Saturday 27 May 2017

The message of the massage

Rubbing and drubbing
For years, I have endured and suffered a niggling pain in my right shoulder blade, it has not been too uncomfortable, but I only had to swing my arm in a certain way to feel that sudden stab of pain that made you either gasp or groan.
However, recently, my waking moments have had that pain arrest my attention that no amount of posturing and stretching alleviated, I was beginning to accept it as a norm.
Last night, I decided to do something about it and I went online searching for locations offering deep tissue massages, but after reading up a bit about it and conjuring in my mind the idea that a 'no-hands massage' meant I could be both be elbowed and kneed in certain delicate places, I decided on the more common Swedish massage.
That muscle from another
I have had massages before, but I was more interested in the professional angle of things rather than those that purported to offer a happy ending. I settled on one that offered sports massages called My Sports Injury with the view they’ll probably know more about muscles and what to do.
Making an early appointment for 8:30 AM and paying through PayPal, I made for the clinic and met up with Ray, the therapist who was outside and probably waiting for me. Friendly and nice, he introduced himself and took me into the basement gym that had the therapy rooms.
I filled in a few forms about my health and regions where I was having muscular pain, the particular muscle I was told was the rhomboid muscles that connect up to the upper end of the vertebral column.
Stripping down to my underwear with my socks kept on, I lay face down on the massage table and as he moved my arms, I felt that stab of pain again, he provided some additional support for my arms and began to rub and knead my muscles.
Pins and needles
In our earlier consultation, he talked about acupuncture and I related an experience when I accompanied a friend to see his acupuncturist. Each needle being tapped into his back was exaggerated in my mind as a re-enactment of the crucifixion, big crooked nails being hammered into flesh with humongous mallets. That impression kept me off accessing this ancient Chinese therapy for my muscle pains.
He worked my shoulders down to my lower back before he suggested acupuncture to ease the tension in my upper back, he assured me it would not be painful. Meanwhile, he had also done some deep tissue massage that did not involve being kneed or elbowed, I was beginning to trust him.
So, I let him put in the first needle, a bit of a tinge, but no pain, and before I knew it there were 6 needles in my upper back. Then working on my lower back, he tapped in another few needles into my back and at final count, there were 16 needles in my body. All the while, we were talking about life experiences and how to approach issues, he was a listening and interested therapist.
Cups and mats
I had pictures taken of the needles because being subjected to the acupuncture therapy has never been something I would have considered ever, and here I was the literal semblance of a voodoo doll, only that I was both the doll and the target. Working down to my legs, he introduced suction cups to my calves before removing the needles, offering a final rubdown and then a few exercises on a floor mat.
One must always be open to new experiences and this was both relaxing and rejuvenating, Ray was a consummate professional with an easy and persuasively encouraging bedside manner that eased me into situations I would never have countenanced. I’ll be back for another session, a massage done by those who know what they are doing, is good. The message in the massage is, muscle, shape up.

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