My last massage took place on a cruise ship. For the bargain price of $120, you could have a "rejuvenating" massage and hot oil treatment. The little brochure promised things like relaxation and "enlivening one's senses". It failed to mention that the sense they'd be enlivening was pain. The spa visit was the one big splurge we did on that trip, and this is how it went down.
I arrived at my appointment and was shown into a room with lots of little oils and lights and soft music playing. I was told to get undressed and put on the towel and get onto the table.
"Helga will be right with you."
Helga? For some reason I thought the masseuse would be a male. And further that males would do males and females would do females. I was there waiting, hoping Helga was some swarthy Greek male name. And then she came in.
"Hello Richard how are you today?"
"Fine thanks," I said as I was trying to place her accent. Not quite German, perhaps some stern former Eastern Bloc country like Sadistivakia.
"I vant you to try and relax Richard, and remember a little bit of discomfort iss normal."
I immediately reacted by thinking oh no, she is going to hurt me, and now she is telling me not to be a baby. Of course then I couldn't be a baby, and didn't feel confident enough to tell her the truth: I just wanted to relax and feel all tingly and stuff. (Dirk's story reminded me of Helga)
She started by digging her dagger fingers and knuckles into the flesh of my shoulders, "Oh my, but vee have a lot of tension here."
There were two voices in my head at this time. The first just wanting to say "ouch" and "stop" but instead sufficed for a tear, unseen, trickling from my eyes. The other enraged, bellowed, "Of course there's fucking tension, you are bruising every inch of my flesh."
This went on and on to each part of the body, " I never see someone vith so much tension in their muscles, you are going to hurt for a few days, but that is good because all the toxins are coming out".
Detoxifying? Had I missed that part in the brochure? Who said anything about detoxifying?! So Helga is here to squeeze every last toxin out of my body while I'm on a cruise ship being a perfect lush?!?!
Afterward, I got the added joy of her attempt to peddle lotions to me. Bwahahaha. I don't do lotions Helga.
Anyway, it scarred me. No more massages for me. Ever. (I might make an exception for Em, but only if she gets on a plane.)