#61, Have 3 massages, 1/3
I was very taken with Alison Wright’s memoir yesterday. One of the things that I found commendable was the responsible fashion with which she advocated for her own health. She took charge of her own healing– emotional, spiritual, and physical. She pored over her medical records, surrounded herself with doctors who shared her positive point of view, took herself to therapy when she realized she had PTSD, and tried alternative methods of healing, like acupuncture and herbal remedies, to manage her pain.
It’s one thing to be proactive, it’s quite another to do it when you are sick or broken or in pain.
After thinking about Alison’s fine example, I admitted I could do a lot better in this regard. I might start by recognizing that I have a body at all. Next, I thought, maybe I’ll take stock and ask myself how I feel. This is something I actually never do.
Hmmm, come to think of it, I feel pretty tense. I’ve been clenching my jaw and hunching my shoulders. My back feels stiff. Interesting.
I decided to get a massage. With the opening of foot massage places on every block of the valley, it was easy to squeeze in someplace for an hour. I went to a place called Happy Feet. I’ve been there a few times before with pleasing results.
Tonight, I drove up for a 7:00 pm massage. I waited in the lobby for about 2 minutes and then was whisked to a bed by a brusque masseuse. Though it was dark, I could see other people on their beds, with towels over their eyes, extending an arm or a leg or having their feet washed. At one of these inexpensive places, everyone is splayed out in the same room, fully clothed, with the sounds of flowing water coming from a small fountain, and the playing of a delicate flute on CD. It is dark, and surprisingly relaxing.
About 2 minutes into my massage I wondered if I was in trouble. Did I commit some kind of crime? Was I being punished? I like deep tissue massage, but this was more like deep tissue slap and admonish. He kept telling me to relax and to stop holding my breath.
I thought Alison Wright would say something. So I did too. I said, “That’s too much pressure. Less.”
The massage went on for another half hour without incident. He worked out some kinks. But I would not seek out this masseuse again. I knew it was bad when on my way home I considered stopping for a massage to recover from the massage.
I’m on the right track though… I’m listening and breathing and trying to relax.
It’s not Kilimanjaro, but it’s something.
315 days to go!