4 Handed Massage

MassageYou all know that I am a big fan of massage and get them regularly. What I had today was a 4-handed massage – no, not from a Hindu deity with multiple arms. Instead, it was a double massage with two therapists working on me at the same time for an hour. Oh. My. God. it was the most amazing experience ever, even beating my beloved hot stone massage.

For a massage to work best, all the muscles need to be totally relaxed and it’s always a bit of an adjustment to having strangers touch your naked body. I’ve been to both of the massage therapists before and was familiar with the space, so that helped. That familiar New Agey Celtic music was playing softly and there was the sound of water.

Having four hands work on me at the same time relaxed not only my body but also my mind. There was good energy between the therapists and it was almost like a little ballet as they moved in tandem around me, working on arms and feet and back and neck. it was too much for the mind to keep track of it all so I just let go and felt and enjoyed and was totally present in my body.

It turns out that I was the very first client to get this new treatment, which the center just started offering 2 weeks ago. I’ll definitely be back.

A Weekend to Relax and Unwind

MassageWhat to write, what to write. It’s been a quiet weekend here in gray and chilly Connecticut and my biggest accomplishment has been sleeping until I woke up both days. Of course, since I usually get up at 5:45 am, sleeping until 7:30 is a huge luxury.

Tessie stays curled up on the bottom of the bed, on top of the warm electric blanket, until I start to stretch and take off the CPAP mask. Then she climbs on my tummy for about a minute, and then we’re off. It takes me a good hour to wake up and I prefer to do it in my robe with a cup of coffee or a can of Diet Coke (depending on the day), watching the news and petting the kitty. It’s a nice way to start the day.

Yesterday afternoon I indulged in a full body massage, something I treat myself to as often as the budget allows. I like the background music – I think all massage therapists get theirs from the same catalog, with the sounds of water or quiet Celtic singing that we don’t understand – and the scent of the oils and lotions. I was so cozy and warm with a heating pad on the table beneath me and the chance to be very quiet and present in my body while A worked on my knots. There are always more than I realize and usually the ones that the therapist finds are worse than the ones I went in knowing about, which was true yesterday.

Today we had visits from strangers. I listed an old DVD player on Freecycle, which was picked up two hours after I posted it. Boy, was that fast! More than 10 people contacted me about it and I love that it was able to go to a good home so quickly, with just a single post and no lugging involved.

After lunch the pet sitters arrived for our consultation visit. It’s a young couple who share the responsibility of all the animals they care for, so both of them came to meet me and Tessie. I had called some references and they were recommended by my vet – and Tessie lasted about 5 minutes before she slipped away to my room to hide. Usually she’s gone the minute she hears voices other than mine. I’m comfortable with them and think they will take good care of her until I get back. They’re even going to send me email updates!

Food has been a little iffy. I’m journaling everything and trying to get in more, if not all, of the basic food groups. The essential oils are the hardest because I resent having to use points on them when they don’t seem to be real food. I’d rather have bread – but too much bread isn’t a good thing either. I did make a batch of pudding yogurt, something I haven’t done in a while. It makes a good evening substitute for ice cream plus it counts as dairy, which ice cream doesn’t. I used up odds and ends of three different bags of frozen fruit, so that also cleaned up the freezer some, too.

I made some poor choices – picking up a single serving pack of Entenmann’s donuts, for example – but even then I ate one and squished the other. Why do they think two donuts make a good portion? I succumbed to buying snacky crackery things today but got a small box of wheat things instead of a sleeve of fig newtons or peanut butter and cheese crackers. Mostly, though, I’m writing my food in advance which provides me guidance on what I will eat and know what extra I can have.

Tomorrow it’s back to work for a short week; Monday will actually be my only full day to do real work. Tuesday afternoon I have two meetings, one on electronic resources and the other on Web 2.0. Wednesday there is an all-day e-resources planning retreat from 9-4:30, followed immediately by WW. Somewhere in there, probably Tuesday, I’ll pack up for my trip to Texas. Leaving for the airport at 2:30am means I won’t get much sleep Wed. night so packing earlier gives me a head start.

I’m off to play “feather on a string” with Tessie. Hope you all had a good weekend and that your week is off to a good start.

Ahhhh, massage

It’s been a week of very long days hunched over a computer, doing a website conversion. I love working with the data and managing the information part, but the actual dumping of content into new templates is a rather repetitive process. By the end of Friday I was noticing very tight muscles in my butt (from sitting), my shoulder and neck (which felt as though they were burning) and from mousing all day every day, my forearm muscles felt like little strung beads. Not happy-making.

Ahhh, massageWhat I needed was a massage, for body, mind and spirit, but they can be hard to get on short notice. I was thrilled to discover that my favorite massage therapist had an opening for today and signed up quick like a bunny before someone else got there. While I was on the gym’s website, I also signed up for an eyebrow wax and decided I’d spend time on the treadmill in between.

I hadn’t been to the gym in a while and it was hopping today, since it was raining AGAIN and people were doing their workouts indoors instead of doing outside things. I got my eyebrows tidied up, then spent 35 minutes on the treadmill – which proved to be more uncomfortable than I expected. When I walk, I listen to the ipod (today was an eclectic mix of 70’s rock) and read – today I also held on, because my knee was hurting a lot.

I’ve learned that I get more out of a massage if I work out first to warm up the muscles, then sit in the whirlpool for a bit. That is not exactly a hardship because I adore the whirlpool, sitting in the hot water in front of the jets and feeling some of the muscle tension melt away. I didn’t use it for ages when I first joined the gym because I didn’t want to be naked in front of all the cute normal people. Then I hit on the idea that taking my glasses off would mean I couldn’t see anyone else, therefore they couldn’t see me. Well, it doesn’t quite work that way. But it does mean I’m not very self-conscious, and the whirlpool is worth it.

The massage therapist concentrated on my sore places while doing a complete body massage. I’m usually quiet, concentrating on listening to my body’s response to the pressure and breathing into it through some mild pain. As usual, Brenda found lots of very tender spots that I didn’t even know I had, including inflammation in my legs and in both knees – well, those I expected. We decided that doing future treadmill and extensive walking was not a good idea for me before my surgery, and that I should concentrate on upper body work instead.

It was good to be back there, to remind myself why I joined, that there are things I can do to feel feminine and healthy and more comfortable – and part of a community. Even with my sore knee, it’s a place that I can’t afford to ignore.