I did something incredibly astounding, brave and risky in relation to my massage this week.
When I arrived for my counselling appointment on Monday afternoon I was told that my massage the next day had been cancelled. My usual massage therapist, Juliette, was off sick after having a cortisone injection in her shoulder. I was floored for a moment and froze. I’d been preparing myself mentally and emotionally and realised that actually I really needed that massage for many reasons. It was then suggested that another massage therapist had a space at the same time as my original one had been booked for. Did I want to take that appointment instead?
I stood there in a quandary weighing up the progress I’d made and the need I really had to keep the momentum and not have a break in the massage against the thought that it would mean having to see and trust someone I’d not met before and having to fill her in on a bit of background. I became aware that my counsellor was standing there watching me weigh things up along with the receptionist. I knew I was going to have to make a decision. I realised that my need for the massage outweighed the anxieties about allowing a new person to touch me. I realised I couldn’t entertain the thought of having no massage so I took the appointment being offered.
I’ve got to say I didn’t have a very good night with it playing on my mind and I was immensely anxious by the time I walked through the door for the appointment.
The massage therapist, Donna, was great, very understanding and tried very hard to put me at my ease as much as possible.
I explained the background to why I’m having massage and the progress I’d been making especially the HUGE step last time to allow my therapist to massage my lower back.
She suggested going right back to basics and just working on my shoulders and neck. I felt ok about that and thought that was a great idea. She did suggest doing reflexology on my feet but I said that the thought of my feet being touched was far more terrifying than I would have imagined. I realised that I was being reminded of how my ankles were held by my abusers and that was why I felt such an aversion to my feet being touched.
So having agreed on where she was going to massage me I took my top off and lay on my front on the couch. She covered me up in a towel and I felt really wrapped up safe and warm. It was very soothing lying under that towel.
I have to say I was very impressed with her knowledge and understanding of anatomy. It turns out she does sports massage as well as general massage. She could tell just by looking and then gently touching that my right shoulder had undergone severe trauma and was very weakened and not properly aligned whereas my left shoulder had very solid structure though too much muscle mass which is about compensating for the weakness in my right.
I filled her in on the history of my right shoulder - how I was told 13 years ago that a break in my early childhood was visible on an x-ray and it was also visible on the x-ray that it wasn’t treated.
Donna said that made a lot of sense in what she could feel in the shoulder structure. She gave my right shoulder a really good massage, got a lot of heat into the tissues and stretched out some of the tight parts of the soft tissue structure.
In the days that have followed my right shoulder has felt more comfortable than it has ever felt, there has been huge reduction in pain and it’s more like an ache now. So that’s a huge improvement. She obviously did something right.
She also massaged and stretched out my left shoulder and the base of my neck.
All the time she was massaging there was some very gentle music coming from the CD player. Donna suggested I focus in on the music rather than on what she was doing and as I did so a lovely picture began to form in my mind’s eye.
I saw myself on a beach, there was no-one else there, I was alone, running along the water’s edge with a kite in my hand. The sun was warming my face and a gentle breeze ruffling my hair. I was running along smiling, laughing, carefree. It was an incredibly relaxing picture which helped me through the massage. Part of me felt really sad that at no point in my life have I been as happy, relaxed and carefree as I was in that picture!
The hour went very quickly and I was almost sorry when it was over which amazed me.
As we finished she asked for my permission to speak to Juliette and tell her what massage she did and what she found in the structure of my shoulders. She also said that if in the future Juliette wasn’t available she’d be happy to fill that gap.
I realised that I’d be quite happy for her to do so should the situation arise which really surprised and astounded me.
I’d taken a massive step in deciding to take a risk and give it a go. I thought afterwards “wow, Donna is one more person I’ve trusted a bit!”
I’m still going “wow, I can’t believe I did that!” But I did.
It was phenomenal what I was able to do last Tuesday. It was incredible, wonderful, terrifying and enjoyable all at the same time!! Don’t ask me how I did it because I really don’t know but I’m so glad I took that risk!