Story by John Giordani
THE TREATMENT: Sarga Bodywork | Lumeria Maui | 1813 Baldwin Avenue, Makawao | 808-579-8877 | LumeriaMaui.com
WHAT IT INCLUDES: Slow and detailed manipulation of myofascial tissue applied through the skilled feet of a highly trained therapist. My own highly trained therapist, Vicki Sorenson, studied Sarga on O‘ahu with Jivatma Massaguer and Daniel Tsukayama, who developed the technique in 2016.
Fabric straps attached to the underside of the massage table provide stability while allowing the therapist to deliver controlled tension and gravitational pressure through her feet for precise muscle-stress relief. “Myofascial” refers to the connective tissue that is found throughout the human body. It’s what weaves through our muscles and extends to connect to our bones and joints. The combination of those bare feet and the slippery massage lotion on my back conjured precarious scenarios in my mind. But Vicki eased my concern by explaining that the unscented cream—a proprietary mixture of organic coconut oil and Hawaiian beeswax—provides just the right amount of friction through its high viscosity.
BEST FOR: People with large and thick body types, who enjoy deep massage, will find this treatment perfect for easing tension, because feet, which provide greater coverage, and fabric straps that manage the pressure, combine to effectively dig into massive muscle areas. Athletes and other active people will likely welcome the relief of this new and innovative deep-tissue technique. After a laborious weekend of yard work, I especially enjoyed the way the treatment felt on the tight muscles in my arms and hands.
THE PERKS: The treatment takes place in a small room whose large, open glass door allows natural light to filter in. The screen door lets the trade winds and natural outdoor sounds contribute to an enveloping sensory experience. A full shoulder and neck massage at the end felt like a bonus after the comprehensive bodywork.
MEMORABLE MOMENT: I’ve had a good number of spa treatments over the years, including barefoot techniques, but this one is by far the most memorable in terms of muscle activation. The long strokes applied from my shoulder to the back of my knee had my leg muscles tingling as if they were hooked up to one of those electro-stimulation machines used in sports therapies. The same sensations pulsed through my forearms until they felt so heavy and relaxed, it was almost as though they weren’t there. At other times, under the pressure of Vicki’s footwork, I found myself breathing in such a forceful yet controlled way that I sounded as though I were in a Lamaze childbirth-training class. It was the first time I could not sit up after a massage treatment, which I can only attribute to my muscle fatigue being erased in a wonderfully relaxed way.
THE COST: 60 minutes, $160 | 90 minutes, $220 | 120 minutes, $310