Monday, June 11, 2007

Confessions of a Massage Junkie

I love a good massage. I love the feeling of complete relaxation as someone else works out the knots and tangles of my stressed muscles. I love it so much that I usually don’t say anything when the masseuse muscles an elbow a little too hard into my back. I have a high tolerance to pain that battles with my love of massage.

I used to go to a hair salon that touted a neck massage as one of their services after the shampoo. Sheer bliss. The man that I saw had those wonderfully strong fingers that slowly rubbed out all the tension. One time as his fingers were working their magic, he inadvertently put me in a strangling headlock with his other arm. I didn’t say a word to make sure he would continue massaging my neck. The preposterous notion of a grown woman sitting there being choked to death just for a 2 minute neck massage finally got the better of me and I started laughing…between sucking breathes of air in as he lightened his hold on my neck.

I came to work today with a “hitch in my giddyup”, as my Mom used to say. My job for the last 100 years (it feels that way) has been sitting at a desk working on the computer. The only thing that moves in this job is my lower half, which is spreading like butter on toast due to the fact that I don’t get up enough so my body parts are conforming to the chair seat. At least that’s how it feels. I think I’ll probably die in an atrophied position at my keyboard. I hope someone notices my sad demise.

I did some yard work Saturday, which as we all know, is a killer to muscles that only know white collar exercise…which would be typing fast. What was I thinking hoisting those bags of dirt and flinging gallon pots of hydrangeas? My Midwest farmer roots came out and took hold I guess. The smell of dirt is spiritual and puts me in some out-of-body (or out of my mind) condition that overrides any doubt about my physical ability to stoop, reach, hoist, and dig for 8 hours.

I also planted lots of seeds in little pots, which I realized after the fact that I had not labeled. My farmer ancestors are shaking their collective planting almanac heads wondering where the fruit of their loins got her brains. I guess I’ll have a “mystery” garden where the carrots will just have to grow along side the delphiniums. Or maybe they’re sweet peas.

There is a grocery store across the street from my work that has a small room with a chair massage service. That’s California for you. If you don’t live in a neighborhood with a grocery store that provides such a service, you are probably rolling your eyes at the very thought of a massage along side the fruits and vegetable department.

Now you know I went there at lunch. The masseuse elbowed and ground his fingers into my tense muscles. “How’s the pressure?” he asked. “Oh, you can ease up on the lower back,” I replied, hoping the dent he was putting into my hip wouldn’t last very long.

Although my back felt moderately better after the massage, I’ve noticed that since I haven’t moved out of my chair for the past 3 hours, my legs do not work as well as they used to. I guess sitting in one position for hours at a time tends to stiffen things up a bit. Maybe I should go back to the grocery store for a good massage and some spinach.

The thing about a kink in your back is that you can limp in the door making sad moaning sounds and your husband will suggest either he cook, or he goes to get take-out food. Score. If you look really pathetic, with a touch of silent suffering (because you’d never want him to know the full extent of your pain because you’re a caring cookie who sure wouldn’t want to be a burden to anyone) you might even get him to rub your achy spots and give you a kiss for good measure. Double Score! Hey…whatever it takes for another massage!

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