For the last eight maybe ten months, I’ve had major neck, shoulder, and back problems. Bad posture, hunching over a computer screen, lack of consistent exercise…
Then I got carpal tunnel in both hands. Seriously? I’m a writer. This isn’t going to fly.
So, a few friends at church told me about this Christian lady who does massage therapy and works wonders.
I showed up at her place, filled out the form and a few minutes later, I’m in my birthday suit, nose to the ceiling, ready for healing.
It’s dark, music is lightly playing in the background. She knocks. Enters. Feels around on my neck and head.
My eyes are closed. Now, I know going into this, I’m not going to be comfortable. That’s not what this massage is for. I’ve had full body massages before. This one is for working out the pain.
I heard a glove snap.
She’s going to massage me with gloves on? That’s….different.
She stepped up to me and said, “Now I want you to open your mouth wide.”
My first thought: “Shut the front door! You want me to what?!”
Instead, I said (in a shaky voice), “Ok…”
Do I actually say AAAAAH? Or just open wide?
I opened wide, and she put her gloved finger along the inside of my jaw. “Now clench your teeth together and when I say ‘inhale’ open your mouth wide…inhale like a yawn or like you’re afraid.”
Oh act afraid? Honey, that won’t be hard.
“While your mouth is open wiggle your jaw, then when I say drop, relax it. Ready?”
Not so much.
But…I did it. I did it a lot. And apparently the muscles were really jammed. After an hour of her working my neck, back and yes, my mouth, I felt better than I have in months! I actually cried because I had forgotten what it was like to NOT hurt.
She also could tell I had a bunch of earaches as a child and then she put her finger in my ear and another finger in my mouth and made me do the scared-jaw-wiggle thingy. Guess what? Something ran out of my ear. At first I thought, “OMG, she’s punctured my eardrum. My ear is bleeding. My. ear. is. bleeding.“
But it wasn’t.
And I feel so much better! On top of all that, she prayed with me throughout the session, which was cool and yes I marked I wanted prayer on the sheet. Who wouldn’t want prayer when it’s offered? Okay, probably lots of people, but whatever.
I also got a major buzz from sucking in so much O2. Imagine sucking in lungfuls of air like you’re terrified, wiggling your jaw, shooting your arms in the air all at these commands. Raise up, inhale, wiggle wiggle wiggle, exhale, drop. Gooood. Inhale…push up…push, wiggle, exhale, relax.
It was like Zumba for my mouth.
After I left there, I went to the tanning bed (don’t judge) and when I came out the little girl working the counter– and I say little girl because when you wear hot pink bands on your braces, you’re a little girl--asked, “Was that floor in there dirty to you?”
“What?!” Please tell me that bed was clean. And for the love, why don’t you just look for yourself and not freak out a customer.
“Like, I mean was it…dirty?” She was an ace at description/imagery.
I stared at her a moment, the silver and pink mouth flashing like a bar sign. “Well… it didn’t shout lewd remarks at me while I tanned.”
She kinda grinned, not sure if I was serious or horsing around with her. Which is how I like it.
“Do you mean like stains (sweet mother!) or like lint or paper?” Because dirty can mean many things.
“Just dirty.” Oh well, that cleared everything up.
“I think I’d notice if the floor was really filthy. Pretty sure you’re safe.” I’m not sure I had been.
“Sweet.” She beamed, cocked her head to the side and looked proud of herself. Though, I’m not sure what she was proud of? Hiding dirt? Slushy stains? Who knows!
“Yeah…sweet.” I’m sure when Spring Break is over, which is today, I’ll see the usual woman again. Only downside, I’ll be stuck listening to country music. If I wanted to hear about bars, booze, trucks, and fishing, I wouldn’t have went to the tanning bed. I’d have taken a trip to Sportsmen’s Wearhouse and eavesdropped, or called my brother. The girl did play some nice tunes.
Then I went to work and put my foot in my mouth, but that isn’t bizarre. That’s typical.
Crazy kick-off to my Spring Break week. But I felt good. And I didn’t get any infections or rashes from the tanning bed, so…