Registered Massage Therapy at Rosewater Spa

I remember the Rosewater Spa’s first official day of business vividly. It was nineteen years ago, and the culmination of so much hard work was a sophisticated oasis ready to open its doors to the beautiful town of Oakville. Only one thing that had not fallen into place by the time I turned the key that first day: I had not yet hired a massage therapist.

My search for staff had been exhaustive. I had done plenty of research and visited all of the top massage schools in the area; a multitude of massages by students and professionals had taught me exactly the kind of person I was looking for, as well as the skillset they must possess. I also knew the sort of standard I wanted to set with Rosewater and the experience I wanted my clients to have. So far, no candidates had met the mark—but for me, compromise was not an option. And so, with time, running out, I opened the doors and kept looking.

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My search had taught me some important lessons about the criteria I valued. At one school I visited, for instance, the man who would be performing my massage walked into the room and my first thought was that his physical stature was unbelievable; he was built like Charles Atlas. Personally, I love a good, deep massage, which requires strength, and so my expectations based on that first impression were high.

We shook hands. His handshake was surprisingly limp, which took me aback. The massage that followed was equally underwhelming. He applied minimal pressure throughout, which left me feeling as though my muscles hadn’t received the deep work they required. I walked away determined to find a massage therapist who understood the power of intensive treatment, who could provide thorough muscular care just as easily as a relaxing experience.

It was two weeks after opening the doors of Rosewater that I had an interview with another candidate. She was the size of a minute; if she turned sideways, she would have disappeared. My heart sank. Would this interview be yet another waste of time?

She looked me in the eye. She was warm and genuine, and her demeanour told me that she was happy to be there. And the minute I shook her hand, I knew. It was perhaps the firmest handshake I had ever encountered—full of confidence and assured strength. She was walking proof of the lesson of my search: physical strength comes in many forms.

I hired her on the spot.

Fast forward to 2019, and we currently have eight massage therapists on staff here at Rosewater. I’m proud of the team I’ve assembled. It can be immensely hard to find the right employees these days, especially given the fact that so many training schools mistakenly give spas a bad reputation. Again and again I encounter students who graduate with the belief that spas are beneath their healing hands, who choose instead to seek out work in clinics. However, the great thing about Rosewater is that our clientele is varied; I would say that between 50–60% of our client base is dealing with medical issues, whereas others are simply looking for a relaxing experience. This wide range means that our massage therapists are highly versatile.

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While most clinics these days tend to offer just deep tissue and Swedish massages, Rosewater strives to offer more choices to suit very different needs. Our hot stone therapy uses heated basalt stones (a form of volcanic rock) to loosen tight muscles and make it easier for our massage therapists to offer deep treatment. Our Thalassotherapy massage, which we recommend for clients with arthritis and chronic pain, uses an organic seaweed known as Seaflora. This gel, which is mixed with our massage lotion, contains essential vitamins and minerals which the body absorbs. The goal of Thalassotherapy is to detoxify the body while relaxing sore muscles, decreasing inflammation, and improving circulation.

Other options here at Rosewater include Swedish, Aromatherapy, Reflexology, and Deep Tissue. We are also happy to offer a Pre-Natal massage, which is performed with a pregnancy pillow to make expectant mothers as comfortable as possible. All of our massages come with a complimentary steam, which we can’t recommend highly enough; a trip to our steam room before the service warms the muscle tissues and allows our massage therapists deeper access to problematic areas.

Rosewater is also proud to offer a VIP suite, where couples can receive their massages side-by-side near a cozy fireplace. Adjacent to this room is a beautiful private grotto, its subterranean walls comprised of stone pebbles. This space functions as a eucalyptus steam room, which not only prepares the body for massage, but also creates a soothing, earthy environment in which to relax.

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Most of our massages are provided in either 50-minute or 80-minute sessions, and it’s remarkable how many of our returning customers opt for 80 minutes.

My favourite part of this job is working the front desk and cashing out clients. The change from when they walk through the door to when they leave is palpable; after their massages, they are visibly happy and relaxed. Witnessing that satisfaction and knowing that we’ve made a difference in our clients’ lives—whether we’ve improved their physical mobility, provided relief from chronic pain, or improved their mental outlook—is the most rewarding aspect of this line of work.

As the last days of summer see us transitioning back to the routines and changing weather of autumn, now is the perfect time to show those muscles some tender attention, and my incomparable staff of massage therapists will be happy to help.

Liz Belford