Nine years ago a reader on the East Coast (thank you, Jen) who is a massage therapist gave me a birthday gift: one free massage from a therapist living here on Puget Sound. Jen had done lots of research and found a woman whose training would be useful for the kinds of problems I have because of MS, and whose temperament might complement mine. Then Jen phoned this massage therapist, Susan Karlsen, and had a long chat—interviewed her, basically. Susan agreed to come out to the house and give me a massage.

Normally, Susan works from her home treatment centre, Luminaries: a charming bright yellow Victorian in Richmond Beach, overlooking Puget Sound. But every week for nearly nine years she’s driven to my house and given me, and sometimes Kelley, a massage.

Susan has been a massage therapist for a long time. She’s developed her own style built on myofascial release and Swedish techniques. I firmly believe she is to a large extent responsible for keeping me mobile.

She has shown both me and Kelley great kindness over the years. This post is basically a giant thank you for all her care and attention. I’m hoping that there’s at least one reader who lives in the Seattle/Shoreline/Richmond Beach/Edmonds area who will immediately email or phone Susan and book an appointment. Or who will give a gift certificate for her services to someone who does live here. Or who will spread the word.

A massage is a fine thing—it can promote healing, relax you, or revitalise you. Treat yourself.