“I don't fear death because I don't fear anything I don't understand.
When I start to think about it, I order a massage and it goes away.”
~ Hedy Lamarr
Prior to my recent car accident, I’d never been to a massage therapist. I’d never had a massage, therapeutic or otherwise. I assume there are different kinds of massage, because the work-over I receive each week bears no resemblance whatsoever to the calming, soothing ministrations you see people receiving on TV and in the movies (which is my only other frame of reference for massage practices).
Sure there’s soothing music, low lighting, a heated table and warm sheets. Even essential oils (essential to what, I’m not sure). But that’s all a ploy to get you to succumb to the treatment. Kind of like when you go to the dentist and they have photos of sunny meadows and pretty flowers all over the walls. Who are they trying to fool? Like they think I’m not going to notice I’m seated in a dentist’s chair with a high-speed drill coming at my mouth?
Maybe it’s not quite the same. Massage therapists don’t use drills. But they use everything else: fingers, hands, forearms, elbows, meat tenderizers... okay, maybe not that last one. But it feels like it.
I have to admit I used to hear about people getting massage therapy and think how nice that must be. I didn’t have much sympathy for injuries that didn’t require stitches, casts or emergency surgeries.
I was in a prior car accident 25 years ago where I broke my collar bone and cracked several ribs. The emergency room people put my arm in a sling and told me to go see a doctor. When I went to the doctor the following day, he ripped the sling off and asked “What are you doing with that thing on?” No warm sheets, no lavender to sniff. I realize there’s not much you can do for cracked ribs, but he could have at least played some Enya tunes for me while he was maligning my sling.
Given my current injuries, I have developed a new respect for massage therapists and for patients who undergo their treatments. Oh, it isn’t all bad. I kind of like parts of it, mostly the part where they tell me they are done and I can put my clothes back on.
My massage therapist today assured me there will be no bruising and that I will thank him tomorrow. I can hardly wait for tomorrow.