Today I had the first massage in about ten weeks. The last one I had was in Bali on the day I ended up with a bad cold the next day. I'm sure it wasn't the massage's fault I got sick.
It's been ten weeks since I've had a massage.
Oh boy - did I need it. It was time to put the last of Humpty Dumpty back together again.This was the icing on the cake.
The massage was well overdue.
First up, I'm suffering from a light case of Tennis Elbow. Yeah, Tennis Elbow - and I hate tennis! How did that happen? Seriously, I think tennis is pointless. To end up with Tennis Elbow is just cruel.
My right forearm has been aching off and on for a while now. Strangely, it never twigged that every time I went to light the oven with the lighter I'd wince. Didn't think anything of it. Getting old and all that.
Jay, my training partner picked it up in Pump the other day. Seems I was favouring my left arm. Jay's a doctor. She notices these things.
"Does it hurt to grip things?" she asked.
"Yeah. Pinching, gripping, lugging groceries."
"How do you know?"
"It's tennis elbow. Ha ha. That takes forever to get rid of."
Two minutes later I was given a remedy. Get a strap for my arm. Voltaren Gel four times a day. Take the load off of my arm. Learn some stretches to get the muscle moving, Don't use my oven lighter - use matches.
The next day, said strap and Voltaren were purchased. I worked out quickly that the strap can't be done up too tightly or my arm goes blue.
Won't do that again. Blue is not a fetching colour for skin.
Anwya, today, I got a massage. Thankfully I was in to see Pete. Normally I see Marta, but it was her weekend off. Marta is great for relaxation. Pete is good if you want the crap pummeled out of you.
Pete's turned me on to leg massages. I won't let Marta touch my legs - well quads to be exact. Pete can play me like a violin.
We had our pre-massage chat. Have I been stressed? Yes. Anything aching? My right arm. Anything else? Starting a new role Monday which I'm excited about - but generally just been hanging out for a massage. I also told him about the last job and the implications to my mental state.
"This is going to be interesting, isn't it?" I asked.
You can't ever doubt the magic of healing hands. Pete started on my back and I wanted to cry.
I've been having a monthly massage for a reason. Many years ago, back before I was into exercise, my back was like concrete. I wore my shoulders up around my ears. It wasn't pleasant.
Working on my spine, I could feel the pent up stress gently releasing. I wanted to cry - just to let everything that's happened finally go. A day at the Peninsula Hot Springs helped a lot. Walking everywhere for a week, averaging 10 kms a day has helped greatly too - gentle exercise is the best. Going shopping has helped - but having Pete strip the last of the stress away - magic.
We found some knotty bits. Your glutes (bum muscles) are often the home of stored up stress. My bum was found to be rock hard (Seems something was causing a pain the bum - quite literally). Traps (Shoulders) - concrete (contributing to the tennis elbow). My neck a mess.
"That will learn you." smirked Pete at the end of the session. "Don't leave it that long again."
"I have to go rest my hands now - it's no fun massaging concrete."
"Of course, Pete. But you enjoyed making me yelp."
"If you didn't leave it so long, you wouldn't have yelped so much."
I'm booked in again in a fortnight to address the arm again - and again in three weeks - with orders to keep tending to the arm. Strap it, lots of Voltaren. Support it. No carrying groceries. Use matches when lighting the oven.
The moral of the story - don't let your troubles make you forget about your upkeep. My monthly massage keeps my body, mind and spirit in order. Being stressed should have made me go seek a massage more often - not less often.
It's a lesson I wont be forgetting in a hurry.
(image from Facebook - Unlimited Bodywork)