I'm not sure I'll try it again, but I wanted to see if it's just that I don't know how to get massages and did something wrong, or maybe it's really just that I'm totally sociophobic (made-up-word, I know) and should never be allowed to interact with other humans.
I assume that even non-cancer massages have some paperwork involved, right? Liability and all that, in case they massage a nerve and paralyze you for life (tell me that can't happen)? My cancer massage had lots of paperwork and I felt like I was trying my hardest to pass a test, but I didn't know which answers would allow me to pass and actually get the massage. Like they were just going to say, "Nope, shouldn't have checked that box. No massage for you. Leave now." After the paperwork, which already felt test-esque, the massage therapist asked me a ton of questions about my cancer and my meds and where my pain was (the point where she asked if my pain was under control felt like a dealbreaker - like since I'm not in terrible pain, I shouldn't be taking up a valuable time slot where another actually in pain person could get their cancer massage. But apparently I can get a massage even if I don't hurt that much). So that was the oral part of the exam.
I decided to just get her to massage my feet and calves, since I've had some cramping in them - possibly related to chemo, but maybe just because my sedentary lifestyle became even more sedentary over the past few months (if that is even possible) and my muscles just want to be used. So I didn't think that I would have the issue of clothing or non-clothing. Because let's face it, that's really my concern about massages. But then she said that it would be easier if I were pantsless, unless I wanted her to massage my thighs through my yoga pants. That sounded weirder than being covered by a sheet, so I agreed, but really, I was thinking "Why are we even touching my thighs?" The answer to that question is probably something to do with circulation or other nonsense. And then I realized that maybe I should have gotten some non-religious underwear for this particular situation. But I didn't realize that until after she had left me to undress and slip under the sheet.
This is tmi, obviously. I'm just such an awkward human being. She dimmed the lights and turned up the...music, for lack of a better word (synthesized extended notes vaguely reminiscent of ocean waves doesn't trip off the tongue that well). Then she started rubbing my feet and I had no idea what to do. Should I talk? Should I close my eyes and pretend to be asleep? It's kind of like the dental hygienist or the hair-stylist question. Do they expect you to chit chat? And what about? I have absolutely no idea what to do in those situations, but I especially had no idea about what to do in this massage situation. And then I just kept thinking about it and getting more and more weirded out by myself. About halfway through I remembered that I needed to be back in plenty of time for Adam to take the car to school and didn't know how long it had taken and was going to take and I wanted SO BADLY to check my watch. But I didn't. Aren't you proud? I just sat there like some sort of stuck-up queen with an underling massaging her feet.
So here are my questions. Will you guys help me be less of an awkward person in the future if I ever try to do this again (unlikely)?
- Have you ever had a professional massage? Full body or just an appendage?
- Did you enjoy it?
- Did you talk to your masseuse? If so, what about?
- Was it a clothed or non-clothed massage? Dare I ask about underwear or no?
- Would it be weird to give them specific instructions about where you want stretched or kneaded? Or is that like criticizing their professional skills?
- Should I give it another try? And should I stick with the feet or try something else?