It Hurts So Good

Dear Reader,

Today, for the first time in my life, I got a professional massage. While I have always kind of wanted a massage, my cheap nature usually got in the way and compelled me to forgo this luxury. However, because I was experiencing some muscle soreness, I finally decided to book a massage… you know… as a medical treatment….

Not knowing anything about massages, I just chose a place that was kind of low-priced (for the area) and convenient to get to. These criteria led me to Belmont Wellness Massage right outside of Boston. I went on their website and found that they offer eight types of massages including acupressure and Chinese Tuina. After reading a little about each, I decided to go for the “deep-tissue massage,” which is meant to “work out the knots” in the muscles that are caused by stress or injury.

When I showed up for my appointment, I found that the shop was at the back of a small outdoor mall area with a door facing the parking lot. The lobby was tiny, and the lights were off. A woman came and met me at the counter; she took my temperature and my money ($40 for 30 mins), and ushered me into the small room to the right.

In the room stood a lamp in the corner which filled the space with red light. There was a bed in the middle of the room and without fully sliding the oriental-style door closed, I was told to unclothe. I informed the woman that this was my first time and she just replied “yes, take off, take off.”

I then got up onto the twin-sized bed and waited. In pictures and in movies, I have seen massage beds that allow clients to rest their heads in donut-shaped pillows at the end of the beds. The bed at the Belmont location was not equipped with this innovation and instead my head lay awkwardly to one side the entire time.

The woman came back into the room and turned on soft pop music that was at least a few decades old. She began with my shoulders, pressing with her palms and then kneading with her fingers. “Such soft skin. How old are you — 20?” Alas, I am on the other side of the hump as far as twenties are concerned. Then she worked down my back and my legs. Some moments were relaxing, and others had me concerned that bruises would form (only one did…yay?). Near the end of the massage the woman asked me to turn over on my back. She then briefly massaged my knees and shins for some reason.

Overall, my experience with the massage was good! I do admit though that my neck was uncomfortable half the time from the awkward sideways position on the bed and I did get a small headache after the experience (which only lasted 5 to 10 mins).

Once the massage ended, I paid a tip (the whole place is cash only) and the woman asked me “When you come back? You want woman or man?” I told her that I would come back and could not find the right words to explain to her that either a woman or a man would be fine. Eventually, I just said “woman, man, same!” Then, she said, “You are good girl, you come back,” and she offered me a mint.

I don’t know if I will come back considering my stiff neck experience, but, overall, I had a good first deep tissue massage 🙂




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