I love the snow that is drifting across my blog because we don’t get snow where I live, and this is the most I will get to see. It has this calming and therapeutic effect on me, I should bring it to my next massage. I have been seeing a physical therapist over the past few weeks for my stiff, board-like neck and back hoping for some relief. I have gotten some, but it seems like a temporary fix and it’s highly addictive.
The first time I entered the office, I was faced with many chuckling eyes that appeared to have been mocking me for being the only patient under 65 years of age. I spoke with my soon-to-be therapist about why I was present at their practice, and still she seemed to be pondering whether my appearance was a mistake. I complained to her of tension and cramps in my back and neck along with terrible migraines which were causing lightening explosions behind my eyes.
She told me to hop on the table so she could examine me. After a brief look, while my head was jammed in the little hole on the table, I heard her wonderment turn to severe confusion and shock. She seemed to be very perplexed about how I turned out that tense, and insinuated that there must be some serious, underlying, and ongoing problem in my life. I assured her that it was just good old-fashioned stress, although possibly 20 odd years worth, and three small boys.
Today, I happily skipped in to my appointment thinking that I would finally have time to relax through my massage and come up with a post. Only after it started, I realized how wrong I was. I walked into my room, and while I was left to prep myself, reached up and pulled the minute hand on the clock back five minutes just to be sure I got all the time allotted to me. I then lifted myself onto the table and tried to arrange my face in the hole, that was approximately 3 inches wide, without permanently damaging my cheekbones. I am pretty sure it was made for flat-faced, boneless people. I assume the carrot head inventor of the table proudly presented his table at the therapist convention saying, “Buy these, you won’t regret it. It’s one-size-fits-all.“
Moments after I was lying there still, Masseuse Borborygmus walked in and asked me how I was feeling. I felt like if I would say that I was fine, which I was, she would tell me I couldn’t come back any more, her work would be done. So I made something up about being tense and needing a quick fix. She bought it, as I silently prayed she would. I heard from squished in the hole, her shaking her head once again. Phew! Even though I couldn’t feel it, my back was still in a shockingly bad shape.
She worked her oil magic, running her fingers slowly across all the muscle entanglements and there were sounds identical to deliberate knuckle-cracking. It was soothing and quiet with a little crackling hum. Then the man next door started groaning happily through his massage, he seemed to have been enjoying it. But by then, me, not so much. Masseuse Borborygmus’s stomach had begun a small grumble that progressed into crashing waves of hungry-belly cries. I was surprised she didn’t quickly sock herself in the abdomen from embarrassment to make it shut-up.
Then, to make matters worse, she hit my trigger points. She stabbed her thin, bony fingers through the nodules of taut bands of muscle. My back started feeling worse than I had previously lied about and described when I walked in. (Served me right, I assume) I clenched my jaw, gripped the table sides, and gritted my teeth to survive the excruciating pain that followed.
She let out several alveolar tsk clicks while still shaking her head. All that torture and it hardly made a dent. Finally, as to say there was only so much she could do, she said it was time for the electrotherapy. A nurse came in and stuck several electrodes on my back. Immediately after she turned on the machine, my legs shot up behind me like the patellar reflex when struck with a tendon hammer. “Was that too strong?” she asked. Good Lord, we were aiming for therapy, not execution. Finally, after three attempts, she got the frequency at a bearable level.
I let myself relax and started to think about thinking. That was enough to create a burning sensation as the electric surged through my back. Okay, no cogitation was allowed. Now what? Every time I tried to ponder about anything, my muscles tensed up just enough to make the electrodes zap me. I thought it was supposed to be healing, but it turned out to be more like dog shock-collar therapy. I was gated into a stress-free zone, there would be no escaping the electric picket fence. I even had to keep breathing calm and down to a minimum. It was only then did I begin to realize how much stress we have and do not notice.
I had to keep them on for 15 minutes and I couldn’t see the time. When I tried to reach my arm under the table to see my watch through the minuscule hole, I got struck by a plethora of shocks. I tried to do it faster, but it made unbearable jolts into a heart attack in waiting. I just sat there counting sheep in wait for what seemed like 15 minutes and rang for the nurse to relieve me of the stinging currents. Irritated, (which the electrodes seemed to have figured out before me leading to double zappage) I had to hit the call-bells several times until someone finally came to remove the biting wires from my back.
I could have sworn that they were still left on me, piercing me on the whole ride home. Stress has become such a part of me I am not even aware of it when it’s present. I should probably hook myself up with electrodes all the time to warn me of stress at its peak. It would teach me a thing or two about relaxation.
However, for now I think I will stick to Snow Therapy. It is cheaper and far less painful, and while I watch the flakes fall I can actually think…
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