Sometimes I can be a real jerk — very stubborn and closed-minded. I have a “chronic” back ache below my left shoulder and decided it was time to persue some relief. As my friends know, I am not huge into medicine and doctors… So, I decided to give Massage Therapy ad try.
A couple of years ago I gave Lisa a gift that included a 1-hour massage session and she seemed to enjoy it and benefit from the experience. I have never really, until now, decided to give it a try myself. But yesterday seemed like the right day to give it a go.
My appointment was for 3:45PM and at 2PM or so I started to get a bit anxious about it — strongly considering cancelling but compelled by my pain to follow-through. So, I told myself to get over my fear of the upcoming experience and “Just Do It” — Nike style.
Lisa and I got the diaper bag ready and headed out to the Chiropractic clinic where the massage theripist works. When we arrived I was asked to fill out some paperwork — which included asking for my personal info (name, address, etc) along with some “medical” questions… Was I tired, stressed… Did I suffer from any diagnosed diseases, etc… I filled it out and waited (with Lisa and Beeber) for a little bit when the lady came out and said she was ready for me. Ugh… I instantly had the feeling of regret. Now, I know a theraputic massage for most people would be a relaxing experience they would look forward to — but for me, this was the same as being called into the dentists chair. I was really having strong second (or third) thoughts.
So, I follow the lady back into a dimly lit room. In the room was a massage table, some candles and oils, and a clock-radio which was playing some “relaxing” music. There was also what I would call a “Chinese Curtian”… Nothing Chinese about it really, just a little area to change. The massuse (is that spelled right?) told me to go behind the curtain and remove my clothing down to my underwear. umm…
Clearly she saw the expression on my face and added “you can kee your shorts on if you’re more comfortable”. I took a second and told her “I really prefer leave everything on”. She seemed a bit thrown by the request (this can’t be the first time someone wanted to leave their shirt on!?) and said that I can do whatever I am comfortable with but that some of the massage uses oils/lotions and that it would be harder for her to feel the muscle strain and work the muscles with my shirt (actually shirts) on. I said that I would be ok — not a big fan of oily stuff being rubbed into my skin anyhow.
After a little discussion of my pain I laid face-down in the massage table and the massage began. She started massaging my shoulders and immediately asked “are you wearing another shirt under this shirt?” (which I thought was obvious)… I told her I was and she expressed that it was going to be very difficult to give a good massage through two shirts because they would keep moving. Me, getting more anxious, just stated “oh, ok”… I wasn’t about to remove any shirts — I had intentionally put the 2nd shirt on as it is kind-of a security blanket for me.
Anyway, I glanced at the clock at this time and it was 3:47 – about 1 minute since the start of the massage. The massuse (seriously — is that right!?) suggested I keep my head down and relax — relax my arms, etc. She began to massage me again — my shoulders, my upper back… As this point it seemed like I was in there FOREVER and I started to get worried about Lisa and the Beebs. Were they ok in the waiting room? Was he driving mommy crazy — gettting into everything? I looked at the clock 3:49… Ugh. Only two minutes had gone by and I was really ready to get out of there!
She continued… I was a bit amazed when she finds a point on my back and says “this muscle is really tight” — yes, she was RIGHT on the spot of my pain. She started massaging the area below my left shoulder and it did feel like the pain was being “worked-out”. I looked again at the clock… 3:50. ONE MINUTE! Time has stopped!
She once again very nicely reminded me that picking up my head to look at the clock is putting stress on my neck and that I should focus on relaxing. At this point I felt the need to get up and stretch. She says ok and I get up — ugh, 3:51… At this point I tell her “I’m good” and she looks a bit puzzled. I tell her I’ve had enough and am ready to go. She says she will not charge me for the full 30-minutes because “You only had about 5 minutes of massage”.
I felt badly and told her I didn’t mind paying full since it was my choice — she just gave me a total (much discounted) and we were done. Yea!
Here is the “I’m a jerk” part… I didn’t really think about it at the time, but she is a Massage Theripist. Being her career, I am sure that she, like everyone else, likes to feel/know that they did a good job. I think I should have at least said something to let her know that it was just my personal issues — I am sure she was a fine MT.
I imagine it was like someone leaving in the middle of your show and that never feels good. Once again, Lisa was right. She KNEW I was going to have a problem and not want to take my shirt off and then not be able to relax for a massage. She pleaded with me before the massage to go with what I was told and not to “act like yourself”. Like the time the doctor told me to take the stress test and I said “I am NOT drinking a radioactive solution – sorry!”. Anyhow… So, I feel a bit badly about the whole thing. Not to mention that my back still hurts — and, when I thought about it in hindsight (dang hindsight!) the massage was actually helping the pain. Ugh! I wish I wasn’t such a jerk some times.
But at least I made another blog post. That is like 3 in a month — a record for me I am sure.
P.S. Thank you Lisa for putting up with all my “quirks”. I love you sooo much!