Three weeks ago, my upper back got really tight. Painfully tight. I couldn’t roll over at night without waking up from the pain, and I physically couldn’t turn right. I called it the Zoolander Syndrome.
In the midst of my troubles, a physical therapist friend recommended that I get a therapeutic massage. She recommended someone, and I set up an appointment. Unfortunately, the closest appointment I could get was two and a half weeks later.
During that time, my back got better. Until, that is, a week ago when I sprained my lower back (which had been compensating for my upper back)…with a sneeze. Yep, a sneeze. I am officially ancient.
So I had plenty of muscles for the masseuse to work on last Friday. She did a great job targeting the tension by probing pressure points between my joints and muscles, deep tissue rubbing, and some new thing with hot, smooth stones lathered in massage oil. For the rest of the day I felt like a walking s’more thanks to all the cocoa butter on my skin, and my back soon felt much better.
What’s interesting to me–and why I’m bringing this topic up here–is that the massage was by no means enjoyable. It was downright painful. She really dug into my back, shoulder, and arms. I trusted that she knew what she was doing in terms of therapeutic massage, and I was right–like I said, I feel much better.
But it wasn’t a relaxing massage. Not at all.
So I’m curious–have you ever gotten a massage? Some people even get them regularly. When you get them, what do you ask for? Are you there to relax or to have a specific problem solved like I did? Do you communicate with the masseuse or just let them do their thing? Do you prefer a masseuse of your gender, or do you not care? (Mine was female, and I can’t say I would be particularly comfortable with a male masseuse, even though I know that it’s in no way sexual.) Do you keep your underwear on or take everything off? (Obviously I was naked.)