Massage Therapy with Florence Bannout

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Florence
Deep tissue massage
Florence
Deep tissue massage

Editor’s Note: Florence is no longer living and practicing in Medellín. 

Last November, finding a solution to my chronic lower back pain was starting to feel hopeless. Every morning, I’d wake up feeling twice my age, and it was taking its toll on my mood, anxiety, energy levels and attitude toward physical activity.

By chance, I noticed a fellow expat’s recommendation on Facebook for massages by Florence Bannout. He specifically stated she was worth seeing for lower back pain, so I didn’t hesitate to set up my first appointment.

My experiences with the therapeutic benefits of professional massages began during a trip to Costa Rica in 2005.

In the town of La Fortuna, under the shadow of an active volcano, I’d gone to a spa for a volcanic stone massage. The experience was wonderful, and it led to a connection in my mind between travel, massage therapy and spa services in general.

Since then, I’ve made it a point to try local forms of massage in many of the countries I’ve visited: aromatherapy massage in Indonesia, Thai massage in Thailand, Shiatsu massage in Japan, Tibetan massage in India, and fire cupping in China.

Florence's healing hands
Healing hands

Florence (aka Flo), a California native new to Medellín, was aware of my reason for booking the 90-minute massage.

When I showed up to my initial appointment at her first Poblado location, she greeted me warmly, and surprised me with an offer to spend an extra 30 minutes working on me at no added cost, due to a promotion she was running at the time.

During those 120 minutes on the massage table, we had the chance to talk as she began to release decades of tension that had built up in my body. I can safely say I felt a fair deal of pain, but I sucked it up, trusting that it was a good sign.

For all the massages I’ve experienced over the years, none would match what she was doing to me. Unlike most massage therapists I’ve seen, Florence’s technique isn’t simply focused on one art of massage.

Over the years, she’s learned to mix and match various styles of massage such as Thai Massage, Acupressure, Deep Tissue, Posture Correction, Deep Fascia, Trigger Point and Reiki. With her, you can experience it all in a single session.

When I asked her about the origin of this approach, she said it was the result of a year spent in recovery following a motorcycle accident. She was all too familiar with back pain and what it took to get rid of it.

During the long process of physical rehab, she was keenly aware of which techniques and strategies offered her the most benefit and relief. These form the basis for her own practice today.

It’s her knowledge of physiology that inspired confidence in me to continue seeking her services. I was due to leave Medellin for Christmas and a 6-week trip through Central America, so I squeezed in four more 90-minute massages before leaving Colombia for the year.

Florence's office
Florence’s office

It can be as hard to pinpoint the origins of chronic back pain as it is to find solutions.

During my two months away from Colombia, my back began to feel better. I realized my mattress was the main culprit, and replaced it within a nicer one when I got back earlier this year.

The lower back pain I felt daily for over a year is now gone, but I’ve continued to schedule regular 90-minute massages with Florence. They were always about more than trying to alleviate the lower back pain. They were an effort to release the stress of daily life, and tension that regularly builds up in one’s body over time.

Florence currently sees clients at Medellín Origen Crossfit Gym, located at Calle 10D #30A-135 Edificio Eden; Castropol in Poblado (a few minutes from Parque Lleras).

Her office features a massage table, and enough room for her to work on clients from all angles. A large window with a view toward the gym’s swimming pool allows plenty of natural light.

She creates a relaxing ambience with the use of small candles, and soothing music. Occasionally I’ll be there during an afternoon thunderstorm, which fits perfectly as well.

I brought back a small bottle of organic coconut oil from my recent trip to Nicaragua, which she’s happy to use, in addition to her own oils and lotions.

Florence works with a wide range of clients, from office workers and entrepreneurs sitting at computers for eight or more hours a day to triathletes and top athletes training for competitions. And as any backpacker or traveler can attest, a good massage can be both therapeutic, and a welcome treat after months on the road.

Types of Massage

  • Deep Tissue
  • Deep Fascia
  • Trigger Point
  • Posture Correction
  • Reiki
  • Thai Massage

Rates for In-Office Massages

  • 80,000 pesos ($40) for 60-minute massages
  • 100,000 pesos ($50) for 90-minute massages

Packages Deals for In-Office Massages (Paid up front)

  • Pay for five 60-minute massages, and the cost per each drops to 70,000 pesos ($35). Total: 350,000 COP
  • Pay for five 90-minute massages, and the cost drops to 90,000 pesos ($45). Total: 450,000 COP

House Calls

  • 200,000 COP ($100) plus the cost of travel, which is to say the cost of the taxi to and from your desired massage location.

Special Situations

Couples Massage: Private massage sessions that teach couples how to work on each other. Great for gifts and anniversaries.

Office Corral: Group massage session for office employees. Hire Florence for the day and she will come in a work on everyone in the office. Up to 8 to 10 people in one day. Completely changes the work environment.

Mortality Massage: A type of massage given to those who are within a few weeks or a few hours of passing. Supporting clients in passing in a deep relaxed stated physically and mentally.

For all specialty massages, call for detailed descriptions and rates.

Editor’s Note: Florence is no longer living and practicing in Medellín. 

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All photos courtesy of Florence Bannout.

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