Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Massage Therapy: Medicinal Maintenance

When I think of all the times in the past few years I have disrobed for someone other than my husband, I might blush at the thought.  Now, before you go making an assumption that I’m using this forum as a confessional, let me clarify that my disrobing was to get a massage – the legitimate kind! 

I can’t recall when I had my first full-body massage but I know that after that amazing experience, I was hooked for life. 
Yesterday I had one at Massage Envy and after repeatedly refusing to sign up for the monthly deal, I gave in.  It’s always been my belief that the world would be a much happier, peaceful, and calmer place if massages were part of every person’s monthly regime. 

I suppose there are some people who just couldn’t do it; take their clothes off (the therapists leave the room while you do this until you slip under the sheets) and allow someone, sometimes a member of the opposite sex, to touch their bodies.  It occurred to me yesterday during my session that it really is an odd scene, having a man that’s not my spouse have such intimate access to my body, but I kept telling myself that it as necessary for my well-being as my yearly OB/GYN exams. 

As my grandmother used to say, “It’s for medicinal purposes.”  She was talking about the flavored brandies she kept in her bedroom closet, only to be produced and consumed when she had one of her headaches, but the same applies with my massages.  Sure, sometimes I want one just to relax, but since a car accident in 2008 and the many hours I sit in front of a computer, massaging the knots out of my upper back and neck is the only way I can function. 
The reason I gave in to the monthly sessions is that a new “situation” has cropped up, one that I want to avoid a repeat of at all costs (including the price of the monthly massage!).

I took on a new, part-time “fun” job.  I am ushering at the newly minted SmithCenter.  I took the job for a couple of reasons: one – I get to see the shows when I’m stationed inside the theater (Broadway plays, ballet, jazz, and more!), and two – it is good for me to be in a real work environment, among peers and meeting new people.  Working from home is a lonely endeavor.  The problem is, all those years of computer work and desk sitting did not prepare me for the long hours (sometimes 6) standing in place and on solid marble at times.  My lower back joined the upper in telling me I was out of shape, at least for this kind of work.  It started out as leg soreness, went into back spasms and turned into a pinched sciatic nerve.  Ouch!  No kidding, other than giving birth I don’t think I’d ever felt this kind of pain. 

I’m on the mend.  At the urging of my big brother, Dominic, I got pain medication and muscle relaxers to help when needed.  A chiropractor helps with adjustments and The Amazing Jay, my new best friend (massage therapist) eases all the pain away with his gentle (sometimes not so much) touch. 

The one thing most disconcerting about all this is I realize the aging process is taking its toll and these numerous professionals are going to be a continual part of my routine, that is if I am committed to taking care of myself and living a long, healthy, and mobile life for many more years to come. 

I guess it can be called Medicinal Maintenance; sounds better than elder care, right?


Maria Mohan said...

Massage is a very big deal here in India where I live. It is especially good for maintaining the health of elderly people for whom exercise is difficult.

Just Stuff From a Boomer said...

I have only had one full body massage and thought it was heaven. I can see, with my aches and pains, it would be a great therapy too. I'll have to look into it. Thanks for the reminder.

Quentin Edberg said...

I think my mom would prefer medical maintenance over elder care too. Just like her and you, I love indulging in monthly massage therapies that are both therapeutic and enjoyable. Who wouldn’t want a natural painkiller that not just loosens muscle tightness but also reduces stress?

Quentin Edberg