1.21.2013

A stressful destressification

Happy Monday, loyal readers!

I'm aware that last week was a bit of a fail in the posting department. What can I say? Life has been busy.

I think it's been established that I might be could be am slightly neurotic. Just a little bit. You see, my mom passed many wonderful traits onto me. I can be a very maternal person. I'm a very loving person. I can follow a recipe. I can be nice. But she also taught me how to worry. She got it from her mom and passed it down to me. Lucky for all of us. Too bad she couldn't have passed onto me her metabolism or ability to not gorge herself on food when it's delicious. But that's another story.

So, my stupid hip is still being a total pain in the butt (literally), and though I'm much more mobile than I was before, I still have to sleep like a pregnant person with a pillow between my knees, and theGuy still has to help me do my laundry. No lifting, no working out, and no dancing. The no dancing part makes me the saddest. The no working out part makes me the bloatiest. Imagine not being able to work out, combined with Christmmas, New Years and the whole food-gorging thing.. it's not a pretty picture.

Some of my coworkers have the same issue I do, and they've all found massage therapy to be very helpful to get things back to normal, so my doctor gave me a prescription for massage therapy. Which, to normal people, is kind of like winning the lottery. Massage. What a wonderful thought. How serene. How relaxing.

Unless you're me.

No amount of googling is giving me the answer that I want. No, it is not normal to wear a bathing suit to a massage therapy appointment. No, you can't wear all of your clothes plus a blanket and leg warmers. You guys, no one has seen more of me than is bared in my one piece bathing suit, aside from theGuy and my lady doctor in 12 years. And now, I have an appointment for a massage tonight with a dude who is the same age as me. When I haven't been able to work out for over a month.

So how much do I have to bare? So far, everyone I've polled says they bare all, except their underwear. I feel like my masseuse should, at the very least,buy me a drink, if I'm going to strip down. Gin sounds good - I think it was invented for this purpose!

I thought perhaps theGuy could assist me, by writing "Woah, dude, this is my wife, hands off" in strategic places on my body, with sharpie. Or maybe "You've gone too far". But getting theGuy to write thank you cards after our wedding was hard enough.

And then there are the typical scenarios and concerns that invade my brain. Like.. what if scream? I'm always nervous about that? Or what if I sound like I'm enjoying it a little too much. Or what if I have to pee really bad? They said to be hydrated before the massage, but I have a small bladder. And what if I get hungry and pass out from starvation?

Loyal readers - please share with me your insight. Have you been for a massage before? Have you ever fallen asleep and drooled all over the table? I'm so wound up - if I didn't need a massage before, I certainly do now!

7 comments:

  1. I can probably help you somewhat here, as I've seen close to a dozen and a half RMTs over the last twenty years. Registered massage therapists are trained to deal with nervous and shy patients and to have a high level of professionalism and sensitivity about everything, but especially matters relating to body issues. They will leave you alone in the room to get undressed, lie down on the table, and cover yourself with the sheets and blankets that will be laid out on the table already. They will knock again before they come back into the room to make sure you are ready to have them enter.

    One thing you should definitely be aware of is that your whole body is draped in a sheet (well, except for your head, and your arms if you prefer to keep them out) and they only uncover the area they're working on at any given time. Normally they will ask you to remove everything except your underpants, and they usually use your underpants as a sort of anchor point to tuck the sheet in and keep it from shifting around when they undrape various parts. For example, when he's working on your back, he'll probably fold the top part of sheet back over your buttocks and legs, and gently tuck it at the folded edge into the top edge of your underwear. When they ask you to turn over onto your back, they hold the sheet up in front of themselves so that they can't see you, and you turn over and they put the sheet back down on you without looking at your naked body. When they work on your legs, they only uncover the leg they're working on, and tuck the sheet under your hip and between your thighs -- this may be a touchy area, so you want to be aware that it's standard procedure, but they don't fondle your lady business while they're doing it.

    In my experience, every RMT I have ever seen, regardless of their level of skill and experience as an RMT, has been careful and sensitive and respectful and matter-of-fact about things like this.

    The nudity is because Swedish massage therapy is best accomplished using oils to reduce friction on the skin, so obviously you need bare skin. You can imagine how awkward it would be to try to work on a person's back and shoulders while she's wearing a bra. They do not work on your primary or secondary sexual organs, so you don't need to be worried about that. It is intended to be a therapeutic experience, not an erotic one.

    You will probably want to pee just before your appointment, and you may be surprised to find that even if you do, you'll want to again right after -- this is because massage helps to get fluids moving freely in the body. if you're really worried about having to pee during the massage, maybe stop drinking two hours before your appointment. I don't think you have to worry about hunger, starvation, or passing out. I have fallen lightly asleep during a massage but believe me, this is a state to be wished for, not feared.

    They will not comment on your body unless you initiate a discussion about it, or except to possibly ask a question that affects the massage (e.g., "Is this scar on your back sensitive? Let me know if I'm causing you any discomfort when I'm working near it"). I think you will find that the average RMT is one of the more non-judgmental people you're likely to encounter, given their regular exposure to real human bodily diversity. They also understand how pain and injury affect a person's ability to maintain and monitor their usual health status.

    Hope this helps, and that your massage is a healing experience for you.

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    1. Oh wow. You are so awesome! I wish you weren't anonymous!

      This is, perhaps, the best part of a comment I have ever received on my blog:

      "It is intended to be a therapeutic experience, not an erotic one."

      Thanks for being so thorough and awesome! I'm getting far less nervous, because now I feel like I know what to expect! I prefer to be prepared - that's how I roll. When I'm not, it makes me sweat. And that would be horrible!

      Thanks, again!!!



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    2. You're welcome -- I'm glad I helped! I also hate walking into unfamiliar experiences feeling unprepared and clueless so I get where you're coming from. I especially wouldn't want to see you miss out on the many benefits of massage because of apprehension, misconceptions, and/or lack of information.

      I meant to leave my first name -- it's Deborah. I hope you'll do a follow-up post on your experience. I also hope you get help for your hip. Something else you may find very beneficial is osteopathy -- I can recommend a really good osteopath to you, if you're interested.

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  2. P.S. You get to keep your clothes on for osteopathy.

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  3. I was going to leave you a comment but Deborah has it covered. Hope it works for your hip!

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  4. What Deborah said

    Jules

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  5. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)gmail.com

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Whatcha talkin' 'bout Willis?