Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Pain in the Neck

We saw two stage shows this weekend, a fabulous Chicago by the Davis Musical Theater Company (it got a rave review...not yet published), and Cyrano de Bergerac by the wonderful Acme Theater Company, which is made up primarily of young people, with an adult director.

Cyrano was at the Veterans Memorial Theater and we settled into my favorite seats, at the back of the theater. Midway through the show, I was massaging my neck, trying to work out the kinks.

It had nothing to do with the theatre or the seats, but with the stiff neck and shoulders that I have been suffering for several weeks. On a scale of 1-10, it's probably only about a 2-3, but when it gets to the point where I get up from my desk to go sit in the recliner for a bit because it hurts to keep my head erect, it's bothersome.

As I sat there massaging my neck in the dark of the theater, a lightbulb went on over my head: I have a daughter-in-law who is a massage therapist. Doh!!!

So I sent off a message to Marta requesting an appointment for a neck massage, and today, I went to her house. She suggested a 30 minute massage since if I had been having the problem that long, it might take a while to get the muscles to relax.

Now, I have to admit that I am not of the massage mentality. Before today, I'd had exactly two massages in my life. One was when Marta was teaching a class and needed "victims" for her students to work on. It was not long after I had dislocated my shoulder and they decided that Marta's teacher should work on me, rather than one of the students. That was one of the best experiences ever. For the first time since my accident, my arm felt really good.

I went to Marta a week or so later for a follow-up, but never went back.

I've bought massages with Marta for friends, but just never could justify the cost of a massage for myself.

I watch Kelly Ripa each morning going into ecstacy as she awards a spa vacation to yet another viewer with the right answer to the daily question. I see videos of massages and it just never had an appeal for me. Couldn't see paying big bucks to have someone put hot rocks on my back. Though my friend Lynn told me about a massage she had one time that was...um...interesting.

But this was different. I was hoping that a massage might bring some relief.

So I arrived at her house and she had her massage chair set up. We talked for a bit about how long I'd been having the pains. Then we got the chair fitted to me and she went to work. The butt sniffing by the dog, Bouncer, came at no extra cost.

I certainly have a greater respect for masssage therapists. She worked on me for half an hour and her hands must be amazingly strong. She poked and proded and pinched and poked and pounded and massaged.

She massaged my scalp, which was the best part of the procedure. I told her that I always hate to have my head shampooed at the beauty shop because they always apologize for being too rough as they barely touch my scalp with some mealy-fingered hands. Marta got in there massaged hard and it felt so good.

At one point she had to stop and have me sit up straighter because I had relaxed so much that she couldn't get to my neck any more. I wasn't even aware of having relaxed that much.

Those of you who get regular massages will find nothing extraordinary in this report, but I left there realizing that my shoulders, which had been aching on the ride over, weren't hurting any more.

Did it work? Well, I've been sitting here at the computer all evening and have had no problem holding my head upright on my neck. I still can feel the sore spots, but I have to think about it. It's not forced on me any more.

I think that I will return to Marta again...don't know when...but it felt so good, I'd like to have her poke, prod, pinch, pound and massage some more.

Thanks, Marta!!!

1 comment:

Mary Z said...

How lucky you are to have a massage therapist in your family! I've just gotten into a regular routine and it's wonderful. I'm going to try an every-other-week schedule to see how much more it helps and whether it's enough to justify the cost (no insurance coverage here). But my lower back muscle pain has been much improved since I started going. Hope it continues to work for you.