An expert touch

Cecilia Lore

Photo by Howard Hardee

You’re equally as likely to find part-time masseuse Cecilia Lore working at Aubree’s Leather & Lace, a recently opened tattoo parlor and beauty salon near the corner of Fifth and Cherry streets, or out in Bidwell Park treating a passerby to a free chair massage. She has an interesting philosophy: She won’t turn anyone away from a massage, regardless of ability to pay. This is her way of giving back to the community that has shown her so much kindness, she says. As her fingers expertly work the tension from her clients’ backs, she’ll discuss nutrition, exercise and general lifestyle habits she considers vital to leading a healthy, stress-free life. She is available for chair and table massages through Aubree’s. Call 894-1700 for an appointment.

How did you develop your philosophy of not turning anyone away?

I’ve fallen on hard times before. I struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction, and had a family take me in. It made me see how even a small gesture could brighten someone’s day and have a lasting impact.

How does touch affect the people you meet?

There are plenty of adults in our society who don’t get that physical attention that everyone needs; people who shy away from contact. Not to stereotype, but homeless people can often go a long time without receiving that kind of attention. That’s why I think it’s important to give everyone five minutes of my time, even if they don’t have the financial means. The boundaries in our society keep many people from experiencing a “good” touch for long periods of time. It can be so therapeutic to enjoy that physical contact involved in a massage.

Why do you prefer chair massages?

A chair massage allows for specific isolation of muscle groups, and is done through the clothes. Some people hesitate to go for the table massage because that involves getting naked around a stranger, so people in general are more comfortable with the chair massage. Chair massage is typically not a lucrative business, though.

How can we all make a difference?

It’s important for people to look around your daily life and take five minutes where we can make an impact on somebody’s life. Maybe your job isn’t specifically related to helping people, but you can always find five minutes to spread kindness and attention, to interact with somebody you normally wouldn’t and step out of your comfort area. Chico is just the place to do it because people are more receptive to kindness here. If you take five minutes of your time to do that, it can have a big impact on the community.