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I originally made the appointment with a woman named Christine.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!