Monday, November 12, 2007

The Art of Massage

What is it about massage that can either relax your whole mind and body or send you over the edge because it is so incredibly painful? Do you enjoy massage? Do you like quiet places with relaxing music and oils that smell of lavender? Or do you prefer to have a quickie at one of those places set up at the mall where you pay $10 to $15 for a quick back massage?

Me.... well, I prefer soft music, smell good candles and wonderful oils massaged deep into the tissues of my body, but it's been a long time since I had such a massage... until Thursday evening.

My back has been hurting in a bad way since I had the baby. I've read info on it and many ppl say that it's from the spinal tap, but I'm not sure because I had the pain while I was pregnant. And since having the baby, I seem to wake up w/ new pain most every day... yeah, I know, it's a part of getting older, but I hate to think about it like that, so instead, I got the telephone number of the massage therapist my MIL uses and called her up. I also fell last week while going up the stairs w/ Naief in my arms - he wasn't hurt but I was. My back and shoulder area was starting to feel as though I'd been in a bad car accident... obviously I was holding on to him for dear life to protect him... and because of this, I needed some relief. And for as good as Hashim is w/ massaging my back when I ask him, he couldn't relieve this pain.

Anyway... this woman is Thai, I found out, and was very nice on the phone, so I made an appt. for 4:30 that afternoon. Now... the last time I had a Thai massage was probably 3 1/2 yrs ago. I went to one of these Salon in the Box places (salons are on every street corner in these parts) and after laying on the table and having this Thai girl drill her fingers into my back for almost an hour, I thought I'd never have another Thai massage. I might add that after having that first massage, I was sore for a good 3 or 4 days. It felt like she was ripping my body apart... no kidding.

So, knowing that a Thai woman was coming was a bit scary for me, but my MIL swears by her... so what the hell, right?!

I very much believe in setting a mood, especially for massage. This is the first time for having a massage at home, so I took every care to make it perfect for who else??? ME!!! :)

Since I'd be on the floor, me and Hashim moved the coffee table so I could at least lay on the thick carpet in that room. I also put down two more quilts, got a sheet, set up the CD player w/ my Relaxing Massage CD, got out the essential oil, lit a nice candle, turned on the a/c and then waited for her to arrive. I guess about 10 minutes later, she rings the doorbell.

She's a small, heavy set woman. Very pleasant and wanted to get right to work. At first, when she started the massage, I thought it was going to be just like before because she was rough. But as time passed, I was taken away to a wonderful place.... and it's been a long time since being able to feel so fabulous from a massage.

This woman's hands were incredible, and there was something about her ability - and I say this word with seriousness in my thoughts, because she was able to find the exact location of my pain when I told her the general vicinity of it. It was as though she had a little radar system built in her hands - I kid you not. The first time I experienced it was with the pain by my right shoulder blade. Since I was holding the baby w/ my right arm when I fell, it was especially painful.

I pointed to the place - more or less, and what did she do? She took her fingers and went to the area and then used her finger tips to do this stitching type of thing on the area and w/ this method, she zeroed in to exactly where the pain was and stopped right on it. It was like her fingers guided her to the precise place of the pain. After stopping, she'd do some type of massage right on the area. It would kill at first but after about 3 or so minutes of intense work in the area, the pain would lift. Then she'd take this stone she had and rub it on the area. It was really cold and would immediately relax the area. aaaahhhhh... I get joy just thinking about it, which tells me it's time for another!! :)

Anyway, the whole massage worked this way. I showed her the area of the pain in my lower back and hip area, and she did the same stitching thing w/ her fingers (don't know how else to explain what she was doing) and within a few seconds would find the exact location of the pain. She'd rub a deep heat type of stuff on it and oil, do her magic fingers and the pain would go.

Now, the pain in my lower back will take a while. Seeing the pain is so severe, she couldn't get it to go away immediately, which I completely understand. But... I will say this, since having the massage on Thurs., I haven't had the pain in my lower back like before. Matter of fact, when I get up from a sitting position, I can actually stand straight. Before, I'd have to stay bent for a bit before I could straighten up... but not now. The pain in my hip is gone as well.... and my shoulder blade hasn't hurt at all.

I used to go to a massage therapist once a week and sometimes more after I totalled my RX-7 years ago, and this girl was good, but she was never able to take away pain like this woman. I told Hashim and wondered if she knew some type of ancient techniques or something. I do think these Asian ppl have abilities... and I think she's one of them. Yeah... go ahead and think me silly, but it's the truth. This finger stitching thing she did or whatever you wanna call it was incredible. How she was able to move her fingers over my skin and find the exact area of the pain... well, I'll never know, but the one thing I do know is that this massage was fabulously wonderful and I hope to have many, many more in the future!

15 comments: said...

sitting in this office 10 hours everyday on a desk facing a computer; i really need a massage

Sunshine said...

i got really bad back pain last time i was bak, so i went to jaq dessange, and the massage girls there are the beestt, i love them so much i went bak a few days ago since my bak was killing me again from the journey..
its good to be pampered every now and then :)

LouLou said...

I have lots of aches and pains these days because of all the exercise am not accustomed too. Haven't done anything about them though because I know they'll go away on their own as my muscles get used to the new regime.

But you've made me want a Thai massage. Especially a head & scalp massage. I find those so relaxing.

Glad you had your 'me' moment.:)

Um Naief said...

ammaro, you should have one. i tell hashim to get one all the time because guys need it too. how do you feel about massage? have you ever had one? guys are sorta weird about it for some reason...

sunshine, i've not been there, but have thought about that place a few times. you get back pain too? did it help to take it away? are you getting them from the long traveling time? are you back in bahrain for good or just a break?

loulou, i can imagine how much your body is aching w/ as much as you're doing as of late. i've been watching Out & About in Dubai and there's a lot there for ppl who want to be pampered!! there's a part of me that longs to live there just for stuff like that! i think you'd love a Thai massage but make sure you go to the right person. like i said, the first girl that did it about killed me and i swore to never do another Thai, but this woman had something powerful coming from her hands! I kid you not... and I'm not sure if they're all like this, but you should definitely check it out. and I LOVE head and scalp massage. when i get my hair done, that's my favorite part. the girls there give the best scalp massages when conditioner is on your scalp... ahhh, i love it. i sometimes wish for a private girl at home to do just that! ;)

Rock Chef said...

The best massage I ever had was by a martial artist - he more or less sorted out my sciatica for many years.

Thursday said...

The best massage I had was by a Czech man who looked like Dolph Lundgren.

I started training as a massage therapist years ago (I had to stop as I moved area). You can usually see and feel where the knots are once you start massaging - they almost start 'popping up', particularly on the back.

I would also suggest going to see an osteopath who will crack your bones back in to place - sounds like they may have become malaligned when you fell. Sounds hideous but it actually doesn't hurt.

Um Naief said...

rock chef, now that's a massage i'd like to have. can't imagine how great that must have been!!

thursday, you know, i thought about training as a massage therapist myself... i wonder what ever happened w/ that! ;) i probably should see an osteopath, but not sure that i'd trust any of them here! my BIL is a chiropractor and will prob get him to align my back when i go there the next time... it's just the waiting is what gets to me!

Anonymous said...

Um Naief,

I am happy that the pain relieved. I personally know what the back pain is, especially when you work sitting the whole day and feel almost the whole time that annoying pain in ur back.

I would be happy to have the massage by that woman because I am so very much fed up with this back pain.

Sometimes, when I am around there, I will take her number from you and try that massage.

For the time being, Im going to my current massage hoping for some relaxation.



Olivia said...

Ooh you definitely deserved that. I like the oil and candles and music too.

One of my aunts got me a local massage last Christmas in Canada, but the lady was a chiropractor - there were low lights, meditational christmas tunes, but her technique was too technical and medical, there was no warmth in it.

Then I went to a half hour massage in the walk-in backrub shop at Selfridges, and I was taken in by a big Russian man whose fingers were like upholstery - large and soft!

At the moment I am aching - fighting the flu (only got the shot last week), I stood all the way home on the train and had to change lines three times becuase my usual one was delayed, so my back and hip hurts from holding my bags, my feet hurt, and then my shoulders hurt from being so tensed up at work this week working to deadlines. Plus I am cold (it will be freezing tonight) and tense with the coldness.

Yep, time for an all over treatment.

Yoiu still feeling good? ;)

Um Naief said...

anon, who are you if you don't mind my asking? if you know me, then i must know you. if you come around this area, then please tell me who you are. i don't mind anony's posting, but when they post things about my life and about knowing me and i don't know who they are, that's when i start to wonder. and, yes, please get her phone #. she's really good and would relieve your back pain easily. altho, mine is starting again... and i hope to have another massage on sat. but the pain in my shoulder has left and the pain in my hip... thankfully.

olivia, gosh, you remind me of the times i used to have to ride the bus from dallas to garland after work. i would be dead tired and there'd be no seats available. it does make everything worse. the flu/colds are really big in this part right now. i guess you're getting the same there. take care of yourself. snuggle in under some warm covers, watch some tv and get a massage when you can. i think that they have a way of working sickness out at times...

i wouldn't think a chiropractor would be good at massage... too technical like you say. my sister's husband is one and he's good at adjusting your back, but i couldn't see him giving a massage. this russian you went to sounds interesting... especially that his touch was so soft. this woman who came the other day actually stood up on my legs... when i realized what she was doing, i could hardly believe it.

Olivia said...

Meh....I have a weak vessel in my left sinus, so all this sniffling and blowing AND dry heating has finally brought back the old nosebleeds :(

Which is why I'd never live in the desert.

Olivia said...

Garland??? That's where my grandmother used to live!

Um Naief said...

olivia, yeah, i went to high school in garland. graduated from South Garland HS... :) small world!!

i hated that bus ride from dallas to garland... and sometimes i'd even get on the wrong bus.. there were two lines going. one to south and one to north. i'd always know as soon as i got on the wrong one. you'd look around and wouldn't recognize anyone!! that's a horrible feeling!

you know, i used to get bad nose bleeds when i was younger. they started the first time we had a tornado. it was terrible.. then they continued for years after. i can remember getting them in school and i'd have to go to the bathroom and load my nose down w/ toilet tissue. so embarrassing!!

Tipihaere said...

Salaam Um Naief, I'm a kiwi fella living in Bahrain for a couple of years. I have been looking for high quality therapeutic massage to keep my creeky body mobile & have been going to Health House (Budaiya)...bit too much for a weekly massage @ 28 BD though! Can you please send me the contact details for the masseur/masseuse you recommend in your blog? Many thanks, Nisbet Smith

Um Naief said...

hi! the health house is a bit expensive. the girl that does my massage is 10BD!! :)

she's from thailand and has a strong accent so it can be a bit difficult to understand her... but she's really good.

her name is Afam. her mobile is 39061798. tell her that tania gave her your number, if you'd like. hope you enjoy it.

if you have any problems, just let me know.