Saturday, April 21, 2007

Back to the future

I massaged a 6ft tall woman today. So far, she is the tallest client I’ve ever had. I’m 6’2” myself, so my reach allows me to create long and fluid movements that can traverse your whole body, lulling you into a state of total relaxation. Considering my height and that all my clients are women, I am usually at an advantage when executing various techniques. With this particular client though, the playing field was a bit more even, but it was still 90 minutes of some of my best work!

I know, you’re probably thinking that 90 minutes is way too long, but really it’s the perfect amount of time. It lends for a more thorough massage, and I don’t feel rushed to work everything in especially when a client needs extra attention to a specific area. The two hour massage is definitely too long though. Try doing one of those at 9:00 am on a Sunday morning still hung over from the night before. Good times.

She was about 40 years old, worked out regularly, and had one of the most beautiful backs I’ve ever worked on. Most tall women are also on the thin side, which usually means that I won’t be doing any elbow glides, due to the protruding ribs exposed like little speed bumps. Hers was immaculately well toned, yet retained every bit of shapely femininity. To understand my excitement on working with such a beautiful canvas, imagine what Michelangelo must have thought when presented with the Chapel’s ceiling (okay well maybe his initial excitement anyway).

One of the fun things about my job is that I can be as creative as I want and there are no set routines to which I must adhere. (Kind of like a club bouncer. I imagine he can choose any number of ways in which to pummel a rowdy patron’s face in, or select from a long list of choke holds to subdue a drunkard and remove him from the premises.) Often times however, the clients anatomy and state of physical fitness, will determine what strokes I’ll be able to perform. For instance, there is a technique in which I position the arm behind the back, (as if you were being arrested) and pull the scapula away from the rib cage stretching the rhomboids and surrounding tissue. (It sounds gross, but I assure you it feels magnificent.) On most people this stretch can be achieved with minimal work, but on others there is a little too much “flesh” to allow my fingers to “hook” under the shoulder blade. You can either try the best you can, or skip the scapular pull all together. Over the years I’ve learned to move on. If you’re fumbling around trying to get someone’s body to do something it won’t, it will only make you look like you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. Kind of like the time I lost my virginity. But that my friends, is an entirely different story.


Jenne said...

The longest massage I've ever had was over 2 hours, I had not planned on lying there that long, and after about an hour I was ready to get dressed, but she hadn't even finished my back yet! Definitly too much of a good thing.
I've always wanted to you like to talk to the client when you massage, or do you prefer silence??

Mr. Poopie said...

The only time I ever talk is to check with the client to make sure the pressure is okay and to let them know when I'm going to apply hot towels.

Some people talk a little bit as a means to relax and I'm cool with that. After a little while they either melt or fall asleep anyway.
Sometimes you do get a "talker" though, and you just have to do the best you can. Generally, I prefer silence, but we all want to hear when you like something. So, if it feels good, let us know.

(I've actually had people tell me they like the fact that I didn't talk, because their last therapist wouldn't shut up.)