About 17 years ago my coworkers in the Vanderbilt Laser Sight Center presented me with a gift certificate to a local spa for my birthday. It took me almost a full year to work up the courage to redeem it and when I went into work the next day I demanded a raise so I could enjoy massages on a regular basis. That didn’t happen but they gave me another gift certificate for the next birthday and after that I managed to squeak out the funds from my budget.
I was going through a rough time in my life. My husband Dave had been diagnosed with brain cancer and I was slowly losing him. Sam was a baby and Dave had charged me with the instruction to keep life as normal as possible. Balancing the needs of a small child, a dying husband, work and my own health was a challenge and the monthly massage was the only time that was ME ME ME. I treasured it.
And so, massage has remained a part of my health regimen ever since. I have been fortunate to find practitioners who had great hands and wonderful technique wherever I have lived.
When travelling it can be tempting to take advantage of the spa, especially when prices are so much lower than here in the States. On the India trip several people who were part of the SmarTours group enjoyed massages at our first hotel in Delhi and told about the experience in glowing terms. So when Lisa and I checked into the next hotel in Agra and learned we could have an in-room massage for about $20, we scheduled one each!
It had been a long hot day so we each jumped in the shower to present less sweaty bodies. The husband and wife team arrived as I was just finishing, and laughingly told us it was not necessary to be clean. That should have given us a clue we were in for a slightly different experience.
My massage therapist here in Oregon no longer works at a spa but comes to our house with his portable table. Lisa and I were surprised they didn’t carry anything….and they at first suggested we would lie on the floor. They grabbed the towels from our bathroom and spread them on the beds, though and soon the massages started.
There are several schools of massage and the one I am most familiar with is Swedish Deep Tissue. The technique, Indian Ayurvedic, seemed to involve a lot of short fast strokes that were only on the surface. I have no idea if there are long term benefits of this method but other than getting very lubed up with the massage oil, I can’t say there was any “ahhhhhhh” feeling after.
In fact, after they left the room, Lisa and I looked at each other and laughed for about ten minutes. The joke was on us, but we were only out about $50 total.