Monday, January 18, 2010

Getting a massage

Yesterday Jane and I went to The Woodhouse and got a couples massage. This was our gift from Drew Carrie for their wedding. We didn't expect them to get US a gift, but after getting the massage... yes, it was very much appreciated!

I had never been to this place, and have only had a massage maybe twice in my life, so I was just a little nervous about going. Though I had fortunately watched Seinfeld so I knew enough to request a woman masseuse beforehand. But... and I just gotta say this... what kind of name is "woodhouse" for a place that gives massages? I just wouldn't think you would want "wood" associated in any way with this type of 'legitimate' business. But maybe that's just me.

Anyway, we went and got signed in, and they gave us a tour of the place. It was all dark, and had candles and fountains and running water all over, and soothing new age music piped throughout. All the employees wear black and scamper about in silent whispers. Then Jane was led to the women's changing room, and I to the men's. In mine I had a big sink and mirror and a bunch of stuff on the counter, plus a separate restroom, changing room, and shower (with either a traditional shower or the rain shower from the ceiling). The shower was also a steam room. Some little girl brought my robe and slippers and showed me where to put my clothes in the locker. After getting changed I walked out and another girl was waiting for me to take me to the "quiet room" (or something like that). It had big overstuffed furniture, and they offered me something to drink. Jane eventually joined me in the quiet room, and we sat there for what seemed like forever. I suppose you're supposed to be unwinding and getting relaxed before you get your massage, but all I did was think about all the stuff I should have been doing instead. Plus I sit in a quiet room by myself 5 days a week, so this was no big deal for me. I can see where it is helpful for the normal person though.

Finally the door opens and someone calls my name. She introduces herself as Sasha. As her and Sondra (Jane's masseuse) lead us to our room Sasha asks me how long it's been since I've had a massage, if there are any areas to avoid because of injury, if there are any areas I would like her to concentrate on, and so on. I told her there were no off-limit areas, but I usually preferred a lot of work on my neck and shoulders, and arms and hands. My neck and shoulders are usually pretty tight, and it just feels good getting my arms and hands massaged (in the maybe 2 massages I've ever had in my life). In fact, I had never had my lower body massaged before, but I didn't tell her.

So when we got to our room Sasha and Sondra showed us around, told us to hang our robes on the hook and put our sandals under the table; get on the table under the covers, and they would come back in a couple of minutes. We got undressed and got on our respective tables (and under the covers) and waited for them to come back. They finally showed up and Sasha took my glasses, then put a thing over my eyes, and she straightened my head. I told her I couldn't lay on my back with my head straight or I got the spins (not that I was drunk, I just have vertigo problems), so she let me turn my head slightly sideways. Then she started on my feet - putting a warm towel on them and just kind of rubbing over them, but not a lot. Then she stood over my head and started in on my chest and neck. It was weird because I could hear her breathing right over me. But pretty soon I was lost in the massage. She worked my neck over pretty good, then she reached under me and put her arms clear down in my back and worked her way towards my head. That felt pretty good (other than the knots). Still, the best was on my lower arms and hands. I don't know what it is about that, but it feels really good. After doing the front of my upper body she moved to my legs. I was a little nervous about this, because I don't really like anybody messing with my feet. She did a nice job though. Just enough, but not too much. After that she had me turn over onto my stomach (though I swear she said my side - and Jane thought so too). Now she really went to work on my back and neck, and there were some huge - and not just a little painful - knots that she worked out. She commented about this later. And I could feel the spot where I had a wedged vertabrae from a football injury in high school. It was one of those "hurts so good" spots when she touched it. But when she moved down to the back of my legs... there were a couple places that just downright hurt. My left calf was probably the worst. I didn't even know it was sore, but it hurt when she rubbed it. She told me later I might want to get some heat lotion and use on it.

So... after an hour she stopped, whispered in my ear that she would be leaving and I could get dressed and she would be waiting for me outside. When they left, Jane and I sat up and it was like we'd been in a trance for the past hour. It felt soooooo good. That was undoubtedly the BEST massage I've ever had. I told her so too. So we put on our robes, went out in the hall, and they asked us how we were doing. We were doing fine. But then they took us out to the entryway - in our robes still - and there were a bunch of people out there! That was a little weird. They showed us all the stuff we could buy if we wanted. I think Sasha knew I probably wasn't going to buy anything, so she just made small talk. And it turned out that her boyfriend lives just down the road from us! She asked where we were from and I said south of town. She said she was from Huntington, so I got more specific and said we were from rural Yoder actually. And she says, "Yoder Road?!?" I said yes. That's when she said her boyfriend lived just off of Yoder Road, on Zubrick. Small world. So, anyway, she takes me to my room and shows me the shower and stuff again - recomminding the rain shower - and we said our goodbye's.

I actually did take a rain shower. It was nice. I don't know that I was all excited about it. I mean, it's water coming down from the ceiling. But whatever. Then I got my clothes out of the locker, got changed, but then I didn't know what to do with my towel. There was a hamper for my robe and slippers, but it didn't say anything about towels. So I thought for a moment, and finally decided to just put my towel on the little table in the shower room. Later Jane told me she asked and we were suppoed to put our towels in with the robes and slippers. I think the sign should say that. Anyway, after that I realized I didn't bring a comb, so I tried to straighten my hair as best I could, and then went back out front. Jane was already done and waiting for me. She had already paid with our gift certificate, and I bought a gift certificate for someone else. We also had to put tip money in cards for Sasha and Sondra. I had no idea what you were supposed to tip, so I gave them each $10 because I happened to have 2 tens. I probably should have given more, because at the time it was worth much more. Then we left.

Very nice idea Drew Carrie had. I felt good and relaxed the rest of the day. But now I want to come back. This is not a good habit to get into though (unless you have lots of money). So I will enjoy it for what it was. Very nice.

Peace out; and in.