My back went out again. What strenuous activity? Bending to pick up dirty clothes off the bathroom floor. Just great. I am thrilled as I rejoice in my youthful vigor and this wonderful adventure called middle aging.
So yesterday I went for a deep tissue massage. Which, for those of you who have not had the pleasure, is not a relaxing, feel-good massage. It's a dig down deep and loosen up the muscle fascia type massage. AKA,
holy fucking shit it hurts.
I chose this video because it's the closest I could find to the music selection playing in the background while the masseuse
pounded pulverized probed my muscles and I held on to the table for dear life relaxed into it. The singer chanted an encrypted message that only I could decipher, "owwwww... owwwwwwwww... owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww."
Eventually the masseuse found what she was looking for: a hard, tough, unyielding muscle around my butt/hip area.
She asked how I felt about acupuncture. "Oh, I don't know. I've never had it." I thought she was just asking in general.
Turns out she is an acupuncturist. Wow. My lucky day. Grinding my muscles down to a fine powdery pulp isn't torture enough. I need pins stuck in me, too.
So I told her to "go for it" and she
stuck me in the butt inserted a needle into my gluteus minimus. Then she continued to work on the other side of me while the acupuncture did it's thing.
I felt a mere prickle when it entered my skin. Then when it reached the muscle, I felt a dull, slight pain. She eased it up and for the duration I could not feel it at all. I felt nothing when she removed it. So all in all, a comfortable experience. How's that for contradiction?
Only one needle but that's all it takes to pop the acupuncture cherry. In my book, anyway. So yeah, acupuncture virgin no more. This small-town-girl turned large-size-Texas-city-slicker goes all ancient eastern medicine, like.
Chest bowed, I
crawled strutted out of the torture chamber building, proud of my newly pin-cushioned self. Is it obvious? Could people see the change? The only witnesses to my devirginzed status were two street repair workers holding up a "SLOW" sign. Yes, I think they detected my aura of transformation. Their lingering glances betrayed subtle expressions of admiration and envy.
Brave new world.
The massage did hurt but all the while a deep seated feeling of wellbeing took over me. Comfort in knowing that someone with expert hands was exploring my muscles, searching for the origin of my pain. I felt a sense of relief at my core, for those 90 minutes, and a feeling of hope that she would deliver the magic touch that would return healthy functioning to my body.
I wondered, as I lie there
writhing in pain feeling her hands move across my skin, how big a part of the healing process this was. This letting go, believing, feeling relieved and taken care of. Psychologists might call this placebo.
Did the massage plus acupuncture help? Only
massive quantities of ibuprofen time will tell.
So how about you? Ever subjected yourself to deep tissue massage? Acupuncture? Did it help?