The Massage & Me: a true story of pain & ohhh…

I’ve spent the past week trying to learn (or re-learn) too many varying things. A week ago it was Jiu Jitsu, which was interesting and I’ll definitely do again…when my muscles stop hurting in places I don’t remember having. Then I tried Kickboxing a couple of days ago, and had a TON of fun, but again, the hurting, the hurting when I woke up the next day. I knew I was in bad shape when, after all that, re-learning yoga yesterday made me feel some strain.

2afd2e4237a9948ab8d7f3592dca5d7aYOGA! Of all things, it was yoga that clinched it, and I barely exerted myself…or so I thought. Well, my balance and my flexibility have always sucked, and I figured it’d be the best way to get back on track. Add a regular gym cardio machine and weight lifting regimen and I should be on my way to a healthier me…if only my damned muscles would keep up.

So, when I woke up at 4:30 a.m. with a springy sharpness in my shoulder, I knew it was time to see somebody, at least one of the nice people at the massage parlor. I hate that feeling when your shoulder to neck is all bound up like it’s wrapped in rubber bands, and it doesn’t matter which way you move it’s bad all around.

The place I go is for a simple clothes-on massage…which is never so simple with a crapified shoulder like mine. No matter how good I feel afterward, or how long I go, the results are something like this:

Ah, nice cushion to put my face on, light blanket over the back. The fingers start at smoothing my hair aside and then go right for my neck.

The neck near always feels good at the start, then goes downward toward the spine and out again. Those fingers start to dig, and the little tense fibers feel like lumps being smoothed out. It’s a bit harsh, but I can feel it working.

2-superman-1-252x300Oh, CRAP! The lumps become marbles–wait, is she actually digging marbles into my skin? No, just using her ELBOWS this time…I hope. And.






She hit the spot.

But it doesn’t end there. No. The upper back and shoulders are such an interwoven pattern of muscles layered upon muscles, so many layers to go–


That spot where I can never reach. Never with IcyHot or nothing! Gah!

Please-please-please-please hit it again. I’ll be your best friend. No, don’t go–


(At this point, usually one of them will ask me “Okay?” Well, the spot they hit is dying to a dull roar, I’m in slight agony and probably can’t move–but all I can say is “Mm-hmm” in my most pleasant, affirmative hum possible. Then, it resumes)

I must’ve been compensating with that other shoulder, because now THIS one’s tense as hell and oh, here comes those knobby elbows again. Wow!

For variety, they’ll find another smaller sore spot further down where I’d least expect it…and it’l just drift away. The masseuse goes for my legs next, making sure to knead the muscles like bakery bread–and it’s a weird kind of hurt.

Like a tickle-hurt. My nerves never make any sense. It hurts so good and takes a lot out of me not to giggle though the pain is there. Weird.

I just listen to the music, the gentle reedy flutes and nature sounds that happen to be on, not quite enough to meditate to, but it’s strange how you can feel your blood flowing if you’re still long enough, and it’s quiet enough, and all you feel are the hands, the kneading, the chopping-motion to really make the blood flow again.

It’s almost like


Up at the neck, for another round up top. Hit that sore channel between shoulder and spine, swirling upward again.




That is some sharp pain! But don’t stop or else it’ll never go away and I’ll have spent all this money for nothing.

And just when I think that pain’s going to go, they give the other side a mirror treatment and I see the method in the madness (“seeing” comprised of pain-stars in my eyes through REALLY bad knots).

1598842Usually, we repeat all of the above at least once more, with less internal swearing and more contemplating the mysteries of life.

Then, flip over for the frontal treatment, complete with wooziness and pseudo-peace. I’ve never been drunk, but I bet I made a close impression of it this morning when I left. When the ability to move came back, I was glad for the water as I felt the blood rushing around, trying to help me regain my equilibrium. It’s a good thing I remembered my comb, because with my hair and their scalp massage, I’d look like I’d gotten a happy ending on the side.

I nearly fell asleep on the table–guess the pain wore me out pretty good.

At least I’ve got movement in my shoulder, with minimal pain that I can finish knocking out through gentle movement stretching the muscles…worth every penny.

And Icy Hot. And Advil–yeah, that’ll work.

Now, if I can just explain this little financial setback to my budget as a necessary expense without cringing and a wicked migraine, I’ll be fine.

Wait, a possible migraine around the corner?

You know, a massage works great for that…

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