I told you earlier about my wife getting a gift certificate for a professional massage and the way the have to deal with victims of abuse and rape often. Well last night was my appointment and I’m happy to report that it was pretty cool.
The first thing you have to do is fill out a medical history form, and also a “permission” form. The permission part of the form let’s you specify if there are certain parts of your body you do not want to be touched, whether it be legs, face, abdomen, etc. That’s a nice touch. Of course, for me it’s not so much about where I’m touched as much as it is by whom, so it was good that when I met the therapist, I felt absolutely no sense of intimidation or fear. Then I could just check off that everything was ok and go from there. That lack of intimidation makes everything easy for me, and is somewhat hard to define. It’s just a feeling I get from seeing someone, their physical presence and their attitude. She was also very good about communicating what she was doing, and letting me know that it was ok to tell her if something made me uncomfortable. That’s important too, mostly because you have to realize that for a good portion of this procedure you’re on your stomach and can’t see the person touching you. I know that makes some survivors very uncomfortable. For me, it’s only uncomfortable when I don’t have the chance to see you first and acknowledge to myself who you are. It’s those “surprise” touches from behind that tend to get me, and this is not a situation like that at all.
Anyway, like I said, I enjoyed it, I think it did a lot to relieve tension in my back, shouders and neck that can lead to migraines and it’s another stress-reduction tool in the toolbox for me, which can never get too many tools! Especially since the alternative, for me, to reducing stress is dissociation. Not an acceptable option!
I’ll probably do it again sometime!