This was my first massage at LaVida. The receptionists were polite and nice on the phone and in person. Although I was really happy and grateful that they were able to get me in super short notice, when a different massage place cancelled on me, I hate to say I wasn't all that impressed when I left. First off, Heather wasn't very personable. I'm not one for small talk so I don't mind if someone isn't super chatty, but I almost got the sense she was annoyed that I was there/was dreading it and just wanted to go home. Maybe that was a misread on my part, but it set the tone with me feeling a little weird. I have gotten many many massages, so I know exactly what I want and (thought) that I knew how to communicate that to whoever is worked on me. When I called I had the option to go with her at 5:15 or wait until 6:30 and go with Josh. I told them I wanted a really deep tissue massage, and asked if one person was known better for providing that. The receptionist told me they were both great at deep tissue. This lead to me expecting a good deep tissue massage from Heather, despite the fact that due to the nature of men usually being better at applying pressure, I often prefer a male for deep tissue massages. When we entered the room I filled Heather in, with detail, about my long-standing upper back/neck/shoulder problems. I told her how I am very much numb/have little feeling (in terms of pressure) in those muscles and when she asked about pressue I told her I like it really hard. Most of the time, the average pressure used on most people I can't even feel. Within the first 5 minutes I requested harder pressure. At that point she was working on my lower back and the pressure she was using was great. But, when she moved up to my shoulders I asked her again to increase it and reiterated that I am, for lack of a better work, numb in those muscles and to feel the kind of release of tension I was looking for I need a lot of pressure. Throughout the rest of the massage I asked at least two more times for her to increase the pressure, each time not really feeling like she did that very much at all. Or, if she did, she went back to what she was doing previously after a few minutes. She used her elbow at points, which was great/more the result I was looking for, so I told her "that was great, feel free to keep doing that and really dig in there" but unfortunately she didn't really do so. In general, if I was looking for a relaxation massage she did a great job, but I wasn't. Given that everyone's bodies are different and you can't really know how one person rates pressure compared to another, I always say to never expect a massage to be great UNLESS you take it upon yourself to tell your massage therapist what you like/communicate with them throughout it, especially if they've never worked with you before. I only place blame on the therapist if you really do your best to communicate what they could do differently with them, and they don't seem to take that and try to work with it. After asking 3-4 times for more pressure, and knowing that more than half of the massage had gone by, I pretty much gave up and decided to try to at least enjoy it as a relaxation massage and dwell on my not being satisfied. I was particularly bummed because I had really been looking forward to a massage, had one booked elsewhere (like I mentioned) and it got cancelled by the therapist, and I was so desperate for some deep tissue relief in my neck (was in a lot of pain/very stiff) that I called 10 places in town until I found LaVida which had an appointment that night. I was pretty annoyed that I spent $60 ($50 newcomer special and I still tipped $10, though kind of regret that) only to leave feeling about the same level of pain and stiffness as when I walked in. I might consider trying another therapist there if they specialized in deep tissue or I heard a good review from a friend, but in general I have been to several other places where I felt my attempt to communicate what I wanted was listened to and applied better, even in the first massage. Going just off of this experience, I wouldn't reccomend this place to a friend who was needing a massage for a problem area/pain relief and not just relaxation. I'm not sure if this was just an off day for Heather or why she didn't seem to want to use the information/requests I gave to her. If this is her general level of performance in a deep tissue massage then I would suggest that maybe you have certain "specialities" that each massuest chooses/is attributed to being good at, and please test that, so that when people call or come in and don't have a specific name reccomendation from a friend they can tell you what kind of massage they want and at the very least you can give them that list and they can pick someone whose speciality aligns with their request.
Kendra is wonderful not only is she a great masseuse she always greets her customers with a smile. The only complaint would be to improve the speaker system. You can barely hear the music in the rooms, huge part of a massage is the atmosphere and music.
Cold lotion was used during my massage, which was very jarring and unexpected. I've never received a professional massage with cold lotion. I didn't even think that would be an issue. The massage itself was great, the staff was great. But the cold lotion turned me off.
I was very disappointed with the massage. The masseuse was very kind and talented, however, I asked for a sports masseuse that could perform deep tissue massage. My masseuse simply did not perform deep tissue massage. I left your facility with much of the same muscle soreness as well as a tender area in my gluteus that felt worse. Having made an appointment for a couple's massage (my wife and I) we requested a sports masseuse and I was apparently assigned, again, a kind and talented masseuse, just not a masseuse that could perform the deep tissue massage that I signed up for.