Saturday, September 24, 2011

Massage a little too touchy feely?

Us Brits are not touchy, feely types of people, we are far too stoic to have people hug us or touch us. When I first came to the USA I was shocked by all the people that I hardly know wanting to give me a hug. As they leaned in towards me my brain was thinking "aaaaghhhhhhh they are touching me and what if I have BO" or even worse "they have BO".

I had my first massage when I was 35. The thought of having someone put their hands on me when I had no control made me feel way too uncomfortable. But being pregnant and having awful sciatica, I decided to give it a go and anyway some very good friends bought me a pre-natal massage. I remember feeling really nervous about it, I walked into the most gorgeous little tucked away Day Spa and filled out my forms. They directed me to the lounge for my cucumber water or tea and "Jamie" came to greet me. She took me to this dark little room which smelt like lavender and had calming music playing into the room.

After discussing what was going on with my back Jamie told me I could get undressed and get onto the bed and under the blanket. She disappeared out of the room to give me some privacy. That was when I started to have that age old debate with the other woman inside my head. "Am I supposed to be completely naked"? The sane part of me said "yes" and the insane part of me said "no I can just take my bra off and leave my pants on", (not trousers for you Americans). This debate with myself went on for far too long and all of a sudden I could hear Jaime coming back. I jumped under those covers as fast as a 6 month pregnant woman could and pretended I had been lying there for ever - with my underwear on. Seriously what was I thinking? I have to say that first massage was just OK partly because it took me at least half an hour to relax and anytime her hands got near my sciatic nerve I was pretty much jumping off the table.

Fast forward almost 7 years. These days I would do anything to get a massage. I whip my underwear off and jump under that blanket so quickly that my brain doesn't have a moment to debate. That's what happens when you have 2 kids, a lot of your prudishness goes out the window and the thought of doing something for me that is actually relaxing is just the icing on the cake. Yesterday I went for my first massage over the last 2 years. What is it about massage, when you have those knots that need to be worked out and it kinda hurts as they knead them but its also kind of good? I still see Jaime, she's got to hear what has happened over the last 7 years, I know about her dog, her other job and she has had to listen to my stories of births and life as a mother. For me now, if I could I would have a massage every day. If I ever become rich and famous I would forgo the huge house and thousands of money spent on clothes if I could get a massage every day. My new point of view is "Sod the Brit thing and bring on the touchy feely therapists!"


Kate Coveny Hood said...

You're funny. I'm American but always joke that (based on the British spouses of friends) I would have made a much better Brit.

I'm not a hugger - and generally avoid touching body parts with others - barring the standard handshake.

And I HATE massage. I know everyone loves it - but I feel like I'm being manhandled.

I'm okay with facials I guess I don't mind having my face manhandled?

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Jeana Richard-Online PhD Schools said...

A massage after a week of pressure and stress would be an ultimate treat for me! Whew! It would feel really awesome unwinding after a heavy week, right? After all we deserve it! Anyway, I really enjoyed your blog post. Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences. Stay in good shape always and god bless!

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