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    Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    Chinese Neck Massage of Death

    I’ve been dizzy for five days now. Since I’m not blonde, I find this sensation troubling. I haven’t got a clue what’s causing it. The only other symptom I have is a very stiff and sore neck.

    Those of you who’ve been with me for awhile know that I’ve had problems with my neck in the past. For my misadventures in the foggy land of prescription pills, read "Muscle Relaxer Hangover."

    With no relief from the prescribed vertigo medication, I decided to resort to alternative medicine. Actually, my mom sternly informed me that she was taking me to her “Chinese friends” for a massage.

    Mom discovered her “Chinese friends” a year or so ago. In a strip mall on a busy Colorado Springs street, there is a sign that reads simply “Massage.” Next to this incredibly informative sign is a large, neon green foot. How self-explanatory can you get?

    Actually, behind this store front there exist several wonderful people, who will, for a fee, plunk your feet in a steaming bucket of mysterious tea. Once you’re thoroughly steeped, they perform magic on your legs and feet so that when you’re done, you resemble not so much a person as a pile of pudding.

    And they don’t just do feet. Today I had a chair massage from our very nice friend, David. When I told David that the doctor recommended gentle massage for my neck, he must have been pondering the unknowable intricacies of his craft or perhaps wondering if his lunch would grow cold before he returned to it. Whatever the case, the term “gentle” failed to successfully traverse the air between my mouth and his ear.

    After a few preliminary pokes, David placed his fingers at the bottom of my skull and, with indescribable pressure, pushed upward. I was sure he would separate my head from my neck. I told him so.

    He replied, “Don’t worry. We have insurance for that.”

    I laughed nervously.

    He said, “We have insurance for all kinds of crazy things.”

    Was that supposed to make me feel better?

    To change the subject from my probable decapitation, I told David I’d been dizzy. Immediately, he located and probed a very tender spot on my neck. I protested. Loudly. He suggested the possibility of a pinched nerve.

    Being less than intelligent, I asked what he recommended for a pinched nerve. I should have kept my mouth shut.

    He mumbled something. I could tell he and the woman brewing Mom’s feet were puzzling over the proper term for my “therapy.”

    “Press?” He muttered to her.

    “Pump?” She replied.

    “Beat!” He exclaimed. “Yes. Beat!”

    “You’re going to beat me?” I whimpered.

    “Yes.” He sounded so pleased. “Chinese people beat their bodies for ten minutes every day. It make their bodies strong.”

    While not prepared to argue the veracity of this statement, I had no intention of finding out for myself if he was, indeed, correct. David continued with his “gentle” torture while I tried not to whine like a giant baby.

    As I bit my lip to keep from hollering, a profound truth penetrated my fuzzy brain. All of these professionals, from massage to physical to occupational therapists, operate under the principle that if they hurt you severely, when they finally stop, you will undoubtedly say, “I feel better.”

    How could you not? Relief is inevitable the instant they stop touching you.

    And should your head happen to disconnect from your body, there is no need to panic. They have insurance for that.


    Andrea said...


    Kay Day said...

    I think I encountered some of them at Chapel Hills mall. I loved them!

    They told me about the foot tea baths at a different location and I wanted to go, but never made it.

    I shall plan on foot tea one of these days.

    Hope you really do feel better.

    Me said...

    the question is, DO you feel better?

    Evangeline Denmark said...

    Not really. Though I did feel better afterward, but I chalk that up to relief.
    I'm trying ice cream therapy now.

    Jennifer (jkincolorado) said...

    I think I'll stick to the foot massages and keep them away from my back/neck. Ice cream therapy has been around for ages - I could have told you to try that first! :)

    Hope you get some relief soon.

    D. Gudger said...

    I have chronic neck/headache pain. I'm beyond narcotic drug relief and have been looking for an amputation service.

    Sounds like I need to venture to the Springs and have my head popped off and get a massage while I'm at it. :)

    Seriously, I am thinking amputation at the shoulders is the only cure for my neck and head pain.

    Donita K. Paul said...

    Yes, Kay, they used to be at Chapel Hills Mall.
    Darcie, the problem with the amputation is that the part that registers pain goes with you. Well, at least with your head.