words by DANIELLE RANSOMBeauty

For as long as I can remember, working out has not been for me. So I found an alternative that makes me feel like I have done something just as good for my body.

I’m just going to put it out there: I hate working out. I quit pilates in less than a week, leaving me stuck with gym charges. As a matter of fact, I can’t even remember the last time I had a consistent workout schedule or a gym membership.

I’m lucky I found a career that requires me to be on my feet and not sitting at a desk all day. This means I get in just enough cardio that translates to a ‘workout.’ At least, that’s how I’m counting it. However, on returning from a fashion shoot abroad recently, I could feel unusual tensions in my back. So, I called a recommended massage therapist (Michael Levenson) to work out the knots.

I initially thought I just needed my back stretched out. But after Michael twisted me up like a pretzel, my body felt much more limber and relaxed. Mentally, I felt even better. I’m usually balancing answering emails, taking phone calls, meeting with clients and planning outfits while trying not to get a migraine from all the stress. It’s nice that I get the full range of self-care mixed with physical health benefits.

I can schedule in a massage whenever it suits: during lunch, before work, after work, or on the weekend. Whenever Michael is free and I have the time, I just give him a call. I try to get him to come to the house - for convenience (yes, it’s a little bougie, but all in the name of good personal health!).

Michael doesn’t come in with a set game plan. He takes his time to see how I’m feeling in the moment. A session may start with him kneading knots out of my back or a deep breathing exercise to center myself at the moment. His Thai massage - my personal favorite - works the muscles to release the tensions I’m holding, and surprisingly, it calms the mind at the same time. Does this count as exercise?

Michael combines a little bit of everything, from Swedish, British, and Thai teachings to medical practicalities because, in his words, “If I don’t get it right on the first attempt then I’m glad I have more options in my bag of tricks to find the balance that the body is asking for.”

I couldn’t tell you heads from tail about how any of his techniques work. But, its what’s been working for me and I’ve yet to be disappointed.

Contact Michael at :

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