Death becomes them…

My daughter, Espy, told me that under no circumstances was I permitted to write about how awesome it would be massaging dead people instead of living people.  She thought I would get arrested.
Even after I explained how I wouldn’t be doing the actual killing, she still wouldn’t allow it.

But I’m the mommy & I win.

I’m getting goosebumps just thinking of how dreamy it would be to walk into a massage room without my ass-kissing spa persona and just get to do some great work.
Maybe a little aromatherapy to cover up the stench, depending on the time of death.

Just think about it.  No more demands or condescension. No more clients nervous energy keeping them from letting go.
No more covering their eyes with a diaper drape so they can’t watch me working on them. I mean, their eyes would probably be open but it doesn’t really matter because they’d be dead.

True, live clients may sometimes smell better, but their breath would be about the same.
And yes, I would have to remove the toe tag to massage their feet but I wouldn’t have to get them water or tea or offer them use of the sauna.

Nothing is wrong with me – I’m just having fun here.

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FB & the literal meltdown/client stories

While working on this one male client, it became apparent that something smelled awfully wrong.

What else was there to think other than it was his body odor?  It became worse and there was nothing to be done. I mean if I left the room whenever
something smelled bad, I’d never be in there.

After the massage was over he left the room, but the smell didn’t.  I was mortified to learn that someone had left the plastic cover on the wax pot and what I had smelled was burning plastic!

I then realized that since it wasn’t him and he knew that – he must have thought it was me!

And no, it was NOT me who left the wax pot on.  You were all thinking it.  You know you were.

The hard sell

I find it absolutely repulsive to try to sell retail products or spa memberships to clients after I’ve just given them a massage.

I feel aggressive, deceitful and obnoxious considering my priority as a therapist is to heal your mind & body for a little while, not try to sell you shit so my boss can get a bonus for reaching her sales goal.

However,  sometimes the products are extraordinary and often the promotions will save you money if you are planning to return anyway so –

Do you mind the retail push?
Do you appreciate being informed of an honest promotion the spa is running?

Should the therapist be the one communicating that info or would you rather the front desk take care of that shit?

or

Would you rather that we all shut the fuck up and just let you enjoy your treatment?

Can you get this knot out in one session?

Yes, and then I will attempt to saw a woman in half because I’m a fucking magician.

What is a muscle knot?
I like the description from LIVESTRONG.com and added some of my own take on it.
-Adhesions in the muscles are commonly referred to as knots or trigger points.  The knots are found around irritated patches of muscle fibers where the tissues fill with fluid and junk molecules preventing healthy blood flow to the muscles. Since there is little or no blood flow to the tissues, the muscle becomes attached to the bone or another muscle.

Knots can take years to form so guess how long it would take to break them up?
Longer than 56 minutes!!!
It may take months, maybe years, depending on various factors such as age, intensity and how often your fat ass is on the couch watching a ‘Pawn Stars’ marathon (been there).
So, I beg you – please don’t come in once every two years for a deep tissue massage and expect me to ‘fix you’.  I can’t even verbalize the awful things I want to do to you when you ask that of me.

For some strange reason, some clients enjoy the idea of having a lot of knots as if it were some competition they’ve won.
Tooooooooo many times, a wife will say to her husband “See honey, I told you I have a lot of knots!”.  What exactly are you bragging about?
When you have a yeast infection, do you ask the Dr. if he’s seen any as bad as yours (that time doesn’t count! I never asked, he just announced to his staff that I had the worst of the day. Wait a minute, I do recall a slight feeling of pride).
I attribute most tight and aching backs to bad posture, repetitive strain, lack of stretching dosed with a massive amount of stress with no outlet to relieve it.What can you do to increase the chances of having a healthy back with minimal back pain?  Start now with a regular exercise routine.  It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s something you like that has both aerobic and strengthening components.  CORE strengthening is the key.  If your abs are strong, it will relieve a lot of the pressure on your back to do all the work.  Drink water, consistent restful sleep, healthy diet consisting of green things (salad, not guacamole flavored Doritos) and hot baths as often as possible.
Hot/cold therapy. 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off. That’s gonna have to be a totally separate post. Too much info and I’ve probably lost most of you already.
Oh and duh – lots of massage…
Unless you are getting deep-tissue or sports massage, you can get a massage as often as you want.
Once a week would be ideal but monthly would be very beneficial.
If it’s not in your budget, alternate with going to the Asian Tui Na places.  No, it’s not luxurious – no plush robes or slippers and don’t expect any cucumbers or mint leaves in your water but you will get the shit beaten out of you for approximately $50.  You will absolutely hear the guy in the next room (most of them use curtains for walls) loudly instructing the therapist what to do and you will probably be throwing your clothes in a plastic bin under the table but they’re awfully good.  Some of them may even be licensed.
Everyone has knots.  It sucks but it’s better than herpes.

A personal ‘thank you’ to Hurricane Sandy from 14th Street/NYC

View from my kitchen window – photo by Michael Rovin

 


First – I must acknowledge my sorrow for those who have been hit hard by the storm. Although I haven’t had power and was unable to learn the extent of the distress experienced by some, I heard enough to appreciate how fortunate we were in the West Village this past week.

Monday night, we were smack dab in the middle of our incredibly predictable routine of watching a Frasier re-run (with Island Niles) in our way too comfortable lounging clothes, eating something surely unhealthy and in general doing nothing at all that mattered to anyone, ever.
I heard the air-conditioner dwindle.
The lights went.
I held tightly to Dr. Doom’s arm and said “I’m scared”.

At first I was panicked because it was suddenly pitch dark and maybe 4 minutes later I was unthinkably distraught because the realization set in that I couldn’t watch Niles courting Daphne or Benedict Cumberbatch’s obnoxious, arrogant sexiness thrill me on BBC’s “Sherlock” or even scraping the barrel to watch Tony Shaloub displaying the most amusing OCD behaviors on “Monk” (I did however miss my obscene yet wonderfully supportive on-line community…you know who you are).
We didn’t give half a shit about anything but the fact that I wasn’t able to ‘Pin’ a picture of a cute pair of shoes or Dr. Doom’s inability to attempt, with all he is, to demolish any opposing political views on Huffington Post.

The next day brought even more elation as we discovered our running water was out of the race.  And – I had my period – and I use tampons (you now know that).
I swear, not having water was secondary to not having electronic entertainment.
How would I text J that I had a disappointing tunafish sandwich or that I didn’t like my hair that day?  Jesus – the world seemed unfair, dreadful, GRUESOME!
I must also mention that before this week I was becoming pretty chummy with agoraphobia and the mere idea of going outside was need for my homeboy-xanax and daily check-ins with the best psychotherapist on the planet (yes, I’ve been to enough of them for that statement to hold water).

I’m not sure exactly when the metamorphosis first took hold.  It may have been during the awareness that all there was left to do was interact with my boyfriend – have a conversation or something comparably absurd like that.

Here’s how it went:
My first husband (JP) is the ‘go to’ guy.  Anything you need from pantyhose to a jet engine – he’s your man. If he doesn’t have it or know it, ‘his people’ do.  In this case, we bow down to Rob.  Rob gave us POWER. A 50lb. battery belt to recharge our unnecessaries once home, to which I strapped to my chest and walked sheepishly down 7th Avenue looking like a suicide bomber.
And Rob had a working toilet!  And engaged us in a thrilling gabfest from ‘El Cid’ to parenting and gave me hope that our world will not be overrun by hideous, web-addicted, porn-obsessed hoodlums.  His kids did not grow up with computers or cellphones.  His family has 1 (ONE) tv, where their viewing is monitored and directed towards classics and other good shit.  ONE television?!  We have 2 flat screens in a modest 1 bedroom NYC apartment.  I was pretty sure that without them, we would, without doubt, die of underconsumption of the most unnecessary and ridiculous substance at our disposal.

Dr. Doom & I played ‘Monopoly’ (which I won twice) (sorry M but I have deemed gloating acceptable on my blog), played with flashlight images on the wall and ate as much junk as we could carry up 15 flights.  We began to enjoy each other’s company again (not that we didn’t before but without any outside stimulation).
It got to a point where we were actually able to watch movies on a laptop at home…but didn’t. We had lost interest.
I picked up a book. I haven’t read a book in 10,000 years. It felt uncomfortable and awkward in my hands, but with a flashlight propped on my shoulder the familiar satisfaction came flooding back to me.

We had been using our filled bathtub water to flush undignified contents of our toilet away from us.  Yesterday there was only one bucket full of water left.  With the closest toilet 13 blocks away, we became justifiably alarmed.

4:30am I felt Dr. Doom sit up with a fresh energy.
Our electricity had turned back on.  The first thing he did was giddily flush the toilet accompanied with a giggle similar to Nog from Deep Space Nine (I’ll be satisfied with even one acknowledgement to this reference).
I still haven’t showered because I needed to share this experience with you before I lost the significance of the lessons I’ve learned.

So, to wrap it up, Sandy was at most inconvenient but it has brought me out of an ugly, uncomfortable place to a hopeful and light-hearted preserve that was long buried and I am seriously grateful for that.

Time to go OUTSIDE, gladly step in a wad of gum on the sidewalk or a pile of disregarded dog shit and appreciate how lucky I am…

I will resume my invaluable particulars and superlative insights into the spa industry as soon as I replace the horrific, spoiled contents of my refrigerator.