Belly Rub


I’m so not a massage person—I’ve always dropped my mind/body money on external fixes—but my prenatal rubdown with therapist Jessie Bernstein at the pleasant, pastel-accented Healing Path location in Timonium immediately feels more natural than I was, well, expecting. “It’s important to remember your needs at a time when your entire body’s doing so much work to support new life,” Jessie tells me angelically. I nod. As I’m currently six months pregnant with twins, my hip pain and carpal tunnel throbbing worsen by the week. “Bring on the healing,” I tell my nearly naked self, as I straddle a body pillow tucked strategically to aid my circulation.

WHAT TOUCHES ME: Jessie sinks her small hands into my shoulder blades, hips, ribs (these with permission) without force, more an intuitive warmth. “I won’t touch your belly,” she says. “I consider that a sacred zone.” Agreed—if not sacred, it’s sensitive and definitely not up for grabs. I notice the twins swim and kick a lot throughout the day. But it’s funny: During the massage we’re all zoned out, still and sweet. It’s almost like my blooming pregnancy got sent to the baby sitter. I hate the expression, but it’s the first me time I’ve experienced in weeks.

Maybe I’ll sign up the twins for Jessie’s infant massage workshop. “It helps the colic, sleep, constipation,” Healing Path owner Marie Gallagher tells me later. “Boosts the baby’s immune system; provides a great bedtime/bath ritual. You’ll always remember it—and they’ll remember the scent.”

By the time my session’s done, Jessie has to rouse me: “Hello?” I’d honestly forgot she was there. For $85 an hour, I could get used to this.

GETTING MY GROOVE OFF: The luxurious oil Jessie applies liberally is an adjustment for me. When I leave, she leaves it in place. I’ve been loosened up, yeah, but also lubed up…

LOCATION, LOCATION: Marie just relocated her Fed Hill branch to a more user-friendly (parking-realistic) setting on Charles Street. A new Fells Point location is due in June—featuring fun retail, like those awesome Unwined Candles made in Sykesville and our favorite Tyanna Foundation T-shirts reading “Save the Girls” (hint: that means boobs).


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