“Ecstatic” is just about how I would describe my feelings before receiving a massage, but, there are those that might better describe theirs as “forced to be there”. Tough to imagine, I know, but one such instance cropped up with a new client with some deeper family dynamics than I anticipated.
When I greeted him, he looked to be in his late sixties sporting a full head of sleek yet puffy gray hair. He created the impression of having an affection for avoiding a smile and forwent the usual “nice to meet you” pleasantries by getting right down to the heart of the matter.
He’d had neck pain with limited range of motion for many years, but expressed that he wasn’t too hopeful anything could be done about it. With such encouraging rhetoric, I was starting to get the feeling that maybe, he wasn’t too far off.
Once the hands on part of the session began, I wanted to know who it was that incited him to come see me in the first place since he had personally requested me. Before I could ask, he told me he was in Hawaii vacationing with his wife two weeks ago, when he decided to get a massage at the resort spa.
After his therapist felt the knots in his neck and realized her client lived in San Francisco, she recommended a great sports massage clinic she knew about that would be able to help him. He came out fervently to inform his wife of the great news.
She informed him that it was the same place she and her daughter had found that they’d recommended he go to at least three times...each! He didn’t have much to say once she detailed the numerous pains and conditions they’d both walked into my treatment room with that were now, mostly all resolved.
As the session drew to a close, I asked him to turn his neck so he could check the pain and range of motion. With a growing grimace, he relented and said it felt a little better. I asked if he had any questions for me knowing what he might ask.
“When should I come back for another treatment?” he inquired in the most matter-of-fact tone. A no nonsense person like himself gets down to business with no qualms. I suggested he come back sooner than he’d be able to find an opening on my schedule, so he should definitely book the next two sessions now.
He’s now come to see me three times and one of my colleagues once with significant improvements. His smile has ranged from “not there” to “is he grinding his teeth” for each of his visits. As I saw him in the lobby before his session with my co-worker, he pointed to his neck and said in a hushed tone, “it’s better.” A most satisfying review from a such a stoic individual.