Friday, February 25, 2011

I've never had a professional massage before today.
To tell the truth, I wasn't sure what to expect.
Therapeutic massage is a huge business these days but I think when most people hear the word massage, they immediately think of something naughty.
I did. For about a second.
But this massage was a gift from a very dear friend and I knew it was going to be okay. I do have to say that the massage therapist did look a lot like the older priest in The Exorcist. That could either be a good thing or a bad thing. After all, the older priest does kick the Devil's ass in the movie, but he dies in the end.
The massage therapist's office was decorated with the typical posters of the human body and other kind of Zen artwork you might expect to see in acupuncturist's office. I guess it's all about setting a mood and the mood in this room was the 'take off your clothes and get on this table so I can rub you all over.'
What? No dinner or drinks first?
The room where the long table was located was dimly lit and there was the kind of new-age music playing you would expect. You know the type of music I'm talking about. Lots of chimes and birds chirping and the sound of waterfalls, which is maddening because if you don't take the suggestion to use the bathroom before the massage, you wind up listening to falling water for the next 90 minutes.
The massage I was a scheduled for today was a full body massage with hot stones. Okay. I'm game. What do I do?
Strip down to whatever I feel comfortable stripping down to? Sure. I can do that. I'm not a prude. Plus, I wore my fire engine undies today. And they were clean!
Now lay face up on that long table? I can do that. So far so good.
I wasn't bothered by the fact that I was about to receive a massage from a man. And believe me, I had done some serious pondering on the subject.
Male massage therapist or female massage therapist?
It's a tough call.
There's all that touching and hot oils and close contact and Yanni music in the background. It's a weird dilemma to find yourself in. I can't begin to think what would be going through a woman's mind, but I can tell you, as a man, what was going through mine.
"Dear Lord. Please don't let me get an erection."
I'm sure it happens. It's only natural. It's just a response. And let me tell you, in case you don't know, sometimes Mr. Happy has a mind all his own and will decide to make an appearance-or not-and there's nothing you can do about it.
I was not about to let that happen. I haven't had an uncontrolled erection since I slid down that rope in gym class and it wasn't going to happen while I was being rubbed down with oil by the dead priest from The Exorcist.
The massage therapist, I'll just call him Jerry from this point on, asked me several times if I was okay, stating that I was awfully quiet.
Of course I'm quiet Jerry! I'm focused. Really, really focused right now. Trust me, Jerry. You'll be glad I did in the end.
Well. That last sentence was phrased so badly.
So for 90 minutes Jerry rubbed me with oiled hands and hot stones. It felt good. Really, really good. No. Not that good. But as bad as I have felt in the last year, it did feel good.
The only awkward moment during the whole session came about as I was lying on my stomach.
Don't get ahead of me, Dear Reader.
Jerry had been massaging my legs and at one point asked "Would you like me to massage your glutes?"
Glutes, just in case you aren't familiar with the term, are the muscles in your butt...your bottom...your posterior.
"Massage my glutes?" I heard my brain repeat.
Now, I do not consider myself a homophobe. I have many gay friends. None of whom have ever asked me the question "Can I massage your glutes?" however.
I told Jerry 'no.' My glutes are fine.
Probably not the smoothest of lines, but it wasn't a lie. My glutes were fine. Are fine...moving on!
Besides, the last person to rub oil on my butt was my mom. I was 2 and I remember it made me happy. Jerry is not my mom and I wasn't looking to prevent diaper rash today. So, No, Jerry, you may not massage my glutes today if you're okay with that.
I think Jerry understand. I can't imagine there's a large population of people who immediately jump on the whole 'rub my butt with oil' train.
Once again, a sentence that probably could have been worded a little better.
90 minutes goes fast when you are laying in a dark room listening to new age music and being rubbed by hot stones and before I knew it Jerry was slapping my ass and telling me to hit the road.
I'm kidding!
The very soft-spoken man simply said that he was done, he would leave the room (and turn off the video camera...I'm kidding again!) while I dressed and for me to come out when I was ready.
He told me to take it easy when I stood up, stating that some people get a little light-headed when the massage is over. I steadied myself, did one last check for any peep-holes I might have missed from my initial inspection of the avocado green walls and ceiling tiles, and dressed.
Then Jerry and I shook hands (What no hugs? After what we've just been through together? Oh Jerry.)
And then I was gone. Out into the brilliant sunlight. A little looser and a lot more oily than when I had gone in.
I don't know how I will feel tomorrow. I have been warned to drink a lot of water because deep massage breaks up the toxins in your body and some people actually get sick after their session.
I will drink lots of water today and pray that I will be able to walk tomorrow.
And I will remember Jerry fondly. Just not as fondly as if I had allowed him to rub my butt.

And that's Jody with a "y"
All Right Reserved

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