When I first got down here and settled in, I really needed a massage from months of pent up stress, the drive, etc. So I asked Joelle to do her google-fu and find the right place because I didn’t want to choose the wrong place and end up in a jail cell next to Patriots owner Robert Kraft. So she found as place called the Natural Wellness Massage Therapy, and there our story begins.
I went to the place, and the massage was scheduled for 6 pm, and it was a strip mall sort of place with nothing but office spaces. I went to the door, and it was locked, and there was no sign for Natural Wellness, so I was confused, but I called and she came out and opened the door. We went through a labyrinth of little offices for other businesses until we got to her room, and we were the ONLY ones in the building, so of course I naturally thought I was going to get hit over the head and robbed.
My nerves were calmed when I saw a massage table, so we chatted for a little bit (as much as we could, she is a citizen but her english is about 60/40, and I could tell at times she did not understand me), and then she told me to get ready. She’s a very pleasant Chinese American, rail thin, and only about 5’3 if that. Now at other massage places, the masseuse leaves the room and I strip down to my drawers and get on the table. This did not happen here. She just sat there and watched me, and when I got down to my boxers, she gestured to take them off- “I have towel.”
So I said fuck it, yolo, yanked off my knickers, and hopped up on the table as only a morbidly obese man in his 50’s with a bad shoulder can- visual reference:
And she was not lying. She did have a towel. A tea towel, which covered about I’d estimate about 3-4% of my body mass. So there I am, naked as the day I was born in a back room of a strip mall in a strange city with an unknown, blind because it is dark and my glasses are off. And then the pain started.
Before I knew it, she was on the table with me, positioning me and in my lower back with hands of fucking titanium with the body strength of some freakish X-Men spinoff. “Relax,” she said, slapping the body part that would tense up (this including my man ass, I will note). “Breathe deep will hurt less,” she lied. But breathing deeply did allow me to focus on my breathing and not the excruciating pain. It hurt so good that I even forgot about my testicles, allegedly covered by a towel, flapping around in the breeze.
I have never had a massage like this before. I was almost in tears, at one point. I got dizzy and had to stop. At one point I begged for a break, and she gave me a minute to compose myself.
And I am here to tell you that this was the best fucking massage I have ever had in my entire life. I made her work on my bad shoulder and lower back the most, and I am not kidding when I could hear and feel the scar tissue in my shoulder breaking up with this crunching like sound. It was amazing.
The next day, on the other hand, I could not walk and was hunched over for two days, but I had a range of motion in my shoulder that I have not had since before my surgery in 2010 from the accident. It’s unbelievable. I called my regular massage lady and she said I just had delayed muscle pain, and to just stretch and it will be gone soon. And it did indeed go away.
So you all know where this is going, right? Of course you do. I went back two more times the past two weeks, giving myself five days in between, and today I had my last one. The range of movement in my arm is so dramatically different and better than it was before that I can now actually lift my right arm over my head. She gave me stretching exercises and showed me where to massage myself, and Nancy Hao is now basically my personal saviour. The massages still hurt when I go, but the aftermath is bliss. Today she beat up my arm so bad that she said “feel how hot” and made me feel my upper arm near my shoulder and said “blood flowing now this is good” and then iced it down.
I’m telling you, this woman is a miracle worker. She’s so good that I didn’t do a couple things I wanted to do down here because I would rather pay for another session (this town is fucking expensive and I’ll be paying for this trip for months), and man is it worth it. And I look like I have been mugged when the sessions are over:
Beard going every direction, hair standing up, glasses all akimbo, can barely keep my eyes open.
But I am telling you. If you have pain and are within a couple hundred miles of West Palm Beach, go here. It’s amazing.
Everything is better naked.
@Baud: – Baud 20XX(X) campaign slogan
When I was on R&R in Taipei my buddy had graduated from Cornell and a couple of classmates were Taiwanese. We went to an extravagant dinner and, afterwards, went to a hot springs where the masseuses were blind.
ROTFL. Love the visual. Also, anyone else think of this song as you read the post? #HurtSoGood
Bed beard, lol. Me every morning.
Gin & Tonic
@Baud: Except frying bacon.
Ask for the BJ discount!
LOL at the visual reference! Glad you found Ms. Hao.
Odie Hugh Manatee
As a person who lives with pain I’m glad to hear you got some relief! Also, my eyebrows look like your beard…lol
@raven: Interesting. A massage in a hot spring would be wonderful.
@Baud: I think that’s what Bob Craft did.
I think I went to Nancy’s brother in Westlake Village. I had surgery on my neck in 89, and the beginnings of osteoarthritis in both shoulders make life suck. Nancy’s brother tilted the table and worked on my neck and upper body until he was sweating and I was on the verge of weeping. I could barely drive home, could barely get out of bed the next day. I did the stretching exercise he gave me in my office, and I felt great by dinner.
The Baud/Cole campaign’s planned reforms to the Voting Rights Act continue to divide opinion.
No pix please, we’re skittish.
Visual impairments and acupuncture doesn’t seem to pair well.
I love the walrus-in-a-boat reference photo!
Maybe I should try deep massage again. I stopped because the ones that would do any actual good were indeed too uncomfortable/painful, and I didn’t get any results because they were also only about 20-30 minutes long.
Is stretching the day after a routinely recommended follow-up? I didn’t know that.
J R in WV
We have a neighbor who worked at the Y in a near-by city for years as a massage therapist, and after retiring from that job, worked doing massage free-lance locally. But they were not powerful, the massages were more like a rub-down than a real massage.
Many years ago my RWNJ brother took me to his fitness club in Atlanta when he lived and worked there — the massage guy was a power lifter. Best massage therapy I have ever had. Didn’t really hurt, but he really knew his anatomy and was able to reduce places that were tight. Was su much better the next few days.
Now if I could only find someone like that in South Central WV…
Ooh, I don’t have time to read this post right now, but it looks like a sequel to The White Lotus, so I’m looking forward to it!
ETA: Just don’t pull a Jennifer Coolidge on her!
The Moar You Know
Damn Cole, you are nearsighted. Those glasses!
Wow, they show one at 20:44 or so!
” A HOLIDAY FROM HELL ” 1967 – G.I.s on LEAVE FROM VIETNAM / R&R FILM TAIPEI, TAIWAN 82050
@J R in WV: Hey I saw your note this am, watch that weight!
The visual, Cole.
BWA HA HA HA HA AH AHA HA HA
Ceci n est pas mon nym
Once had a shiatsu massage at a booth at a street fair in New York. That same feeling of “holy shit he’s actually pounding nails into my back” followed afterward by “wow I feel amazing”.
I was not naked. Even in New York, getting naked in Washington Square Park would have raised a few eyebrows. (It probably happened back in the 60s though)
The “visual reference” of the swimmer has me asking: What did he do with the driver?
Happiest. Ending. Ever.
Right on, Cole. Sometimes that “crunch” is actually a good thing. But never not weird.
Guess this makes you the Egg Man.
Breaking up tissue adhesion is painful but the relief is so worth it.
If you can find a cupping practitioner, it will be worth it as well. Like a deep tissue massage in reverse: pulls up and pulls blood into the area, rather than pushing in and driving blood away. Hurt like Hades first few times and you look like you’ve got hickies from carnal relations with a giant kracken, but the relief again totally worth it.
Web MD link to the description: https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/cupping-therapy
@Skepticat: “That’s a pen.”
What could possibly go wrong?
At first I was so reading this the wrong way.
But I can totally believe in the value of a restorative massage.
Thank you Baud. That made me laugh out loud and I can use one.
I already knew that one.
Sister Golden Bear
Seriously, that’s wonderful Cole. Sounds like the massages I had in Thailand post-surgery: first they break you, then they put you back together.
Sounds like Thai massage
“And now, if the ring-bearer will step forward, the ushers are going to compete in a quick round of Shoot the Bullet Through That Little Circle of Gold!”
I had a massage about 15 years ago at a small shiatsu place on Buchanan St. in SF that has since closed down. The masseuse was a sturdy middle-aged Japanese woman who spoke no English. IT HURT SO GOOD. It was raining and the roof of this place was like a sheet of corrugated fiberglass, covered in a bunch of ferns, making a constant, beautiful tapping and trickling sound and me steaming surrounded by warm towels, and I went into a kind of hallucinatory state of pure pleasure when this woman started pounding on me. I’d been having stomach trouble which I did not communicate to the masseuse but she rolled me over and pointed at my stomach with concern and then proceeded to massage it, was just so bizarre to me at the time but it actually made my stomach feel better. It felt like she was just putting her big strong arms right through my skin into my body and rearranging everything that was out of place. Will never forget that massage.
Thanks for the video raven. I was stationed just outside of Taipei for a year beginning in the fall of 1970. That film brings back memories. It is a beautiful country and the people are remarkably friendly.
I think you have answered a question for me. I have been noticing and wondering about round hickey-like marks on the shoulders of some players in the NBA. After reading your comment, I am guessing cup therapy has become popular in the league.
You guys are NOT making me want to get a massage.
The one time I had a deep tissue massage was just pure pain — definitely after, but my memory says also during. But I wasn’t told about stretching the next day, either.
Feeling good is good enough
Does sound to me like a happy ending.
The last point is one I wish more people here in the US would pay attention to when it comes to things like the ADA. Yes, it costs money to make the world accessible to people with disabilities, but the benefits are huge. Letting disabled people do things for themselves and have jobs is a huge net benefit, both from their positive contributions and from not needing to have other people do things for them. And, of course, there’s the psychological benefit of them feeling independent rather than a burden to others.
Hope you tipped her well. Sounds like she was worth it.
Oh, a good massage is like nothing else… sometimes I’m not sure I should drive myself home!
@Doc Sportekki: you beat me to it. Cole’s narrative screams “happy ending “, only not like THAT.
Back in the 1980’s after the first time I messed up a shoulder whitewater kayaking I went to a yoga class. About half the class was damaged male athletes mostly runners. Holiday Johnson, the instructor liked pair exercises and we finished each session exchanging a shoulder massage with our pair partner. One guy was 6’8″, about 275, furniture mover and weight lifter. At 6’1″ and 180 I was the only person in the class remotely able to do pair yoga with him. The best part was his hands nearly covered the space between my neck and shoulder socket. Strong, strong hands. Biggest hands I’ve ever seen. I had to resort to elbows and forearms using all the force I had to do my part. Politely he always did me after I did him.
AJ of the Mustard Search and Rescue Team
This is awesome John, way to go!
Super happy for you.
@trollhattan: Gives a new meaning to “shotgun wedding”.
I kept waiting for the part of the story where the ladies had to go bail Cole out of a Florida jail.
@trollhattan: Authorities say that it all started unraveling at the wedding between Jolene Hatfield and Billy-Bob McCoy…
Rootin’ fer injuries!
I wonder if something like that would work on my knees?
Oh, where to go with this… I’ll keep it simple – how about, “except being caught in a hailstorm.”
@J.: Aw, I thought it was going to be Millie Jackson:
@BigJimSlade: I mean, the lyrics start with:
First, you take my heartIn the palm of your handsAnd you squeeze it.
It’s perfect for this!
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: I was in Washington Square Park in NYC in the mid ’70s . I didn’t see anyone naked but I was approached by a guy wearing a long businessman-type raincoat. He opened it up as he approached, to display his wares, offering to sell me whatever drugs I might want.
I was fine, thank you. Hahaha. I had no idea that I was in a den of iniquity, I just thought it was NYC.