I had a much-needed deep-tissue massage this evening at a great local day spa called dtox
I got a small holiday bonus this year and decided to spend it on massages. Between the car accident a year ago and all the scar tissue from my various surgeries, my back and neck seem to be perennially in knots. My left side is unquestionably worse, but my right side is pretty bad, too—from compensating, I imagine.
Deep-tissue massage definitely brings me some relief, although it takes a lot of deep breathing for me to get through it. One masseuse likened my back to concrete because of all the hard, rubble-like stuff that needed to be broken up.
The thing is—deep breathing aside—getting a massage is always a bit of a challenge for me.
First, I can't really lie flat on my stomach because I have what could pass for a small inflatable beach ball on one side and a regular old (emphasis on old
) breast on the other. So I look like a car that's been jacked up to have a flat fixed. (Hmm . . . that metaphor is a bit too apt.)
Second, having someone press down hard
on my back is not particularly comfortable for the beach ball. (Nor is it relaxing, because I'm convinced that too much pressure will cause the ball to burst, and I just lie there stressing about it.)
Every time I've been to this spa, whichever masseuse or masseur I get brings in a pillow or a couple of towels, and I spend a few minutes trying to fashion some kind of bolster that will make me comfortable.
Today's masseuse asked if I needed to use a breast pillow (she got points for reading the notes in my file), and I said I did. Then she went outside for a moment and came back something like this:
Who knew there was such a thing as a ladies' comfort breast cushion
It took a minute to get used to it (and it reminded me a bit of the contraption they use for a breast MRI
), but I have to say that it did the trick. The masseuse bore down hard
, using everything from her elbows to hot stones, and although I had to breathe very
deeply while all of that concrete was being jackhammered, I was as comfortable as could be for a full 50 minutes of really intense massage.
Oh, and I'm absolutely counting the massage as my exercise for today because I know how sore I'll be tomorrow. . . .January 29, 2006: Gut check