56. A Massage For Depression?


I’ve been reading through my posts lately and had rather forgotten about this one – I hope you don’t mind me reposting!

Research says that a part of the treatment of depression and anxiety is to indulge in massage. Fabulous! However, I’m a middle class, middle aged woman and I don’t just take my clothes off for anyone. I’m rather British and frankly going to a therapist for the first time was bad enough – stiff upper lip and all that. Talking about one’s feelings? Are you clinically insane? I went to a Victorian boarding school on the southernmost cliffs of England where crying oneself to sleep was the norm, but one never talked about it.

So to be completely starkers, be kneaded and pummelled like a lump of dough was definitely going to take some pluck and courage.

The Technical Paragraph … skip this para if you have a low boredom threshold (I do if it’s any consolation).

The Mayo Clinic claim that a 60 minute massage can lower cortisol (the hormone that’s produced when stressed) by an average of 30 per cent, (although the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine found the therapy lowered levels by 53 per cent … bit of a difference but it’s all going down and that’s what matters in my book). And when cortisol lowers, serotonin and dopamine increase. The combination of all this thereby boosting the body’s ability to fight off pain, anxiety and feelings of sadness. Win, win, win! Definitely worth ripping my clothes off for.

Ok … enough of the dull bit … carry on now.

So off I trundle to visit ‘Michelle’. Michelle is stunning. Michelle has a sing-song voice calming voice and in the warm, whale music of her scented room, I lie on a bed with only a couple of tiny towels covering the important bits. Now, to be clear, prevention.com say that the word massage comes from the Arabic word mass’h which means “press gently“. I since have looked into this further, and there are definitely some discrepancies over this. But as far as I am concerned … “gently” sounds good.

Are you joking? Face down with my head poking through a hole in the bed, I am oiled, squeezed, stretched, pummelled and beaten within an inch of my life. And I feel fan-bloody-tastic! I feel slightly drunk and my legs certainly can’t hold me up. No wonder the Chinese have been doing this for the last 2,500 years …. who needs alcohol when you have Michelle in your life?

I’m beyond relaxed, lying legs akimbo, tiny towels long since disappeared and I suspect that at some point my damp cheek indicates that I might have dribbled, so given the option of sliding my oily body and matted hair (yes, the head got a going over too) into my clothes again, I slurrily asked if she could perform any other beauty miracles on me. “A leg and bikini wax mightn’t go amiss” she said in her sing-song voice just a tad too quickly. But hey, I’m agreeing to anything and with whale music drifting through me she paints me with warm soothing wax until …. ARGHHHH! Holy God …. “Just a bit nippy!” she laughs as every morsel of hair is ripped from my below my waist. The tiny towel which had once covered my modesty is now gripped between my clenched teeth whilst I, unable to utter a word, make Neanderthal moaning noises as she chatters away happily about her camping holiday last summer.

An hour later I return home, with a gait akin to John Wayne, resembling an oil slick from the waist up and a bald, plucked chicken from the waist down. All benefits of my massage long since gone. And when I delicately crawl my fragile body into bed and cuddle up next to the Colonel as his arms wrap around me, he suddenly pauses, then lifts the duvet, peers down and reappears with a grin. “Don’t even think about it!” I mutter with veritable force from between clenched teeth. He looks like a berated puppy but I am practising deep breathing so I think he thinks I’m asleep, and even he wouldn’t risk the wrath of a hostile, woman in recovery from a major ordeal.

Katie xx

32 thoughts on “56. A Massage For Depression?”

  1. Brilliantly funny as always. I had a back, face and scalp massage myself on saturday. I often fall asleep during the last bit! I was nervous and very self-conscious too the first time (when I was 40), especially as the therapist was one of the most stunning young women I have ever met. Thankfully she turned out to be lovely and also we had mutual friends. My current therapist, Carol, is a good friend of both myself and my wife.
    Can’t recommend massages enough. Definitely not keen on the waxing idea though….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww you’re so kind! I think massages should come free on the NHS … they are now on my list of needs, not wants. I feel a post coming on about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and including massages in them! Thank you for reading 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent! I hate massages myself due to being insanely tickly but can totally relate to being waxed and the therapist/torturer chattering on about everyday things during the ordeal – talking about my holiday plans (or hearing about theirs) has never ever distracted me enough…. Actually, that made me think of a chick who used to do Brazilian waxes (and beyond) at my local salon, she was hilarious – would look at me wide eyed with a happy grin on her face, rip off the wax strip and scream with me. She was funny in a terrifying kind of way. S xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Massage yes. Wax no. There seems to be a fundamental inconsistency/contradiction in these places. Wellbeing, indulgence, relaxation: yay! Paranoia about normal skin/body hair/body shape: you’ve just undone the former. Sorry. That was a mini-rant.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, my. I’m laughing so hard.
    When I began your post, I remembered my reticence to have a massage. The masseuse was okay, then gave me a write-up at the end about how often I should get massages -like a doctor’s note. Though not as stressful as having all my lower hairs removed, her blatant money-begging at the end negated MY positive outcomes. :/

    Liked by 1 person

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