The GGA Project -- Day #204 "Spot Hit"

A few months ago I was asking around for masseuse references.  My job has me on my feet all day and is just a carpal tunnel syndrome/ergonomic nightmare ticking time bomb.  I'd never experienced a professional massage but felt the time was right to look into it.

A few of my friends recommended Massage Envy (which is a chain with locations all over the country), and I was planning to go there.  It's definitely on the more affordable end of the massage spectrum, and it seemed convenient to go to a well-established place that has made the whole process pretty simple.

What luck that for my birthday, my friend Dave gave me a gift certificate to that very place!  And it seemed the perfect day to make use of it in

Today's New Activity: Professional Massage

I think one of the things that kept me from getting a massage in the past was simple misconception. Growing up I feel like any images of massage I saw in the media were highly sexualized--and the thought of paying a stranger to touch me was not very appealing.  And massage can certainly have a sexual element to it, but it doesn't have to.  I recognize now that it makes sense to go see somebody who does this for a living...whose whole job it is to relieve people of pain and help them relax.

I originally made the appointment with a woman named Christine.  Then, an hour before my massage somebody called to ask if I'd mind if they switched masseuses.  I made an appointment for the last hour before closing, the day before a holiday--I imagine there was some cashing in on favors happening or sick calls coming in.  I'd now be working with Louis, if I didn't mind.

I pondered this for only a half second before agreeing.  While I'm resistant to the idea of seeing male doctors these days, for some reason the idea of a male masseuse did not make me flinch.  And I think that is partially because of the very comforting message on Massage Envy's website regarding privacy and professionalism, which of course I'd read ahead of time.

I have to say the waiting room experience was a little strange.  They offered me access to something called the "quiet room," a combination of words I'd never heard in reference to adults.  The receptionist had to repeat it three times and I think they thought there was something wrong with me.  I also had to fill out a questionnaire and report whether I was comfortable with massage in the following areas: gluteal, pectoral, abdominal, feet.  I stated at all of those Yes/No boxes for some time before deciding.  It seemed odd to mark yes to some and not others, with the exception of feet.

Anyway, it wasn't a long, drawn out thing, and Louis came to get me right on time.

I wanted him to focus primarily on my back and shoulders because of the above-stated, job-related achy tightness.  He did so, and it was wonderful.  It was probably the fastest-passing hour I've ever lived.  Which is such a bummer.  I could definitely see how/why people make a point of getting regular massages, but even at Massage Envy's relatively affordable prices, regular massage is still out of my budget at the moment.  Still, it was a wonderfully relaxing experience (once I finally relaxed that is....it was surprising how difficult that was to actually do...which I think might have to do with the newness of getting a massage from a stranger).

Thank you Dave!

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