Today was a day for rest and relaxation. I was off work and decided it was time to use a nearly year-old gift certificate for a massage. My wonderful friend Esther gave me this as a bridesmaid’s gift and in two weeks she’ll be celebrating her first wedding anniversary. So if that doesn’t tell you what a procrastinator I am, I don’t know what will.
Let me tell you, I had no idea what I’ve been missing.
I was filled with apprehension because I’m like any other girl and was feeling a bit self-conscious. On the other hand I’m also not one much for touching (heck, I barely hug my own mother who I love dearly and would give my life for). So the idea of having some stranger touching me with funky oils while I’m only half dressed just has never been all that appealing to me.
But I thought to myself, “I really need to use the gift certificate so it’s not wasted.” My friend spent her hard earned money for something she thought I’d enjoy and so I need to just suck it up and go.
So go I did. I got to the spa (oh wow, I never thought I’d visit one of those) and they started me off with a quick questionnaire. Questions about my emergency contact information and medical history filled the page which was not helping my apprehension AT ALL! But it also had a graph where I could circle problem areas to which I experience pain. So I circled my neck since over the last several months I seem to have developed a constant twinge on the lower right side.
I turned in the questionnaire and was introduced to my massage therapist – a very slender, attractive lady which also did not help my apprehension. I was kind of hoping for a chubby, homely looking girl that wouldn’t make me feel so bad about myself. No luck! But she was very nice and put me at ease right away. She went over some of the questionnaire with me, asking me what I did for a living, what my preferences for heat use during the massage were and how much clothing I’d like to leave on. After a few minutes of conversation we then went to her room.
I entered the dark oasis to the sounds of some type of quiet, Asian music played by a pan flute and a decorative water fountain running. I almost laughed because this is just how I’d envisioned this experience. Some hokey music, dim lighting, drizzling sounds of water flowing… but I have to say it is relaxing no matter how you look at it. Besides I suppose this was really to help drown out the noise from the nearby railroad track.
She walked me in, gave me a few instructions and left the room so I could prepare myself.
When she returned, my hour long session started right away, beginning with a relaxing scalp massage. I was very glad she started with that – that I can handle. I had spoken with her about my trepidation with all of this and so she had created a game plan – start small and build up. We had already decided she would only focus on my head, neck, shoulders and back – my feet and legs are entirely too ticklish and I felt that for my first massage I probably wouldn’t relax enough to the point where I didn’t care about that. I mean I didn’t want to kick the poor girl.
Her fingers worked magic… M-A-G-I-C !!!!!!! I tell you, who knew that one little pressure point in your shoulder could send chills all the way to your toes? Sometimes it was a little painful, but the pain was good and paid off 110%. She even rubbed my ears… wow, I will never understand the connection between one’s ears being massaged and the feeling of complete and utter relaxation.
The entire massage happened before I knew it. With only a few small interruptions to move my head, shift my arm or flip over she filled the entire hour before I barely realized it had begun. Next thing I knew, she was telling me to take my time getting up and dressed and she would be downstairs waiting to finish up.
So I dragged myself up and off the table where I first noticed how limber and dazed I felt. I turned my neck from side to side, and guess what… NO PAIN!!!! Those muscles were so loose they weren’t feeling anything…
I got dressed, walked downstairs and found my new hero. She mentioned that my neck and shoulder muscles were very tense. And that it was probably related to my profession of sitting in front of a computer all day. (Note to self: find new profession or invent a new ergonomically correct computer system, or at the very least, take some extra breaks throughout the day and STRETCH). Then she gave me her card and a bottle of water with the disclaimer that I should stay hydrated today.
I left feeling like a new woman. Not in a million years did I ever believe I would enjoy something like that so much. I’m sure when I go back to work on Monday, the muscles will begin to tighten once more and this relaxation will be short lived. But in the meantime, I am enjoying my pain-free neck and looking forward to the possibility of another massage in my future. Thank you Esther for a wonderful gift!