CHB Interviews: Helen Lim, Massage Therapist

IMG_0490 I've been having a few very rough weeks at work, leading to sleepless nights and sore back muscles.  When I heard that a neighbor certified in massage therapy had an at-home massage service, I jumped at the chance and invited her to come by.

Helen showed up on the dot, toting a giant padded bag containing a portable massage table (when set up, it was just as sturdy and comfy as a table at a spa).  She set up in my bedroom and, after asking me what was bothering me (pinchy neck, tight shoulders), proceeded to give me one of the most intuitive massages ever.  What could be better than having the massage come to you after a long day at work?

Being that Helen is a CH resident, I couldn't resist asking her some questions about massage, as well as her background and experiences in the neighborhood.

1. How long have you lived in the neighborhood?  What brought you here?

I have been living in Clinton Hill since 2005 with a small break in California for about 9 months.  I am a native New Yorker so I have always been here.  I have lived in Astoria, Greenpoint, Williamsburg and now Clinton Hill. It has been my favorite place to live so far and I hope to stay. 2. How did you become a massage therapist?  What did you do before this?

I went to an accredited school called the Swedish Institute and received an associate's in occupational studies.  Before that I was working at a music venue called N6.  Massage therapy is my first career where as many people who enter the profession do it as a second or third.

3. Tell us about some of the benefits of massage.  How can regular massage be helpful? The benefits depend on what the client needs.  The overall benefit is stress reduction.  Regular massage is a great way to prevent injuries, heal a recent injury quicker or to manage a chronic condition.  I recommend a certain amount of sessions based on the client's needs.

4. You're currently doing house calls.  What does a client need to do to prep for a visit?

Not much. Just make sure there is enough space for a massage table. If the client wants to have music, set that up.  Its really up to them.  I bring sheets and the oil.

5. You'll be opening a home office for massage appointments in August. Did you have to set your place up creatively to accommodate for your business?

I haven't set the home office up yet but I am imagining that I will need to be creative in setting up something professional in my home. I want it to remain warm and inviting but feel like you are still coming to a place of professionalism.

6. What kind of massage do you?  How does that compare to the massages classically offered at a spa?(shiatsu, deep tissue, hot stone, sports, etc)

The massages offered at a spa are parallel to what I offer.  I do deep-tissue, swedish, shiatsu, pre-natal.  I just do these services in the comfort of the person's home as of now.  when I have the home office, I will offer the same services but all these treatments are geared to be therapeutic as opposed to a "luxurious treat" which spas tend to offer more of that.  Spas are a once every year or twice at most.  I would really like people to think about incorporating massage as a monthly regimen.  The results are amazing when you are consistent with it.  I guess that goes for anything that is good for you.

7. What is your favorite place to hang out in the neighborhood?

I have to say I find myself dropping dollars at Choice Greene these days.  The sandwiches are heavenly and the nice back yard space makes for a serene lunch break.  The ladies at Sweet Revenge are awesome and I like to grab a cocktail from time to time. 8. What's the one thing (if any) you feel the neighborhood is missing?

A korean restaurant!  I love the food of my people and if I didn't have to go to Queens to get it, more power to the nabe.  I am sure other people would agree, right? [Ed. YES!  Great idea!]

9. Atlantic Yards: Yay or Ney?

I say ney for a few reasons.  I don't think all the promises that have been made by the developers and the city to give the people they are goingto displace a home is true.  I actually went to ask questions about this project a few years back to the councilman in prospect heights and he advocated all the jobs it would create to first help build it and then to run and maintain it.  I do think that more jobs would be positive.The traffic would be horrible as it already is pretty congested on Atlantic ave.  It seems like a very complicated thing.

10. If you were a flavor of ice cream, what would you be and why? Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup. I won't hand over all the goods of me at first.  You need to work and dig to find the rewards; as it should be.  And when you do, you'll be glad you did.

(Want to try out your own massage at home?  Email her for pricing and appointments at helen.massage-at-gmail-dot-com.)