted from fruis, leaves, woods, resins, stems, and flowers of plants and trees in a way that can improve emotional, physical and mental health. These essential oils are typically blended with other oils to create different “recipes” for different emotional or physical affects, or used individually, and massaged into the body.

The Secret Garden is located in Okinawa City, in the Awase Area near Toys r Us, 5-19-1 Takahara. You can make an appointment by calling 098-934-1318, or by email at secretgarden@tontonme.ne.jp.

Driving is easy.

From KAB Gate 2:

Drive straight through the Goya intersection. Continue going straight in the direction of Sam’s By-The-Sea restaurant located in Awase area. After passing through Takahara intersection crossing with R329, turn right at the second traffic light. In seconds, you will see a green banner for Secret Garden, attached to an apartment balcony on the 2F, on the right hand side.

From Camp Foster’s Legion Gate:

Driver straight past R330, and continue driving downhill until you reach R329. Then turn left at the Toguchi intersection. Turn right at the corner of the McDonald’s. Drive straight and turn left at the intersection where Toys’R Us and Co-op Awase are located at the corner on the other side. Drive straight two blocks ahead. Then look for the ‘Secret Garden’ sign on the left hand side. Detailed map & more info available at www.rest-n-relax.com

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