Friday, June 10, 2011

Bruised shoulders after a painful rub

Lately my back has been feeling kind of stiff, so yesterday after work I decided to skip the gym and head for a massage. Massage for me is something I often talk about, but seldom do. Every time I have visitors in town and take them for massage (and they ohh and ahhh over the low prices and the quality of massage) I think to myself: “Damn, this is good! I should do this on a regular basis now when I actually live in a country where it’s good and it doesn’t cost a fortune.” However, as soon as the friends depart I forget all about my promise to myself and my shoulders.

Since my sleeping pattern (still) is a bit off, I thought that maybe a massage could help me relax. So, I went to a place and told the masseuse (a young, Chinese guy) to focus on the stiff areas and knots of my shoulders and back.

-Don’t worry about doing some kind of massage routine where you massage every single part! I added, maybe a wee bit too confidently. I just want you to focus on the problem areas!

Fifteen minutes later I was on a massage bench, head facing down, tears pouring down my cheeks.

-Tell me if it’s too much pressure! I'm just focussing on the problem areas! The guy whispered.

I tried hard to endure it, thinking that “sometimes pain is necessary” and “maybe this is actually good for me? Who said that a massage should always be pleasant?” but then after a while I thought I was going to faint of the pain and had to tell the guy to be a little bit softer.

-Oh, haha, well, you’re so stiff…

(Ya, just rub it in will you?)

-Do you work a lot in front of the computer… he went on.

-I… I’ve actually had some problems sleeping lately, and I think it’s because I’m too tense… I started, and once I started it was as if I’d open a tap. It all just flowed out of me.

The guy listened carefully, while he kept rubbing my shoulders, making it really hard for me not to scream out loud out of pure and utter pain.

-Well if you have sleeping problems you shouldn’t do shoulder massage, you should do foot massage! He finally said.


-Really! It can help!

Thirty painful minutes later it was over, and the guy asked me to sit up.

-Here, he said, and handed me a pair of slippers. A gift to you. I hope you can sleep tonight. If not, come back tomorrow for some foot massage!

-Eh, thanks.

As I walked home, slippers in hand, my shoulders felt as if they had been abused. This morning they are actually bruised, shifting in the colours of red, purple and blue and they still hurts as h***.

But… I fell asleep last night! Without the help of any melatonin and without tossing and turning for hours. So who knows. Maybe that painful massage did help? I’ve already decided not to do it again though. Not worth the pain. I mean, I can forget about body pump tonight. Just the thought of putting a weight bar or any kind of pressure on my shoulder makes me shiver. Next time I’ll try a foot massage. Has anyone with sleeping issues ever had any experience of that being able to help?


Gweipo said...

We have a foot massage here in HK about once a week. And when ever we are jet lagged or have problems sleeping we go, and it definitely works!
I think it's about clearing all the body's pathways.

I know about painful bruising massages though - I'm not sure they're the way to go. My physio will also give me a tough massage, but I'm never bruised afterwards. But those chinese / thai massage places? Sometimes I think they don't really know their anatomy / what to do.

Anonymous said...

foot massage is good i usually feel sleepy after i have one. but depends how painful it is.they say the painful part is where you have a problem cos every organ is connected to the foot.go try no harm in it.

i also got bruised before from chinese back massage hahah but it's worth the pain as my back would be pain free for the next 2 weeks and it does help with the sleep.a few years ago i tried a gua sha massage and cupping,in beijing ,for 7 day consecutively, it was so painful i couldn't sleep on my back for days , and my back looked like it was abused.but then i didn't get any back pain for a very long time.if i have a chance to come to china soon i would really do it again

ordinary malaysian said...

Ah, now I know why you find it hard to sleep. You are all tensed up and with the noise from your downstairs neighbours...But glad to know that you managed to fall asleep after the shoulders massage, painful though it was. Hope you can sleep well from now on.

Joyce Lau said...

I'm like Gweipo. I get a massage once a week in Hong Kong, at a cheap-ish local place near my home in Kowloon.

I don't get a foot massage -- I get my back and neck done. It's awful what long hours at a computer / office cubicle can do.

I've had some bad experiences in China. There seems to be a roughness / pushiness -- this Chinese auntie "I know better than you" attitude. Any real professional will stop if you ask them to stop. And while hard massage is a part of Chinese healing, you should not be left crying and bruised. The theory here is that, once there is real pain, your body actually "fights" the pressure of the masseuse, thereby making muscles even tighter.

I don't know what's up with the Mainland. I often get treatments when I travel there, since I am pretty much addicted. And I've had some good massages. But many therapists don't listen to reason.

At the Hyatt on the Bund hotel, of all places, I felt the woman was being too rough on the skin of my feet during a pedicure. I told her to stop, and she wouldn't. I called her manager over to translate (in case she couldn't understand "ow! ow! ow!") and she still didn't. She gave me the usual "This is how we do it in China" attitude. She left a bloody gash in my foot that bled all over my sandals when I left.

Worst off, I was on a busy business trip AND I was taking my parents to the Expo, and I had to hobble around painfully for the next few days!

yan said...

Ouch! My shoulders hurt just reading your blog post! No pain, no gain, right? They should put up a warning sign in massage offices: "we are not responsible if you bruise easily."

Anonymous said...

Maybe it wasn't the massage that helped you sleep at night...
Perhaps it has to do with the fact that you "opened up" yourself to the masseuse... As you started talking the tension begun to vanish... Maybe you need some therapy...Just a thought

Anonymous said...

this could be a health issue yet to be detected.

do you go out in the sun much?

you should do a blood test for vitamin D and other things to know that your health is alright or not it will show that something you're deficient in

Ramlan Tjong said...

Happy to visit ur blog

Jake said...

Are you OK?
Looks like the rub hurt you very bad.