Had a massage this morning that was to-die-for. And that is saying a lot, coming from me. I am one who carries the weight of the world in her back...lower back that is. Add to that a 25 pound baby who loves to be carried, and non-existent stomach muscles- thanks to little or no exercise for the past year and a half, and you get a back that is...well- racked. I have tried lots and lots and lots of masseuses. Each time I book the appointment, and the receptionist asks if there is anything the masseuse should know before the session, I ramble about my back, "Just my back, tell them not to worry about my legs, or anything else...JUST-THE-BACK." And inevitably I get some one who has got their little "routine" down. They put on their new-age music, tell you to climb under the sheets, and get out their little dispenser of greasy lotion. It's predictable. And so are the results. I get about two minutes of attention on my back, and then they move on to my armpits (WHAT THE!) or my butt cheeks (HELL-O!) and on to every other non-aching-I-could-care-less-part-of-my-body. As always, ending with the standard cover your whole body with a sheet, like a mummy and squeeze every part of your body, to let you know with a whisper "your time is up and you just overpaid for a big fat hour of no-back-relief....by the way How was it?" to which I annoyingly garble "Great...thanks" while I am thinking, "It hurts my back to get up, and off this table you Moron...you did nothing!" So, I found a gift certificate to a local massage studio in my purse last week, from my mom, from ages ago. I called the studio and booked an appointment for this morning. I went through my standard plea for someone with experience and attention to my back. I had zero expectations, other than an hour in silence without any chores or kids. So you can imagine my surprise when my masseuse starts off our session by actually talking with me! I give a passionate plea about my lower back. Tell him that despite my small frame, I want him to be tough. He really can't be too hard on me. And then he drops to the floor. (huh?) He has me copy a bunch of stretches that he's found are good for the lower back. At this point I am a little annoyed, as I glance at the clock and notice that this has already eaten in to five minutes of my precious massage time...argh! But I play along. It feels OK..nothing amazing. Then he asks me to kneel with one leg up against the table. He says that it's hard to get to the really deep parts of the back when you are lying down, and that this way he can access the back better...I do it. And he starts rubbing my back, talking to me, while he is finding his way in the land of knots and pain, talking and asking questions and Oh...my...gosh- IT'S WORKING! I am like puddy in his hands. He is flipping my legs, contorting me in to a soft pretzel...his big hands kneading my back like it's a piece of dough. The lights are ON. I am fully dressed. At one point I have to take my Ughs off to get some traction on the floor. It is the most UN-traditional, drop-to-your-knees-and-beg-for-more-amazing massage I have ever had. And there I am, thanking my lucky stars, that I got THIS guy, today....I have found "The One".
I have "The One", when it comes to my tailor...Raheem from Iraq (LOVE him). I have "The One" when it comes to my yard: Marv-the old hippy with the good vibes. I have "The One" when it comes to a painter, plumber, baby-sitter, and baker-of-the-best-orange-cinnamon-sticky-buns-ON-THE-PLANET...and Now I've found "The One" for back massages. I am sold. And so for the next 45 minutes, layers of tight, stressed, knotted ME are being rubbed away. When the massage is over, and I am walking up to the reception area, people are staring. I think it had been a little like the scene from "When Harry Met Sally"...you know the one- in the restaurant...except I was not faking it, AND it lasted almost an hour. The guy who was next in line for a massage said "I better get my wife in here for one of those!" The receptionist was laughing. I think that next time, I better bring a stick to bite on while I am experiencing Nirvana. And so...I booked myself another appointment, same time, same place, for Mother's Day. And now I am off to conquer the world...or at least sort through my piles for the yard sale...with a big, relaxed smile on my face!