Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hurts so good

Picture this:

You are spending the day at a beautiful resort with about ten other women. Your children and your coneheaded, post-surgical dog are in the capable hands of others. You have just enjoyed a couple of drinks with lunch, and a couple more after-lunch drinks in the Jacuzzi outside of a suite that is bigger than your entire house and much, much nicer.
You walk over to the spa and marvel at the tranquil d├ęcor, soft surfaces, earthy music, jasmine infused drinking water, and cloud-soft lounge chairs by the sparkling pool. You choose a cucumber citrus scent, then drop your big fluffy white robe and pressure point slippers to slide between the warm, crisp, heavy white sheets of the massage table. Joy is your technician, she seems to really like you! She starts rubbing your back and neck and shoulders, then reminds you to breathe deeply if it gets to be too much. Wait…. what? Oh yes, you’ve signed on for the deep tissue massage.
You peek through the slits of your leisure laden eyelids to see Joy’s croc swinging from the table when she hops up to sit next to you for better torque. Why yes, that is her elbow burrowing between your vertebrae! Do. Not. Clench. Buttcheeks. You asked for this. Breathe.
Who knew that the Lamaze you learned way back before your two c-sections would actually come in handy some day? Try not to gasp, it’s tacky.
After a while, you relax into it. You know as well as I do that tensing up will only make it worse. We’re here for a reason, you and I. There is deep, dark stress buried within that upper back, and we need to make a dent. Revel in the pointed pressure, visualize the rubber band’s release.
At some point, Joy rolls you over and puts cucumbers on your eyes, covering both with a hot washcloth. This is indescribably wonderful and you want to keep it there forever. But it falls off when your shoulder is being relocated and set to bend in the opposite direction.
It hurts. But mama mia, it feels so good.
By the end of the hour, you are a pile of jelly. Each of your nerve endings has stepped out onto your back and is waving a little white flag. You acutely feel that one knot that holds your biggest stress, it is toward the top of your left shoulder blade. It is angry. It has been warned.
Jiggle back into your robe and slippers, profess your undying love for Joy and give her an embarrassingly large tip for the experience. Find your friends. Gush about Joy. Have a cocktail, discover the bliss of the roman shower on your beaten bones.
Two days later, you might notice that you can still feel your shirt more than you might generally have expected, what with those exposed back nerves and all. But also take note of the invigoration, the detoxifying sweat, the post traumatic burst of self motivation. Make another appointment, Joy misses you.


Ellie said...

Wow, sounds absolutely, um, painful. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Great post, Jacquie. I can practically smell the cucumber.

Pickles and Dimes said...

Nice! I've been waffling about whether or not I should splurge for a massage on my week off, and this inspired me to make the appointment. Thanks! (Although I will be getting a more gentler version.) :)

Beth said...

You're a brave one, Jacquie. But are you sure you want a second encoutnter with Joy? Just think how far she'd take it after your embarrassingly large tip...

xup said...

Is Joy her real name?? 'Cuz that would be cool. Joy the massage therapist. Like Dr. Payne the dentist

Vered - MomGrind said...

I had deep tissue massage for the first time in Napa a few weeks ago. I totally get it. :)

Anonymous said...

How dare you write something like this while I am spending week number TWO, flat out in the recliner after having thrown my back out. Are you some kind of sadist? (note to Joy: Pummel her until she squeals....she tips more when she is in giant pain.)

Kat said...

The last time I got a massage at a spa I was so relaxed that I almost forgot to pay on the way out. That was some good stuff.

foolery said...

Joy is lucky she got you and not me. I am extremely ticklish and tend to karate chop people who try to touch me. No, I don't know karate, so it comes out like cage fighting. I might have hacked poor Joy to death.

jenboglass said...

How can I meet Joy? I now must make an appointment of my own!