In desperate need of therapy

This past weekend I realized I was in need of some therapy — massage therapy, that is.

I’ve just come off a rollercoaster two months, including the SHOT Show in Las Vegas, the NWTF National Convention in Nashville, finishing the info-packed March-April issue of Turkey Country (landing in your mailbox within the next two or three weeks), matched with family life, home life, church life, just life in general.

So I self-enlisted in some TLC at a local spa to detox from the last 8 or 10 weeks and recharge for spring.

I’m a firm believer that massage therapy will make anyone a better person, a more successful hunter even. No doubt you can sit in the woods longer if your chakras are aligned. And a relaxed state of being surely comes in handy when a gobbler approaches your setup. Am I right?

Don’t let the magical fingers of a massage therapist fool you. They can turn on you like gently bumped hornet’s nest. But, oh, is it worth every ounce of delightful pain…

OK, so that may be self-serving rationalization, but I did use the hunting argument to convince my husband to get a massage once.

CJ is an avid bowhunter and was dealing with tension in his right shoulder about the same time we were planning a weekend getaway to Ashville, N.C. The Grove Park Inn has a super-primo spa, and I wanted to go. So I booked the couple’s spa package, which includes a treatment for each of us.

“I’ll do it, but I don’t want a dude rubbing on me,” CJ said.

Not a problem. I made the arrangements and we parted ways for our hour-long immersion in relaxation.

When we met back up, CJ asked, “Did you set that up?”

I became a bit nervous, thinking something had changed at the last minute, and he’d been manhandled by “a dude” after all.

He went on to explain that the lady who performed his massage was a bowhunter also, so they spent the hour talking hunting. She knew just how to work out the kinks brought on by repeatedly drawing back a recurve.

“That’s awesome,” I said temporarily relieved. Then I asked, “Was she good looking?”

I had to know what I was up against. I’m not sure I could beat a bowhunting masseuse, especially a pretty one. Then I realized I have the ace in the hole. I’m the mother of his child. Boo-yah! Top that, archer lady!

I digress … back to last weekend …

I laid on the table listening to the gamut of music reserved for spas: the slow thumping of Native Indian-inspired chants, the Stanley Kubrick-esque space odyssey synthesizer tunes that are soothing and creepy at the same time and, my personal favorite, songs that use Medieval lyres and pan pipes of yore.

Suddenly, the sweet sounds of a dulcimer became distant, as the magical hands of my massage therapist turned pure evil as they hovered over my left shoulder blade.

“You hold your stress here?” she whispered in a question-statement, as she dug her ice pick fingers into my flesh.

“I guess so,” I said, trying not to whimper.

The other shoulder felt the same. Apparently, I really do put the weight of the world on my shoulders, and Little Miss Masseuse wasn’t going to let me leave with an ounce of it. Ouch.

I learned a few other things on the table that day.

I can harbor tension in the strangest places, like my kneecaps, the sides of my feet and even the little webby flaps of skin between my fingers.

I’m a confirmed Type A. I suspected it before, but I knew it to be true when I tensed up my muscles in response to her efforts to make them relax. That resulted in her taking my hands and feet and shaking my arms and legs into submission several times before she could move forward with the session.

And even though I used my hard-earned money to pay someone to help me relax, I still can’t turn my brain off. I actually wrote this blog post in my head during the session.

Perhaps I should investigate some other type of therapy.

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