Life can swerve you into directions you never realized you were headed very quickly.
This is a lesson that I have learned recently on a practical level.
I went in to get my eyebrows done as it had been ages and they needed some TLC. When I went to the place I used to go to in the mall, I found that the business had closed. See? Me not going was bad for them. They needed me and my eyebrows needed them. I digress.
I wandered around to see if maybe, possibly, there was a chance that there was another place that I could go.
Instead I found myself standing outside of a place that was called The Health Center.
I saw a sign up top about massages. Since I have been working with my neck and shoulder mobility and my upper back and lower too, I decided to go in.
It was quiet, but there were other people there. Sectioned off, but still visible, there were stations with the tables and people getting their massages. I felt a calming vibe right away and there was relaxation music playing. Ahh yes.
A gentleman whispered a hello and motioned toward the sign to ask what I wanted. A regular massage? A foot massage? How long?
I picked regular and then the shortest time since the last time I got a massage was when I was 18 and it had been a gift certificate. Didn’t wanna jump into anything or anything (HA!).
I was directed back to a sectioned off space and directed to take off my shoes. I did and then laid face down.
The massage began and I was more than shocked to discover this was not a normal sort of massage!
Let’s see, he used his elbows which was not something I had ever experienced before, but my own hands/arms/legs/and feet were maneuvered about as well! Then my head and ears were even rubbed and manipulated into release.
I eased into the entire thing, I breathed and caught my breath when I could, and the tension sometimes was too much but then it released and by the end I was exhausted but in a good way. The guy that worked on me was very respectful and when my bra strap fell down at one point, he gently put it back with a little tap, tap.
I asked what type of massage it was and realized this guy didn’t speak any English beyond the very rudimentary. Holy crap, what if I had needed him to stop? What if I had had a true honest to goodness injury that couldn’t have been worked with the way it was? Ooof!
I went up to pay and saw a card that had the subline of “Chinese Traditional Massage” and said “Oh, I see.”
I came home and researched it more and sure enough that was what I had gotten.
My tailbone area hurt a lot a few hours later and into the next couple days. I realized it was from my jewelry being pressed into my skin during when he had flung my arm and hand back, aligned them, and then pressed down.
It turns out that any pain at all, regardless of origin after one of these massages is seen as an area of the body that had been in need of assistance in some way. So, I guess my tailbone pain needed to teach me to ground down more in life and seek more stability…and to leave my jewelry at home?! Traditional Chinese Massage looks at the body as all one moving part and works with the meridians to get the body back into a healthy state.
I told this story to my close friends and their reply was essentially “You’re the only person I know that could accidentally get a massage like that.” Yep, leave it to me! Also the reaction of “Wait, your own hands and arms were used as part of the massage?! That doesn’t seem right!” Well, believe me, no one was more surprised than I was.
The irony is also not lost on me that I had just finished up with listening to the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy where they talked about massages in the Asian-styles a lot in book 3 as part of a sub-sub-sub plot. So perhaps it was on a sort of subconscious level? Maybe?
At any rate, a week after the massage once my tailbone was better and everything, I felt more balanced and my muscles still felt loosened. While I was glad of the outcome, I don’t know that I would willingly put myself through that ever again. It was not at all what I went in for, but it turned out it was something that did wind up making me feel better. I think there is a metaphor in there somewhere, perhaps about finding ease and surrender even when uncomfortable, but I am too thankful that I survived it in the first place to make heads or tails of it.