Friday, May 28, 2010

Massage Therapy - Isn't That Just For Women?

I totally take advantage of our community college's massage therapy program. See, it simple: in order to receive their license, the upcoming graduates need to clock so many hours of clinical massage. But, until they are licenced, they can't receive money for their services. So, this means that during this interim time when they're clocking their hours but aren't yet certified they are free game for super-cheap massages. They offer clinics where you pay $25 to the college (for materials and supplies) and get an awesome massage. Since they've just learned everything they're typically very eager to try new things and are very responsive and interactive. I love it.

Laying there last night I recounted my first, and very embarrassing, trip to the massage clinic. Because, really, it wouldn't be me if something didn't go as planned:

I was turned on to the massage clinic by a friend when I injured my psoas muscle. That's the one deep in your hip that flexes when you lift your leg. It's connected to your lower back (lumbar) and runs through your hip to your quad muscle. At the peak of my injury I could not move forward because I couldn't lift my leg. I could only crab-walk until it healed. Five weeks of alternating chiropractor and physical therapy visits landed me mostly healed and relying heavily on massage therapy. This meant getting VERY up-close and personal with my physical therapist who, thank God, was a woman. Seriously. Watching someone massage the psoas ligament is kinda like watching a dirty movie. If you didn't know what was going on you would think it was inappropriate. Digging around like that in some one's crotch isn't normal behavior. Neither is having to go in the back room and strip to your underwear to see the physical therapist. But, I digress.....  Had I not been in tears from the pain I was experiencing someone might have thought it wasn't therapy.

But massage? Sounded wonderful. The clinic is held at the community college in their massage lab - pretty much a large room with hospital curtains dividing up smaller, private areas with tables for massage. I sat with the other six people and signed my release papers while we waited for the massagers to fetch us. After completing my laundry list of "torn psoas muscle requiring chiropractics and physical therapy", followed by "my physical therapist recommending massage to compliment healing" and pretty much detailing that fact that me and this masseuse were going to be getting up-close-and-personal, the practitioners entered. And I nearly died.

There were six seemingly plain college-age girls, any of which would have made the perfect masseuse, and one rather handsome young blond guy. Now, some may think its a dream to have some hot, young college guy massage them. But, really? Come on. I immediately began to regret my decision to have a massage and before I could exit stage left Theron (yes, I still remember his name) called me to his massage table. Oh damn. What were the odds? One in seven? And the one that needs her crotch massaged gets the dude? How embarrassing. So, we began to detail my injury and rehabilitation schedule and then he politely informed me "he'd see what he could do." Great. I could have died. But, he was so professional. And should I see him today I would thank him for that.

But, no. There's more. After I "disrobed to my comfort level (how does one get a massage in their jeans and coat?)" and "started face down between the sheets" we got into the meat of the massage - starting with my back. With my face crammed down on the hemorrhoid-pillow-thingy it was difficult to respond to his constant questioning, "Is that painful?" "How's the pressure?" "Is it tender here?" "Do you have any numbness anywhere?".

Now, remember, we're all in one room separated by curtains. And I can hear the other massagers asking the same questions.

And, it was this fateful question when things really went downhill. "How's the pressure?"

To which I replied, "Good, but you can use more pressure." With my face in the pillow it sounded more like, "id, can't you rasher?" because he said, "Excuse me? What was that?"......and that's when I lifted my head, turned it and said (a little to loudly), "I said 'Can you do it harder?'"

And at that very moment I knew it was bad. Really bad. Too much, too loud, very, very, bad. The others heard and they stopped talking, then started snickering because, really?, had we really just heard the girl who needed her crotch massaged say to the only guy in the place "Do it harder?" Really?

And, surprisingly, I couldn't relax for any part of my hour long torture session. And, he went nowhere near my psoas. Thank god.

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