People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Me - At Zen Massage

FB

Me - At Zen Massage


So I've been having a lot of stress-related (and, let's face it, age-related) pains lately and I figured I needed a massage.  I bought a massage gift certificate at an auction a few months ago and I decided on the spur of the moment to book a last minute massage last night.

I was going to try for sometime later in the week, but after I looked at my calendar for the upcoming week I felt the knots in my shoulders tighten.  I asked if they had an appointment for that night and the receptionist said I could get the last one of the night.  Perfect.

Or so I thought.


I dashed across town.  I have never been to Zen Massage before.  This is one of those places where it's always forty bucks to get an hour massage.  It's not a spa, but it's not terrible either.  It's very average.

After filling out the requisite paperwork (why in the world do they need to know what I weigh??) I was escorted to my small, dimly lit room.  My handler for the evening introduced herself and said she'd give me a few moments to get ready and then she left.

As soon as she left I started feeling anxious.  I hate when I'm in a new place and I don't know the "spa etiquette."  I get in a lot of trouble when I don't know the etiquette.  (Once when I got a massage in Asia the masseuse asked me if I wanted my "front" done.  I said, "Yes," thinking she meant the "American style" front - shoulders, neck, that sort of thing.  I flipped over and found out it meant she straddles me and pummels and wrings my bare breasts.  Holy cow!!  I didn't know what to do so I closed my eyes and tried to count sheep until she was done.)  Now I'm in a new place again!  I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be molested, but there are still the uncertainties.

For instance, do you go commando or do you leave your drawers on?  Of course, it's laundry day and I'm wearing some raggedy drawers.


My massage is so stressful!


I'm still pondering that one when I realize that in my haste I have not fully prepared my body for this event.  My legs have not been near a razor in about 4 days at this point.  They are beyond stubbly, they are downy.  Between the granny panties and the man legs I'm mortified.  Can't back out now though, gotta power through.  This woman is a professional, I tell myself, she's seen EVERYTHING.  I can't be the worst she's ever come across.  Surely she won't go home tonight and blog about me.  Right??

I get on the table and try to relax.  Good luck with that.

I close my eyes and focus on the soft music.  Oh God!  If I had to work there, I would rip out my ear drums.  That spa music with the rain forest sounds and waterfalls crap drives me batty.  I would relax more listening to NPR.  I can't get my mind off the music and how I just want it to be quiet.  I even think about asking her to turn it off, but if I do that then I'll focus on every little sound in the hallway or the room next door.

This brings me to my next conundrum.  Do you talk while you're getting a massage?  I feel rude not asking how her day has been, that sort of thing.  It must be weird to have a job where you don't talk except for the five minutes before and after the massage except to say "How's the pressure?"  Since I'm face down in that face ring thingy and it's tough enough to breathe, let alone talk, I decide to stay silent.

I want to focus on the damn rain forest and relax.  That's why I'm here!

She starts on my back and I can't relax.  What if I make noises?  Do you ever moan?  I'm not typically a moaner or grunter, but she was working some shit out!  It was a bit painful, but I knew it needed to be done so I didn't want to say anything.  I also didn't want to grunt or cry so I just bit my lip and took it like a soldier.

She's finally relieving the tension in my shoulders and I'm ready to really relax...only...I'm afraid I might get TOO relaxed.  Now I'm worried I'm going to fart.  Truly.  She's already warned me that she's going to release toxins.  Farts have got to be toxins that want to be released and I had Mexican for dinner - ay caramba.  Just when I'm worried I'M going to fart, SHE toots.  I won't call it a fart, because it wasn't a full on stinker, it was truly just a little toot.  Then she tried to act like her shoe made the noise.  We've all tried that excuse, honey, and no one's buying.

For the next hour I try to relax while I hold in my giggle (yes, deep down I am a ten year old boy), my grunts and my small talk while her stomach growls, her knuckles pop and she makes weird breath noises.  I think it's safe to say I was her worst client of the day.  I took an Aleve and a shower, but the shoulders felt great so I think even though I felt like an idiot and didn't go in prepped, it was still a success!
If you like what you read, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter!

If you liked this, you'll love my books! 

57 comments:

Annette said...

Oh my...I've never had a real massage because I'm too self conscious. Now that I know they might squeeze a fart out there is no way in hell I will ever go. EVAR!

Liz said...

I loved this one Jen! The fart part of the story was classic! ;)

Jen said...

Classic...but not classy. Story of my life. Thanks for reading!

bodybalance said...

haha!

I'm a massage therapist and I thought this was hilarious!

A) you should ALWAYS feel free to stop your therapist and ASK them what they mean by "get ready" as it can be different every place.
B) stubbly legs? we REALLY don't care- we're so focused on the muscle tissue that hair or lack of hair is not something we'll notice.
C) granny panties: if the draping with the sheet is done correctly the MT will never see your panties- in the same case you can rest assured that if you decide to go commando the therapist won't notice that either.
D) grunting and moaning? feel free to let it all out- I once had a client that would scream "oh shit oh shit oh shit" at the top of her lungs every time I touched her shoulders- no biggie, but try to breathe through it that usually helps :)
E) remember, your MT likely gets massages too- she knows how it feels to be on the table but feel free to bring up specifics like music or temperature, and pressure. She can't read your mind and she just wants you to have a pleasant experience!

natesmom said...

Thank you, bodybalance!!!! This is good info to know!!

I love massages but, I too, worry about odd little things while on the table...

As for talking- sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I once had a great MT at my chriopractor and we became buddies. We'd talk about our kids, etc... I relaxed but got to have adult conversation too.

I hate when I start with a runny nose while laying facedown. "Sniff, sniff, sniff...."

I honestly have never farted on the table. So those of you afraid to try massage because of that- don't be!

Amanda said...

Omg, literally laughing out loud. I'll never have a massage and not think of this. A freakin riot!!!!

Myself said...

I'm sorry, I just had to laugh. I love that you and I have the same poot anxiety. What's also bad is when you're taking an exam, you accidentally let a fart slip, and you try to shift in your chair to blame that.

Regardless, you're awesome! You've gotten a regular reader...You had me at "toot." :)

Cristy said...

You think you're going to fart while on the massage table? Try getting your bikini and/or a@@ waxed. I SO wanted to fart on that table. And getting waxed was embarrassing enough, can't imagine farting too.

Lisa said...

I feel like your words come out of my head. I cant stand it. You crack me up.

The White's House/Garden Tenders said...

You are awesome! I have been there, so been there. LOL I think I have actually farted before while getting one.... Poor Lisa my MT. LOL

The White's House/Garden Tenders said...

BTW, not only will I share on FB, but I will "Pin it" too! :-)

Marcella said...

lol!!! I'm totally following you after this...

KarenS said...

Thanks Bodybalance! You took the words right out my my MT mouth! I once had a client fart and then announce that she farted! "OOPS! I FARTED!" Yes, thanks, we're both aware that you farted LOL

KarenS said...

And ladies! Find a therapist and stick with her! Don't hop around! You don't change doctors and dentists because you got a coupon in your email, do you? If we have our own practice, sometimes we can offer the same discounts that you get in the mail. We love when our clients return and request us. We cater to each client and every massage is fine tuned to your needs!

Jen said...

Thank you, Body Balance!! That makes me feel so much better. I LOVE massages and I don't want to quit going just because I'm an idiot. You made me feel sooooo much better!

JMac Equitherapy said...

freaking to die for fantastic post!

andreaPuri said...

I love this! I never went for a massage because of these reasons, but when I found a great place, it is wonderful and I no longer worry about any of this. I asked a massage therapist about the stubbly legs and she said that they use to much oil that she can't feel it anyway. I love your blogs (I know you have heard this before), but you say EXACTLY what I think!

Amy said...

Awesome post - you inspire me to write!! And for the record... I once farted during acupuncture because I was so relaxed. You can bet I never went back there again!!

Vanessa Grant Events said...

This just made be literally LOL! I've never had a message, although God knows I could use one. After reading this I am more tempted than ever! Not bc I want a MT to "poof" in front of me, but because I know I will think of this post and crack up the entire time, and now I know what to expect! Thanks for the laugh!

MrsHoehn said...

It sounds more like you made an appointment with a hooker! LOL!

Jessi said...

Body Balance is right on target. As a massage therapist trust me you dont have to talk unless you want to and the whole fart trust me i have seen smelled worse i once had a guy wet the sheets after he fell asleep ... it happens. and always tell if its to cold or the musics to loud we want to fix those things for you It is worth it for us to know you feel better when you leave and want to come back that's how we make our living :)

Evin said...

Hysterical!!! I got my first and only massage last year and the whole time i was on the table I was thinknig "don't fart don't fart don't fart.."

Leigh Ann @ Genie in a Blog said...

Can you imagine...an anonymous masseuse blogger??? that would be some crazy there. Ay Caramba!

Kevin said...

Farting = funny.

vcsloane said...

I've been really sad for over a month now and just wanted to thank you for giving me my laughter back...

Seleta said...

You are SO hilarious! AND I followed direction and became a 'follower'. :)

Jen said...

you are the funniest deary...love it! I was having a shit-ass morning and this just relieved a HUGE bit of the stupid overactive anxiety nodule in my brains. you rock.

Rach said...

OMG...I'm reading this blog at the office and am laughing out loud so hard that I had trouble breathing, kinda surprised no one has told me to shut up... Love Love Love you...funniest blog EVER!!!!

Jenn said...

I really shouldn't read this at work. People keep stopping outside my office giving me weird looks while I'm laughing. You're stuff is great.

Alissa Smith said...

I thought I'd read all your posts, but oh man. I just happened to see this one and I'm dying. You can brighten anyone's day, I'm sure of it!

StefK said...

OMG. I have got to stop reading this at work! People are asking me if I'm ok, because I'm wheezing, trying not to laugh loudly. Oh, and the mascara? Completely GONE.

Amy FunnyIsFamily said...

I didn't see the date when I read this, so I was thinking, "Good for Jen. She's probably super stressed with all she has going on. A massage (farts and all) is just what she needs right now."

Have you been back? Since The Hubs is such a cheap bastard, could you get him to rub your shoulders for free?

Steve, Christa, Emily, Meghan, Charles & Elizabeth said...

Speaking as a massage therapist, don't worry about farts...I have clients that fart during a massage all the time.

Mama Bug said...

My sister is a massage therapist. You are correct, they do see pretty much everything. However, I finally told her that I hated that "relaxing" music. It is just horrible - simply horrible. She laughed because no one else has ever told her about that before. I told her that she should ask if people want the music or not - like an option if you wish. Seriously, I HATE that music.

Love your blog!

Meg said...

I read this blurb in a magazine article once written by a labor and delivery nurse. She was explaining to her patient how to push and she said, "when you push in that area, things happen." Then she demonstrated. And she tooted. The nurse said, "See what I mean? I told you when you push in that area, things happen!" The patient laughed for the rest of the delivery and continued laughing even after the baby was born. We are all 10 year olds at heart, aren't we?

I believe that massage therapists are prepared for some tooting to occur!

Prudence said...

OK, so I am 2 years late coming to this, but...I thought it was generous that you only said you would want to post side by side pictures...I would've wanted to create a similar mess in her restaurant! (OK, I wouldn't really do it, but I have a tiny smile thinking about it.)

Brook Tucker said...

Holy Crap!! I love this!! I felt the same way the first time I had a massage! I have only ever had one, but it was great!

I am a huge fan of yours!! You say things just like I do!! I love it!! I have most of my family following you too! The only ones who don't aren't old enough to care about more than their cell phone or video games!!

Cherryl Dillon said...

I think you are me........

Kelli Robinson said...

This reminds me of a time I was in the ER for severe abdominal pain. I have PCOS so we were thinking it had to do with a cyst on my ovaries. They'd given me drugs already and I was feeling pretty great. They took me to have an internal sonogram which basically means it was a dildo-looking thing with a camera. I had to insert it myself (law) and the doctor is taking images and there is a female assistant in the room who was bored and texting someone on her phone. So I'm high, and I think to myself what would he do if I just gripped it so he couldn't move it anymore. And I'm trying not to laugh. Really, really trying not not to laugh. So I'm staring at the wall and then it occurs to me that he's doing THAT and I'm SMILING. Ohhhh that's not good. He probably thinks I like it!!! Ohhhhh this is bad. And I really really really am trying not to laugh nowwwww. So eventually it was over but that was probably would have been the funniest thing ever if I had the guts to do it. "Umm maam, please don't do that." I mean, what could he say? LOL

Drain Bramage and Bluffy Funnies said...

The only massage I've ever gotten was YEARS ago. I was a tattoo artist at the time and had a TON of tattoos to do over the next few days. Being hunched over for hours at a time is not very fun (especially when you have a bad knee / back from a car accident). The muscles in my back / neck were so sore and stiff I couldn't even fully turn my head to either side (literally.. I could barely turn my head at all without crying IF I could get it to move much at all), and it about put me in tears trying to do so.

A friend had recommended accupressure to me, but not being able to find any places listed nearby, I started looking at accupuncture.. I was desperate!! So I found a place about an hour and 15 min or so from me that practiced in "Tui na" therapy. (The guy I went to studied it for years in China, along with chiropractic stuff). There was soothing orient type music on, and the dude had a bunch of chinese herbs / oils (which smelled really good!) and went to work. There was a little bit of back/neck cracking type stuff, then the accupressure / shiatsu type stuff (the actual massage itself actually was kind of painful)... but I felt SO FREAKING AMAZING after it was over I wanted to hug each and every single person I seen! Like.. I would have pulled people over in their cars driving by, ran up and gave them all giant hugs. Everyone walking down the street... I WANTED TO HUG EVERYONE!! I felt SOOOOO AMAZING!!!

There was a little bit of muscle tenderness from the massage itself afterwards, but I could immediately turn my head and just... I can't describe how amazing I felt!!! Like a new person!!!

I've since moved out of state sadly, because I'd LOVE to have another one, and I haven't seen anyone anywhere NEAR me that practices it :(

Emelie said...

I call it Karma. She's probably had so many awkward clients that have farted and chatted their way through appointments that she had it coming.

Jane Abbott said...

I found myself holding my breath while reading the entire piece. I fully anticipated an ugly bout of acute diarrhea. Your blog yesterday revealed your anxiety about your book and you freely confessed to being acquainted with that... Um... Inconvenience. Laughing just the same!

Rachel C. said...

Am I the only one that was compelled to call around and book a couples massage after reading this? I think I may be a little disturbed or perhaps glutton for punishment. Lol

TaraLee said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I never know what to do in the spa, and rarely go because I feel uncomfortable with the protocol, even though the end result is so worth it. I wish someone would do a post on spa protocol and wishes and concerns of the therapists on all spa offerings. Like waxing, particularly a Brazilian wax (always wanted to try that, but not sure), massage, even hair and nails. What we need is a To Do List/ Do NOT do List on all spa essentials!

One Bad Pixie said...

Thanks. Now I have to wipe soda off my monitor.

One Bad Pixie said...

When I'm not sure about talking or not, when they find a tight spot, I say something about that is why I'm here. When they find a few more knots around the first one, It has friends. Keeps it light hearted and keeps things from being too uptight.

Farting? Hahaha Everyone farts an average of 15 times a day. None of us are immune.

Kristen Mae said...

Holy crap I just died laughing. I ALWAYS leave my underwear on. I NEVER talk. And I ALWAYS think some weird thought that gives me the giggles. Then I have to explain that I am weird and always get the giggles, which means breaking my "no talking" rule. The whole thing is very stressful. haha

Tamara Garcia said...

I farted my first time. It just snuck out, I had no warning, no time to even attempt to squeeze the cheeks and hold it. I really didn't care, I was way too relaxed. ..I had drool coming out the sides of my mouth and I was half awake and half asleep. Pretty much just a hot mess, but a relaxed one. Im sure they are used to it, the probably take it as a compliment. They probably hang out at massage conventions and brag about it. "Hey Blaine, how many rippers you have this year?" "I've had 7, not including the one that sharted." See people, they are used to it! Don't let a fart keep you all knotted up, go get a massage!

Sarah D said...

AAHHHH!!! I'm always afraid of farting during a massage! And I've had ALL the same thoughts...embarrassing undies, spiky legs, to talk or not to talk...oh man you're in my head.
Ever done a float tank (sensory deprivation tank) for stress? It's...*something*. Talk about focusing on every little sound. Plus there's the burning in your eyes and lady parts...My experience wasn't terribly relaxing, anyway. I think you might have a similar experience to the one described here:
http://lyssophobic.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-float-tank.html

Morticia said...

Being a massage therapist as well, I completely back up what bodybalance said. This post cracked me up!
If you ever get a massage and have to fart, let 'er rip, just give us fair warning! As Shrek says, "Better out than in!"
I am still laughing!

Jane Abbott said...

I'm busting a gut right now!!! Funny, funny shit!

Jen Piwtpitt said...

Oh gosh, can you imagine?? I can admit a lot of things, but I'm not sure I would have told you if I did that all over her table. Oh, yes I would. It would have been a funnier story! Haha!!

Michelle Back said...

Hilarious. This post just made me realize that I've never had a message. I had a gift certificate to a salon/spa once and I intended to get a message, but I was pregnant and afraid some pregnancy-related embarrassment would happen or I'd go into labor. I got my hair highlighted instead. However, I have had a bikini wax before (not while pregnant). What does this say about me?

Elizabeth Catalano said...

Our bodies, our wonderfully awful bodies. I've only ever had a foot massage, on my honeymoon in Jamaica. And that was awkward enough what with the racial overtones and the woman calling me "milady." My feet are still tense from how uncomfortable I felt.

thisisazy said...

Never bite your lip and soldier through it. If you can't breathe through the pain, it's not good pain. You'll get better results faster and make her job easier if you tell her to back out a bit. And you don't raise the risk of tissue damage.

And seriously, your therapist shouldn't care about hairy legs and farts. The best part about you is you can't get an unexpected boner. Trust me, your hairy legs are nothing compared to a pair of hairy legs that meet at the base of a flag pole!

My sister is a Eastern Medicine practitioner now, but before that she did massage. She had a guy on the table whose little man was, shall we say, unintentionally playing ghost. So she said quite loudly, "oh, no, no! That is not a tent, and we are not camping! Tell your scout to take a hike!" They laughed so hard (no pun intended), and of course the problem was solved. But not before it was awkward! So, you see, massage therapists have far bigger fish to fry than hairy legs/pits or gassy tummies. And it's okay to talk, especially to let them know when you can't breathe through the pain. They don't read minds, and your feedback helps them get the best results in the quickest possible time.

Charles D. Mancuso said...

The Foot Therapy massager machine is ideal for anyone who suffers from aching feet and the pain that accompanies it. The rotating massagers can knead all of the tension and pain from your footpad and your body.So every one take it for healthy life.

Eric Johnson said...

OK, I own a spa and, first of all, I would always go commando, especially if you're worried about the quality of the panties. Any professional massage therapist will be able to drape you in a way that doesn't expose any private parts, and any pro should be able to work on any muscle group while keeping you appropriately covered.
Second, don't worry about the legs being hairy or any other personal hygene issue (sure, it's nice to shower if you've just worked out). Massage therapists are in the business of touching people and most have done hundreds of hours of massage, so rarely will they be offended or even notice if you have a little excess stuble. They are licensed pros, like your doctor and they've just about seen it all.
Should you talk to the therapist? Not if you don't want to. You're paying, so do what makes you happy and relaxed. Any decent therapist should be able to read you and know if you want to chit chat during the massage. I always like to lie silently, but (strangely to me) some people like to talk the whole time....to each their own.
Finally, the music....at my place, we distinctly avoid traditional spa music and instead play a mix of mellow reggae, some classic rock (again, mellow, grateful dead, pink floyd and even some Beatles and Rolling stones: all chill but hopefully more interesting than the boring spa music). I totally agree that traditional spa music is awful, so I like to keep it interesting. The idea is to relax and not to fall asleep....
Visit our site at www.alpinespaandsalon.com and come check us out if you're ever in Breckenridge, Colorado. We specialize in therapeutic massage and have all licensed, professional therapists. We are not an "oasis of relaxation" type spa. We're all about providing a great massage at an affordable price. Thanks! I hope this helps....