Friday, February 29, 2008

A Massage For You Rudy

I think you'll agree that one of life's little pleasures is a good massage. Not a sexy one involving "extras" or the new term I heard recently "a happy ending", I mean a good proper one by a good proper masseur, with the whole pain / pleasure line being smudged, blurred and generally beaten into oblivion, which is exactly what happened to me last week.

I was in Singapore and decided on a massage, as you may have guessed. The event was prebooked at one of the more reputable establishments and I arrived, to be greeted with herbal tea, soft music, that type that no one listens to except whales and people in massage parlours, and a full explanation of exactly what was going to happen. I opted for a head, shoulders and neck one. The woman then bunged me into one of those rooms and told me to take my clothes off and put on the disposable pants. Being a boy with childish tendencies I naturally had to amuse myself by putting the pants on my head for a quick minute, but keep that to yourself.

The masseur hovered into the room and I spent a few minutes wondering if they are specially trained to walk without leaving any sort of imprint or make a sound. Perhaps in the next "Ocean's 14" the new character will be a Singaporean masseur who can walk anywhere without setting off alarms and things. Remember, you heard it here first. Or didn't hear it as the case may be.

I was lying comfortably and marvelling at the joy and simplicity of a good massage table. There I was, face down but my face was peering at the floor through the hole that they incorporate into these things. As the next member of George Clooney's gang started work on my legs I felt as if I wasn't actually lying down but more floating, as if I were a sprig of parsley on a delectable bed of rice, probably pilau rice but you can choose whichever type you prefer if it helps to set the scene.

The agreement was that she'd do a bit of stuff on my legs and lower back, avoiding my penis, then move upwards and concentrate on my shoulders and neck. I remained on my bed of pilau rice and, as she advanced up my torso, I occasionally caught a glimpse of red toenail adorned foot. Her's that is, not mine you understand. I pondered on whether these masseurs are told that they should ensure their feet are neat and tidy at all times as they are the only bit of them the client might see.

Frankly I didn't pay much attention to them, but I did observe that she had an unusual amount of flesh around her toenails, particularly those on her big toes. I decided not to mention it though. She also had quite a large amount of toe cleavage going on, but some of that was because of the obvious pressure on her feet as she pummelled my back with all the force of a lead guitarist after being told that he's playing a little bit too softly.

As she moved up my back she got to the, and here comes the science, top middle bit, just inside the shoulder blades and towards my spine. The force continued and I wondered if I had upset her, maybe in a previous life, maybe when I had greeted her as I walked into the place. I often used to upset my ex wife by saying "hello" so it wasn't a wholly alien concept to me.

But my discomfort hit a new high, or maybe it should be a low, as she seemed to start massaging lumps in my body. It felt as if she had found a series of lumps that were like little hills, with a circumference around the base of about four or five inches. Not content with just discovering them she was now trying to flatten each one by pushing on them as hard as she could. I was in quite severe pain but also going through the man thing of not knowing if my pain was "acceptable" or I was being a wimp.

When anyone says to us men that we should just tell them if something's hurting too much it probably sounds like a simple equation to a woman. I can see why; the man is being dealt with by a Dr or a dentist or a tattooist or a masseur and all said man has to do is to raise a hand if the pain becomes too great. Then the disher out of the pain stops and we regain our composure and all the levels are reset to zero, for it all to start again. It sounds well and good and I can imagine women like Darwin happily telling the punisher when to stop without ever having to go through the mental turmoil we men have to suffer. Not that Darwin would ever feel pain, but you know what I mean.

Because we have macho issues. We suddenly start wondering if the pain we feel is normal, if the act of raising our right hand to signal to the tormentor to stop would be a slur on our masculinity. That the masochist would stop but after our session she'd be laughing over coffee with her colleagues at the previous customer, the one who asked her to stop at a level two, when all other men can go up to a level ten before they even feel anything. The result was that she continued pummeling these mountains in my back, I continued to feel as if I was going to pass out at any point but I refused to let the evil woman and her colleagues laugh at me and question my manliness during their coffee break. It felt good. And painful.

Then she said something that made me feel better

"You have a lot of tension in your back Sir"

I knew now that I wasn't struggling on a level two, that I was indeed at a ten, or perhaps a four. I let her carry on but I felt better about letting out the occasional groan of pain. When I say "occasional" I actually mean every time she touched me.

After some time we got to the end of the episode. I felt as if my upper back and its surrounding areas had been beaten into a pulp, that all these hills of tension had been flattened and were gone, like glaciers and global warming. As I stood up it felt strangely dichotomous; I was relaxed and free of tension as though my skeleton had been removed and yet I was walking upright and unhunched as if my spine had been straightened. My posture was better straight away and I hurt like hell.

The masseur asked if I spend most of my day hunched at my desk over a computer. I realised that I've got to change my posture and habits so, as I write this, I'm sitting as straight as I can, I walk around making a conscious effort to keep straight and I'm determined to get regular massages.

I've got a hunch it will be good for me.


Java Jones said...

Hey RD – Posture is imperative for keeping that Kundalini on course and letting the energy flow unabated. It may also be interesting to observe your posture whilst drumming and try to keep half an eye on how you tense up. Do you think a more ‘relaxed’ mode would help with the performance?

Bea said...

"I've got a hunch it will be good for me" nice pun Rythmic lol

themissingsandwich said...

The part about her toes reminded me of Phoebs in Freinds getting hers done to impress a client. Massages are better in Thailand. Trust me. I got one in Bangkok and Pattaya and they were both fab.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Hey Java - Back problems are a common ailment among drummers, not only from the way we sit when playing but also from the bad habits we get into when loading and unloading all our gear.

TMS - I'll let you know!

Tariq said...

I think I've experienced this masseuse... the fleshy toes and the ridiculously disprportionate amount of strength possessed by a woman her size gave it away. I did feel very relaxed though. On a side note did you feel like you had to fart when you were getting the massage?

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Tariq - Yes, i think you've been done by her too! I didn't actually feel the urge to fart, which is unusual for me I must admit.

Jack Point said...

I think you mean masseuse not masseur