We Loved: Tailor Made Massage
His technique is equal parts physical therapy, pampering, and preventive medicine. Found weak spots and warned me to watch out for them before they became painfulhe studied physical therapy in his native Poland before learning massagewhile simultaneously helping me drift into blissful sleep. A.A.
We Loved: Cabernet Scrub
Three years out of massage school but with intuitive handsperhaps because she practices on colleagues blindfolded as a way of "internalizing the process." Says massage is a calling she's had since childhood. A perfectionist: "I can't stand to leave the treatment room if the client's body is not completely aligned." G.W.
We Loved: custom massage
Has been immersed in Taoism and Eastern medicine since 1992, has studied with a chiropractor, and is a reiki master. Learned massage in 2002 to treat her daughter's scoliosis. Works a muscle, then allows it to rest before circling back to work the fascia more deeply. The result is intensely therapeutic and deeply relaxing. A.B.
Grand Del Mar, CA
We Loved: shiatsu-acupressure massage
The resort's go-to guy for these two modalities. Says becoming a therapist was "a spiritual journey," an understatement considering he started in finance (credit and collections). His strong mind-body orientation brought him to California"the scene is more holistic"and is the reason he learned hypnotherapy. G.W.
Mandarin Oriental, Singapore
We Loved: Oriental Massage
A case of practicality turning into passion. Became a therapist five years ago after a friend told her "spas are booming." Since then, she says, "I learned to love it." It's apparent. Like a great conductor, she's in control from the downbeat, creating a sweeping harmony of pressure and fluidity. G.W.
We Loved: Two-Hour Time Ritual
A healing polymath. Learned seven massage modalities (plus colon hydrotherapy, skin care, and reiki) in seven years. She's strong and soulful, and her intense marma-point work (the Ayurvedic rendition of acupressure) left me feeling balanced top to toe. M.G.
Blancaneaux Lodge, Belize
We Loved: Thai massage
A virtuoso from Bangkok's Oriental hotel, where he worked for five years after learning Thai massage at that city's Wat Po temple. Works silently with deep concentration. Says he tries to meditate and be in tune with the guest. Delivered a delicious spine-crackling massageand sensed just how much intensity I could take. A.A.
Inn at Thorn Hill, NH
We Loved: Revive Spa Therapy
Creates custom treatments from a "strong gut sense" and 20 years' experience performing body-, energy, and breath work. Her seemingly clairvoyant method is profoundly healing both physicallyshe got me up and running after a back injuryand emotionally. M.G.