The knots surrounding my shoulder blades have been getting big enough now for me to think about giving them names, and so I decided it was probably time to cash in a Groupon I’ve been hanging on to forever and get them taken care of. Or rather, taken out. Pulp Fiction-style, thumb and forefinger in the gun position, taken out.
It’s always a crap shoot using one of those Groupons, I tend to feel like I’m making a deal that will end in something horrible happening. Like, why is the massage parlour willing to sell them for so cheap? Are they that terrible? Have they driven away so many customers that now they’re shilling on Groupon? Or are they just opening and filled with newly licensed therapists who haven’t quite gotten their shit together yet?
I’m not really in a position to be a super-discerning massage recipient (young children will do that to your income), so I usually end up taking the bait. My husband, for being a sturdy guy, somehow manages to lose strength in his hands after two minutes of shoulder rubbing, and the massage that started nicely enough turns into a strange mashing of fist shapes into my spine with noises coming from him that tell me he’s giving it all he’s got. So yes, I will buy that Groupon for a massage at a place I’ve never heard of or been to for $25!
After months of increasing my distance and pace during my runs, having my two boys use me as their wrestling partner, and all the other things going on that make up a woman’s life, I was ready for this. It was like I was going on my first date in ten years – legs were shaved (even the backs!), toenails were painted, everything put in its place or taken out of its place, depending on what it was. And then when using google to figure out how to get to my randomly picked massage, I read a couple of reviews that past customers had left. And it was a major buzzkill. Some of the complaints included unprofessional employees, a not-so-soothing environment, and iffy usage of the massage time (starting late and ending early). But at least now I was prepared for the sub-par massage that was to come! By god, I was going to ignore everything this place was going to throw at me and get my kinks worked out if it killed me.
Well, the reviews were pretty accurate. My masseur, although she was semi-friendly, chewed gum for most of the massage, and the fan in the corner was making a noise that sounded like a death rattle, and I could hear people in the next room when they peed and then flushed.
So it was not so much this:
And more of this:
But I still think it was worth it.
I know that she loosened my incredibly tight calf muscles and we discovered that when she pushed on a certain point in my upper back, my bones crackled like someone was crushing styrofoam (perhaps a trip to the chiropractor is next?). Somehow I managed to have knots and extreme tightness on the top of my forearms – how the hell does that happen? I left feeling – if not relaxed or rejuvenated – worked on. And sometimes when that’s all you can get, you take it and are happy you had it.
I don’t know if what they say about lactic acid release after a massage is true, but I do know that I was so exhausted after my working-over that I went to bed at 9:30 and slept hard until 7. This morning I woke up and was convinced that I had been involved in some sort of sleepwalking street fight during the wee hours. A fight that I had obviously lost. But despite sounding like I’m complaining about the experience, I’m actually really glad for it all. Maybe it means I worked some of the toxins out of my muscles that have been gathering for six months. Maybe my discomfort today is because I don’t get massages often enough, which means I need to schedule them on a monthly basis (at a less spirit dampening establishment). Maybe having whats-her-name find my back clickies will lead me to hire a chiropractor, who will align me properly and I won’t suffer from shooting lower back pain anymore. Maybe it was all pre-destined to be a sub-par experience!
Now I need to see if I can find a chiropractor on Groupon.