So, I went for a mini break during the half-term (I’m a student – have I told you that?) and I decided that the break would consist of nothing but relaxation. I succeeded if you were wondering and I achieved it with a few of the following things.
Yup, simple yet effective alcohol. The reason this is such a big thing for me is because I actually gave up alcohol just over a year ago. After being prescribed Citalopram (Anti-anxiety meds…hello buzzkill) I wanted to do as much as I could to ensure that the medication worked, which meant waving goodbye to my booze-fuelled weekends and welcoming Saturday nights spent reading while drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate instead. Therefore, after having my medication changed and realising that you only live once (see, some students can say the full thing.) I decided to get some damn vodka down my neck and it was utterly magical…I think.
After professing my new healthy lifestyle over every social media platform that I’ve signed up to, I decided to ignore it and eat complete and utter shit for the entire trip. It was glorious, sickening and disgusting. I regret nothing.
I prepared for this prior to setting off on my lazy journey to the beautiful Pine Lake resort (it’s literally a lake surrounded by lodges and, well, pine trees – heaven. http://bit.ly/24huKh5) and had a Lush splurge as I have a serious problem, but we will get to that another day. So, off I went with my butter bear bomb (Kind of like this one – http://bit.ly/1V6N5aT) and my ceridrewn’s cauldron (http://bit.ly/24huT42) in the hopes of having a relaxing bath while the man went off to the bar to chat with random other men who had been abandoned by their other half (Have you ever noticed that?). Yet, I made other plans as soon as I realised that there was a spa on site.
The Oily Experience:
The first thing you should know about me is that I’ve never had a massage (much to the beauty therapist’s dismay) and I am twenty-nine. I have just never been overly comfortable with people touching me for merely a hug, nevermind rubbing me all over my naked body while I sit in a face prison (it really is that bad). After making the life changing decision to have my first massage I was riddled with anxiety while simultaneously having goosebumps imagining how wonderful my body would feel post massage. My personal image of a massage has been completely taken from what I’ve seen portrayed in films or on T.V which left me visioning a large, open room that’s darkened with calming music in the background. When I walked into the spa building I saw the open door to the massage room and my vision was cracked like a mirror during the high-pitched finish on an opera.
As I looked into the room I struggled to focus on anything as it was so small, dark and dismal if I’m completely honest. I was surprised by the view but then took the time to remind myself that I had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. I nervously walked into the small room as the beauty therapist (Let’s call her Gemma) pointed towards the small area next to the bed. As she shut the door I suddenly felt isolated and ever so slightly claustrophobic.
While I was taking in my surroundings, the nail bar at the head of the massage bed, the small sink to the right of my hip, the large, squishy looking bed Gemma began asking if I had ever had a massage before. When her shock subsided she very kindly explained what she needed me to do and that consisted of very politely asking me to get naked without actually saying it. Good old Gemma left the room, offering me a couple of minutes to get undressed and tuck myself under the towel that had been laid out with the classic inviting fold. I did what I assume most people do in these situations and undressed with the speed of a teenager getting ready to lose their virginity. Nothing was going to stop me getting under that towel in my timeframe, why I decided to take the ‘couple of minutes’ as a rule I’ve no idea. There is always a small fear in my mind that these people will see my naked, wobbly body and run screaming out of the door (I also practice this game at smear tests even though, well, they literally see everything). As I was about to throw back the towel and snuggle into the heated bed I noticed something that was about to throw off my timing. A twig, a bloody twig. What the hell was I supposed to do with that? Do I leave it on the bed? Do I throw it on the floor? Is this a part of the massage routine? Where the hell does she put it? All of these thoughts were darting around in my mind as I stood there butt-naked and flickering my eyes between the imminent door opening and the damn twig.
With the sheer fear of someone seeing my boobs without support I threw the twig on the floor and then came across my next problem. Where the hell do you put your arms? In the movies, they put them by their sides, so I did that, but then I was touching my hips which may get in the way of my massage. Then I decided to try them bent at the elbow and hands by my head and I looked like a frog. Next option was above my head…BOOBS! Nope, major side boob issues. Bloomin’ hell, no relaxation here whatsoever. I stuck with my movie themed life lessons and kept them by my side and I was met with the face prison. For fucks sake.
Face prison is the small hole at the top of the bed where you place your nose and mouth in order to breathe, obviously. The tissue wasn’t ripped enough at the hole so while trying to adjust that my boobs managed to rip the tissue on the bed, which for some reason panicked me. Like Gemma would care that I was a completely useless woman, or I was completely going against all massage etiquette and will be asked to leave immediately. After moving the forehead sausage thing a good six times, Gemma knocked so lightly on the door that I thought my boobs had caused some more damage somewhere. Luckily, this meant the beginning of my calming experience.
Gemma talked me through how she would begin to loosen the muscles before detangling the knots and that we would discuss pressure as we went on. There was me thinking that massages meant silence? My eyes were so tightly shut that I had to keep reminding myself to relax as I heard the relaxing sound of oils slapping between hands and the squelching coming closer and closer.
The minute that Gemma began moving her hands along my back I started to think that I should relax, which is probably something that just happens and not something that I have to keep reminding myself. As the hands moved up and down my body I could feel my shoulders starting to tense up, is this normal? After the ‘warm up’ was over we agreed on a pressure and that’s when I really did relax and stopped scrolling through lists of things I had to do in my head. That’s when you really know that you’re relaxed.
However, when she began to go further down my back and I got more relaxed I suddenly felt myself jolt and my buttocks clench. I was going to bloody fart! Not good, not good at all and the relaxation started to drain from my body as the fear of passing gas took over. What the hell was going on? Why did my body hate me so much? So many questions and no answers or solutions other than to clench like I was trying to crack open a beer bottle.Thankfully, there were no awkward moments of sewage drain aromas drowning out the lavender oils that seemed to be embedded into everything in the room. The only other moment that completely shattered my vision of massages was when I opened my eyes while still in the face prison. I was met with Gemma’s glitter painted toes, clearly she works better when she’s relaxed too. All I could think about was the Friends episode where Pheobe lied to the guys about working for a big corporation and Rachel inadvertently went for a massage at the very parlour that Pheobe was working at.’The One with the Fertility Test’ was all that was running through my mind, which again ruined the illusion of the entire thing and only brought thoughts of comedy to mind.
When Gemma placed her hands at the top of my back and the base I knew my experience was over and if I am honest, I was gutted. Through all the malfunctions (all from my end, Gemma was a dream) I actually thoroughly enjoyed the massage and can’t wait until my next. Gemma suggested that I follow up with a quiet night, lots of water and a warm bath (thank God for my Lush purchases). I never knew the extent of a massage, merely thinking that someone rubs oil into you for an hour and then off you pop. How wrong I was, I had to make sure I drank water to encourage the broken down toxins that had become loose during the massage to pass out of the body otherwise leaving me nauseous, and to ensure that I relax as I would feel like I had done a full body workout at the gym by the morning. How bloody interesting is that?
After walking back to my room in the fresh country air by moonlight, I ran a bath with bombs and oils (I must have looked like a wrestler by the end of the night) while watching an obscene amount of YouTube videos (another addiction) I relaxed to the max and began surfing the net for my next massage.
If you are also a massage virgin and have yet to feel the luxury benefits of an oily rub down then I encourage you to book one immediately. They aren’t cheap, but they are worth it for both body and mind. I have returned home completely rejuvenated (as you can see by the fact that I have actually uploaded a blog) and ready for anything.
Just FYI I also read this on my return and feel it’s my duty to let you know so that you don’t feel fear like I did.
‘Bodily Functions, Well, Happen…
Massages are sure to chill you out, but did you know they can also improve your digestion? So, if you’re getting a rub down and hear some grumbling noises and yes, even flatulence, don’t freak. It’s easy to be embarrassed, but there’s absolutely no need to be: “It’s not uncommon for people to pass gas during a massage session, it’s completely normal,” says Natalie Johnson, certified massage therapist at Be Well Boston Clinical Massage Therapy. If you’re worried, avoid any high-fiber foods before your appointment. Johnson also suggests hitting the bathroom before your session and not drinking too much water right before you hit the table, since there’s nothing worse than having to pee while someone is pressing on your bladder.’
The rest of the article can be found here: http://bit.ly/1Mr3R1g