This past Friday I finally had the opportunity to use a gift card for a massage I've had for a while. I love to get massages, but to be honest, cause that's how I am, I am kind of a freak when it comes to them. I'll explain...
To be sure, I absolutely LOVE massages. I think they should be packaged nicely in our health insurance, because the benefits physically, mentally, psychologically are just undeniable. I FEEL better after one, I am calmer, my body doesn't ache, and I do believe in their healing benefits. But like I said, I'm kind of a freak about them.
So my appointment was at 2:00 on Friday. I went to the hospital where they are located and made sure I went to the bathroom (not once, but TWICE-hey when you've had six babies all weighing 8-9 pounds each- you'll know EXACTLY what I'm talking about)and signed in. Once you sign in, you fill out a sheet talking about your points of discomfort, sensitivity issues, etc. Of course, as always, I try to be very sweet when I explain how if they touch my feet, or anywhere in the vicinity of my feet, I can not be held responsible for my actions. Meaning, if I kick the crap out of your face, because I swear it's a total involuntary reaction to anyone coming within a few feet of my feet, you can not sue me!!!!
Slightly off subject, I had a masseuse once ask if he could do a really deep tissue rub on them if I would give it a shot- needless to say, he was in training and I believe learned a valuable lesson that day.....
So when you sign in and fill out the paper work, the massage therapist takes you to the room where there is this really awesome bed (that is HEATED!!!) and you are supposed to get naked. Yes, naked.
I know you all know my fears of nakedness. Again, even having six babies and having an audience of friends and a PRIEST at the last birth, I have a serious fear of people seeing my nakedness. I'm fairly certain it's because of multiple reasons, one being a fabulous low self body image issue I've blogged about before, but also because I'm tall, skinny, have a road map on my stomach that has skin that no matter how many sit ups I do will NEVER regain it's elasticity (yes, I can "tuck it in my pants"), and certain other body parts that will remain nameless, but let's just say that they both have fed and nourished six babies for a total of six years + (yes, I am still breastfeeding once a day) and not only do the poor little fellas look like tiny baby blue bird eggs dropped in a sock, but the exterior part of them would give women in Africa featured on National Geographic a run for their money. Seriously. Have you ever tried to disguise something like that? Thankfully Target now sells a sports bra that won't break my bank account that takes care of those unsightly "headlight" issues...
I'm digressing, and probably being a slight bit disgusting, but I'm just keeping it real for you. Especially those who think the grass is greener over here. It's green alright, but, well, I'll stop before I really stoop any lower..... :)
So there I am, once again, in my freakishly nervous way, getting undressed. Now, you can leave your underwear on- I've done it both ways- but to be honest, a butt massage actually is phenomenal because you KNOW when you're back is tight, and therefore all the muscles down to your shins are tight? That butt muscle, which is huge, no matter who you are, actually feels so dag gone good after a massage-but this massage therapist doesn't really give a butt massage. (I've had one, so don't knock it til you've tried it....)
I just reread the last two paragraphs and honestly, I can totally see why I don't have many friends.....ahhhhh....I'll continue....
I debate for a second about where to "hide" my bra once I take it off. Women, aren't we hilarious? I mean seriously. It's the same when I have my yearly exam with my OBGYN and with my every six month exams with my dermatologist. (dang, I get naked a lot for people). I strategically place all my clothing so it appears I don't wear a bra ever. Or underwear, too. I'm so embarrassed that someone might see it, I actually stuff it down my pant leg, which makes getting dressed even more fun.
Anyway, I get undressed like I only have about 30 seconds to be completely under the covers and by the time I'm finished I'm breathing like I ran a marathon. Seriously, I have some issues. I know. At least I'm aware of them.
Then my next debate arises. Do I keep my arms out of the covers, or under the covers? Good-ness. Does anyone else on God's green earth worry about the crap I do? I was actually cracking myself up when I settled on under the covers because the therapist had not turned the bed on yet, so it wasn't quite as warm as it could be.
The massage starts and my trip to Heaven begins as I slowly begin to be lulled into an almost catatonic state. I even warn the therapist every time I go that if I snore, please nudge me, because I'm fairly certain in the almost 15 years I've been pregnant, had kids, nursed, I have maybe gotten about 4 years of sleep total? That seems like a lot, so it might even be 3 years of sleep.
This time however, I get a tickle in my throat. It was like the gods were against me having a relaxing time where I didn't have to think about kids, diapers, menus, bills, groceries or life, but hahahahahaha- crazy red head, you're going to get a tickle and the hour of relaxation is going to turn into a disaster. You know when you get a tickle, how you start swallowing like your life depended on it? Oh yes, that was going on, but I swear, every time she massaged a certain spot on my neck, the tickle got worse. Finally after about 10 minutes of coughing, gagging, drinking water (which frightened me into believing after about 10 more minutes I would have to pee), my therapist felt so sorry for me, she gave me one of her personal throat drops and tried to tell me it's ok, lots of people are dealing with dry air and tickles. She earned her tip that day....
The tickle subsided, and we moved onto my back. Have you ever tried to flip over, half asleep, almost completely naked, under a sheet? Not that I have anything "flopping out" but the idea that this therapist may see me naked, once again, freaked me out. I think if I would just calm down, and flip over softly and in a controlled manner, I wouldn't look like a whale that marine biologists are trying to heave back into the ocean. The sheet gets caught on one of my goofy lanky legs and I nearly dump the entire sheet on the floor!!! God help me!!
At least I can laugh at myself as I made some comment about awkwardness, and feeling like a giraffe, still growing into my body. She laughed, but I'm certain her concerns for my sanity (or shall we say, insanity) were affirmed at that moment. But I didn't care. We were going on to my back and that is where my stress places itself so heavily. My shoulders, because I hold my shoulders up like I'm in a perpetual position like my kids saying "I don't know," and my shoulder blades and lower back. Every one of those places I can point to the exact spots where all my lactic acid is built up creating these "knots" that at times, can feel like huge tumors! I remember the first time I got a massage, the therapist was shocked at how tight and hard these knots were and I believe earned every penny that day once finished with me. She was so worried about me, she made me drink 10 glasses of water before I left because she thought all that lactic acid was going to be reeking havoc on my system!! (ok, maybe it was 5 glasses, but it was a lot and I was sore!!!!)
My hour was up before I realized it and once again I was left in the room. I love how they say, "take your time getting up." Because if there was a hidden camera in there, they would see me lying there, watching the clock, and after about 15 seconds, I jump up, and start throwing my clothes back on faster then they came off. I know, I might need counseling. Don't think that hasn't been suggested..... ;)
I did something a little more daring this time before I left though. Instead of saying the usual, "man, I should really do this more often," and make a mental note to call in a few months and forget until someone gives me a gift certificate as a gift, I made my next appointment!!! I of course, told my husband that this could be my Mother's Day gift (he's always asking for ideas) so at the end of April I will be heading back for another round of a freakishly delightful massage.
I hope if anything, I've encouraged you to get a massage. They really are amazing. If not, and I've left you scarred, well, if you've read my blogs before, I always say, I warned ya.... I am what I am and that's as real as it gets.
Blessings to you~