Thursday, January 19, 2012

Massage for Men

Massage for Men, Costa Rica
- William Hay
I had a massage today.  I rolled my ATV in the fall elk hunting north Vancouver Island. My lower back is still in some pain. My neck is intermittently painful when I’m under stress since I rolled the truck, or it may have been the car or the when I was hit by the car bicycling.
I noticed some low back tension driving my Polaris 500 ATV and the Ural Side Car Motorcycle this winter.  I’d like it to be better when I take my Harley Davidson Electraglide out of storage early spring for road trips on the highways.
I bit the bullet and went to "massage world" again.  I did this at Harrison Hot Springs Spa last month and my body loved it. My doctor friend, George recommended it.  My chiropracters Richard Cho and Stan Jung have been great but I’m a bit squeamish about manipulation right now.
I’ve taken flexeril and celebrex to get through the night. At first I could only sleep an hour or so as every time I turned I woke up. Now I’m good for most of the night.  Maybe I’m woken once and pee too to kill two birds with one stone.
"Massage world" is definitely feminine in these spas. They’ve got all that fragrant female scent thing happening.  The colours are subdued and pastels.  Lights low.  Eastern 60’s music is playing somewhere in another room.
Here there was a lot of white and wood and cleanliness. Spa people are big on hygeine.  They also look like vegetarians.  I expect they all chant and meditate and sit naked on the beach without sexual thoughts to bother them.  Sweet people.
When they’re not giving massage they’re plucking hair out of ladies faces. Delicate touch and all.  This place had it all.
I was directed to a change room, given a key and a robe.  Hospitals would do well to find out where they get their robes and bid on them. The hospital gown went out with the 50’s.  I was supposed to get slippers but didn’t.  I could have asked but was so troubled by whether  to leave my underwear on or not I was happy to make a statemtn walking about barefoot. I'm 'massage world' hip!
They had me fill out that form that says I’m healthy enough to withstand the rigors of a massage too. .  Apparently I was fit enough because this very pretty young Costa Rican woman, who told me her name was “Nancy”, invited me to follow her to this cute little hut.  Inside it looked just like a fancy massage office from some big city spa. The view was ocean and palm trees.
More flower fragrance, subdued lighting and pastel colours. She asked me to get under the blanket and stepped outside. I figured that was my cue to drop the gotch.  If she’d stayed I would have got under the blanket with it on. She must have left the room for some reason more than just not wanting to see the old guy awkwardly struggling onto the massage table.  I got onto the table and under the blanket naked.  The lighting would have been much more subdued to make that into a spectator event by any means.
The massage was magnificent.  Yes, she returned. She didn’t shriek or slap politically correct charges on me.  Instead she used the cotton sheet to cover my modesty (ha). Lots of ritual around that.  Probably more to save her than for my sake. I’m having less that ‘massage world’ thoughts about now.   Every once in a while I actually  think that maybe I’d like the other type of massage  Wouldn’t do anything for my back but the thought passes  through my mind. That got me praying, at least. I was there for healing so I just kept praying in my mind. In time it felt like I was shedding physical tension and psychic tension as well.
I was lying there with all that sweet fragrance, soft background music and this young woman’s very professional hands kneeding my muscle deeply and caringly.  My only concern was that I didn't want to fall asleep and start snoring. It really  was heaven . When she worked on my low back I had all these negative thoughts dissipate . Then she had me turn over and began working on my neck. I carry a lot of tension in my neck. I say some people are a ‘pain in the neck’ and really mean it.  She got right in there softening things up that had been tense way too long.
I couldn’t have been there for more than a minute when she said that time was up. I looked at my watch and someone had turned it an hour ahead. She stepped out of the room.
I got my gotch back on, put on the robe and walked back to the change room where I dressed.  At the front I paid the $100 with a credit card. I was having trouble focusing on this world.  I was kind of floating and my back didn’t hurt. Same thing had happened at Harrison’s. The amazing relief from this gnawing constant pain.
I walked outside into the tropical sun and sat down on a cushioned reclining lounge chairs by the pool..
That’s when I had the realization that massage is really really good.  Spas are wasted on women alone. I’m not being sexist here.  I think women are really smart and deserve the whole massage spa thing. I just think there's room for expansion.  Roman Legionaires and Spartans were getting massages thousands of years back.
The only trouble I can see is with the environment. I wouldn’t change a thing about the masseuse or the massage.  Last thing  I want is some heavy big boned handed fraulein or sumu wrestler pounding on my back. I liked Nancy just the way she was and the pressure she put on was just perfect. She was so soothing.
What I figured was missing though was a show cased Harley Davidson Motorcyle. That would go along way to improving decor.  A few racks on the wall would help too.  I know they don’t have moose in Costa Rica but Harrison’s Hot Spriings could have a big moose head rack right there in the massage room. They must have deer here so they could get some antlers up so guys would have some place to hang their gotch. A Costa Rican taxidermist could get a wild boar's done up  and have it up on the wall beside a big marlin fish.   Some wooden sailing ship models in glass cabinets would add a thing or two for sure.
Instead of the flower fragrance,  I think camp smoke would be just as restful. Maybe add a little pipe tobacco and cigar smoke for flavor.  The soft colours could be improved with the new cammo designs.   Tasteful green and grey commouflage designs out would really spruce up the decor.
The music doesn’t have to be that anemic eastern stuff either. The massage I was receiving was originally called ‘Swedish Massage”.  I figure a little  Swedish “Death Metal” band music could be used. It wouldn’t have to be played full out.  Softly as back gound would do just fine.
Being of Scottish Irish Canadian origin,  I think bag pipes would definitely add to the massage experience too.   Come to think of it a gun rack and some vintage car and jet fighter pictures on the wall would just about complete it.
Otherwise the massage was perfect.  Just wish my hunting dog, Gilbert, could have been there to enjoy it with me.

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