Relaxation? I think not.

At Christmas Son #1 gave me a voucher to spend at the Floatarium. For those of you not familiar with the Floatarium, you can go and lie in a bath with a lid and … well, float.  My guess is that they also play whale music.  To tell you the truth, and please don’t tell him, I didn’t really fancy lying in someone else’s water in the dark contemplating… well, what are you meant to contemplate? Your birth? Your death by drowning? Nah, not for me. But joyfully they had a list of other ‘therapies’ you could try, like: Hopi Ear Candles, Reflexology, Slavic Massage, Reiki, Hot Stone Massage, and a list of Microdermabrasian techniques.  Whilst they all sounded tempting (!) I opted for the Indian Head Massage which I figured didn’t involve taking my clothes off. There is only so much white flesh that a stranger should see in the middle of winter.

A few years ago, in a parish far, far away, one of my little flock gave me the gift of an Indian Head Massage in my own home. It was lovely but I do remember it being rather firm at times. I remember thinking that if this continues I’m going to have to tell her I really hurt. OK, next time I’m going to tell her it hurts. (I wasn’t terribly assertive in those days.) But, all in all it was a pleasant experience. A bit like going to the hairdressers and getting a head massage while your hair is washed but without the water. And who doesn’t like that?

My lovely masseur yesterday asked if I wanted a light, medium or heavy touch. As it was for relaxation I said light to medium, and that I’d had heavy once before and wasn’t too keen. Perhaps I didn’t stress that strongly enough. Or perhaps she was just having fun. But I digress… After enquiring if I had epilepsy or any head or neck injuries (not then I didn’t) she told me to take my top half of clothes off and lie under the lovely fluffy towels. Take my clothes off? What happened to the Head bit?

And off we set, with tinkling piano ambient music in the background and a litre of oil.  It made me think of nard and that in turn made me think of a bunch of Englishmen laughing at the way we Scots pronounce narrrrrd. No, no, Ruth, back to the task in hand, think of the present moment and relax. Shoulders first – this is not the head, I thought – and back of neck, then down the arms – this is not the head either. Back to that wee knot that lives at in the back of your neck and some really rather firm pressure. Really firm. So firm, in fact, that it made me tense. OK, next time I’m going to tell her that’s too hard.  But you know the pain got so bad that I think I worked myself through it. Never quite reaching the euphoria stage though. Really, apart from pressing a few points on the front of my skull and a quick rustle through my ‘do’ it was mostly focussed on my neck. That’ll be the neck that I can barely move this morning and which I swear feels black and blue. Jings! I wonder what the firm one is like.

I also learned that I’m a little uneasy when a stranger has her hands around my neck. And judging by the amount of pressure this woman could inflict with two fingers, I reckon she could have finished me off in no time.

I spent the rest of the money on the voucher on relaxing bath oil. To undo the pain that she had inflicted. Oh well.

So I have learned that Indian Head Massage is not for me. Next time it is going to be a Manicure and a nice French Polish.  Oh, and I walked out of there with the biggest, oiliest ‘do’ that you’ve ever seen.  And having my eyebrows waxed a few hours later felt like a tickle in comparison.