KN J Tales and Snippets


I don’t like massage parlours. There’s something about the neon flashing open signs that makes me wonder if these establishments are legit or not. But mainly it’s because I’m uncomfortable with the idea of some random person touching me while I’m half-naked.

It’s been about a decade since a girlfriend roped me into a couple’s massage with a Groupon. The place ended up being a seedy joint with blacked-out windows and questionable stains on the carpet. I was tensed the whole time. Probably not the usual clientele outcome.

Fast forward to yesterday, after enduring a headache for five days straight and waking throughout the night with pain, I was at my wit’s end and ready to try anything, including a massage. There had been little relief from the assortment of pain killers I’d been taking and so a remedial massage was my next treatment option.

Have you ever been elbowed in the ribs by a small child or by someone with bony elbows? It hurts, right?

There should be a warning sign that reads “Remedial massage – not for wusses!” Cos I’d have retreated faster than Road Runner himself.

When I showed up to my appointment, I explained to the massage lady that I wanted a neck and shoulder massage to attempt to alleviate my headache.

She got me to lie face down on a bed in a darkened room and asked if I wanted a dry or oiled massage. Not wanting to remove any layers of clothing, I opted for a dry massage.

The massage lady was zen-like in her focus, saying little in her words but vigorous in action. She worked on giving me a deep tissue massage on my shoulders and neck.

I kind of think deep tissue massage is just code for elbow the crap out of the person until they cry. Because that’s what I did… cried. My four-year-old son would have laughed at seeing me cry like a baby as a little Asian woman karate chopped my back.

But seriously, it was so bloody painful. I had to take deep breaths, count sheep and remind myself that the torture was a necessary evil.

“Is it supposed to hurt this much?” I wheezed out between her finger jabs. Being jabbed in the eye would have been preferable to whatever she was doing between my shoulder blades.

“You are very tense.”

Of course, I was tense! It was like someone was pulling the tendons and muscles from my bones then doing karate chops with their elbows. Why did she have such bony elbows?!

I swear I could hear my bones clicking and croaking as she rotated my hip bones and stretched out my back.

“You can turn over.”

Can you imagine my relief? The thirty minutes felt like forever under her painful ministrations. Unfortunately, only fifteen minutes had past so my relief was premature. Being asked to turn over was just the halfway point, the torture would continue for another fifteen minutes.

Did you know hair pulling is part of therapy? I should have stopped her on the account that I’m shedding hair at an exponentially fast rate and entering the balding phase but instead I quietly suffered through.

I whimpered and got teary-eyed even after she reduced the firmness of her kneading, elbowing and finger jabs. It didn’t matter, my muscles were so tightly coiled that it was going to hurt regardless.

“Go home and relax. Don’t wash your hair.”

That was odd. Not sure why I wasn’t supposed to wash my hair. Paying proved difficult with two sore arms not wanting to play ball with the brain’s commands.

Did the massage relax me? Hell no.

Would I ever go back? No bloody way!

Did the remedial massage help with my headache? Unfortunately not.

I suspect the torturous pain of bony elbows and finger jabs would far outweigh the pain of any headache.

Sometimes the cure really is worse than the disease.

Copyright © 2021, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

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Kathy - KN J Tales and Snippets

Creative writer and storytelling enthusiast, sharing snippets of my journey through life and parenting. Aiming to inspire, empower and ignite laughter with every word that I write.


  1. It is the WORST when they get the wrong pressure! And I’m always too scared to say something, but I seriously wince the whole time and cry and thank goodness I’m facing down. I feel your pain – I’m so sorry. Especially that it didn’t help with the headache. I’ve been getting chronic headaches and migraines all year, so I have a few tricks up my sleeve for you next time we chat.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh..that didn’t sound fun and relaxing at all. I have similar issues with someone touching my half naked body but I have been able to warm up to massages in the past although haven’t had once since this pandemic hit. I will remember not to try this particular one.

    Liked by 1 person

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