Life Matters

My annual massage


After several exhausting weeks of work and family activities, I excitedly made my way to the spa for my annual massage, finally using that gift certificate Christmas gift. Once in the quiet massage room, I removed most of my clothing, climbed under the warmed blanket and maneuvered myself face down in the donut face rest. Ahhhh….just being in that position was relaxing. The room was dimly lit by a seashell shaped lamp, and a gentle piano solo played in the background. The soothing, repetitious music helped me to relax and clear my mind.

My reverie was soon interrupted by the massage therapist who quietly tiptoed into the room and introduced herself. She showed me that the timer was set for 60 minutes, making sure I knew that each and every minute would be devoted to my massage. She began work right away on stretching my tight back muscles.  She used the right amount of pressure so that it hurt a little at first due to the tightness, but then began to feel good as the muscles loosened up. Just as relaxation from the massage was beginning to envelope me, a sudden itch on the tip of my nose became a distraction. I tried to ignore it, but my irritation only increased.  How does one scratch an itch while face down in a donut? My arms, so comfortably up by my side, were relaxed in place and did not feel like moving.  I wiggled my nose as hard as I could, hoping to scare the itch away, but it still lingered. (It seems that contrary to rabbit behavior, I cannot actually wiggle my nose at all!) I then tried to get the itch with my tongue, reaching it out as far as possible, but, alas, my tongue was too short. As the time for my massage was ticking away, I again tried to ignore it, hoping it would just go away.  That not only didn’t work, but also seemed to make it prickle stronger. Exasperated, I forced my comfortable arm into the uncomfortable position of reaching up under the donut to scratch the irritation so I could get on to fully enjoying the massage.

By now, the massage therapist had worked her way up to my shoulders and neck, and my body started to melt. Then she did something shocking, she began scratching my head; scratching my head. Back and forth, up and down, all around. Cringing, I imagined that my hairdo now looked like the proverbial hornet’s nest, which would have annoyed me except it felt soooooo good! No wonder why cats rub against us to be scratched.  My ears were the next victim of her lithe hands, which felt a little weird as no one before has ever massaged my ears. She started with rubbing my ear lobes gently. Then it felt a lot weirder when she stuck her index fingers right into my hearing canals! I have never before had the inside of my ear massaged and was fearful that her finger would emerge covered in earwax. Fortunately this fear was groundless.

After I got over my ear agitation, she headed south to my legs, repeatedly stretching the aching muscles until relaxation set in. Then it was down to my toes, where she massaged each and every one, even the miniscule pinkie ones, which caused me to giggle. By the end, my toes were so loosey goosey that they could almost function as useful additional appendages, able to grasp onto tree branches or peel bananas a la monkey.

By now, the repetitive nature of the piano solo was starting to annoy me. Throw in a little violin, cello or flute to mix it up a little for Pete's sake! Alas, the massage was over. I was sufficiently relaxed and almost slid off the table, wobbly in my relaxed legs making it difficult to get dressed. It was at that point that I noticed that there was no mirror in which to observe my new hairdo. Raising my hands to my head, the porcupine-like spikes were discombobulated. Without a comb or brush, I tried to use my fingers to comb it, but to no avail. I boldly walked out of the room, imagining that everyone was looking at my rat’s nest hair and trying not to giggle. I was so relaxed I didn't even care!

Now I can't wait until next year's massage. 


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