Many of you have been playing along with this blog at home (or the office) since it’s inception and many of you will recall that I frequent a massage therapist for bodywork. I go in for relief from TMJ and getting a procedure done called muscle stripping that I was told was excruciating but I find really relaxing. Typically, when I go in, I mention areas that feel like they need a little more work (shoulders, always the shoulders…) but generally I get the whole body worked over.
Normally, I head in for my beating on Friday’s after work, but my CMT is also an athlete and currently my normal massage time is taken over by training and qualification trials for competition. Since I’m an understanding person and can adjust my schedule, I went in on Saturday to have work done. Essentially I still started my weekend with a massage so life is good.
Now, I’m continually astounded by just how good a massage can feel, especially when work is being done on areas that a person doesn’t typically consider getting massaged, like the forearms. My therapist commented the other week, “I can tell you sit and type all day long… your forearms are ropey! How does that not hurt?” My face pressed into the cradle, I made some sort of noise to show I didn’t know why they didn’t hurt, but I did know that having my forearms stretched and the muscles worked on felt amazing. A-MAZE-ING! Make-me-drool kind of amazing.
Other locations are equally surprising, like between the ribs (not kidding), but areas that aren’t all that surprising are the big muscles: the glutes, quads and hammies. Every once in a while my therapist will be working on one or more of these muscle groups and he comes across a muscle that is “angry”. It pops, snaps or makes some other movement beneath his fingers, elbow or forearm and Saturday was was of those days.
While I was on the cruise with Mr. Muse, I started to feel a nerve pinching in my left hip on the second sea day but didn’t think much of it as it was so mild. That is, until the middle of the night when I woke up in such pain that I could barely move. The next morning in St. Barths I headed down to the Medical Bay to inquire after a chiropractor (nope) and was told that I could go to the spa and see the acupuncturist. Instead, I opted to hobble down to the tender, get to Gustavia and get myself to a pharmacy for some drugs. Plus, the walking was finally helping work things out in the hip. After I hobbled around Gustavia, I ran into one of the massage therapists who goes on the cruises with Bare Necessities and she showed me some physical therapy moves to “reset” the nerve. Long story somewhat shortened up – the nerve reset, the French Advil worked great and I stopped hobbling around.
Which brings me back to Saturday where I was once again face down in the cradle on the massage table, having my hammies and glutes worked on when there was a “pop” – on the right side. My therapist paused a moment and said, “I’ll come back to that”, worked down the leg and came back up, digging in and feeling the muscle fight against his manipulation. I was practicing my deep-breathing to work through the somewhat-painful-yet-beneficial moment when he uttered, “That is one ANGRY butt cheek.”
Deep-breathing was immediately replaced with a big belly-laugh – at least as big as it can get when face down on a massage table anyway. He worked the muscle free, it relaxed and he moved on. Me? I was still giggling about having an angry butt cheek and thankful that there was nothing else angry in that region.