presumptuous but necessary
years ago, i decided to take up soccer again after a good 15 years of relative inactivity. i also, coincidentally, toiled at a job that stuffed me into economy class airplane seats for six and more hours at a stretch on a regular basis, AND i had made the subtle but significant life error in choosing to keep a billfold in my back right hand pants pocket. the sum total of these otherwise well-intended decisions was a pinching, stabbing pain whenever i turned my head to the left to consult my side mirror while driving in traffic, and an increasingly alarming coincidence of limited flexibility and ability on the soccer field. (what's really important, after all?)
so i went to a "doctor" and got a bunch of recommendations NOT to play soccer and to take a bunch of pills, the advice of whom i immediately rejected because i was NOT going to not play soccer first of all, and i was NOT going to pump myself full of chemicals in an attempt to make myself healthy, knowing full well that health is, by definition, the absence of such, and i was young enough and smart enough to know (38 and you'll have to take my word for it all this evidence notwithstanding) that there had to be a better way.
enter barry bailey, of bailey therapeutic massage, and rebecca caplan, doctor of chiropracty, both at the time working from space in downtown maynard, ma, and committed by loose association (i.e. working with the same sore guy) to do something about what ailed me. after taking the wallet out from under my crooked seated posture, and repeatedly re-aligning my vertebrae, pelvis and who knows how many other skewed joints over a period of weeks, while barry educated me on the merits of aaron mattes' active isolated stretching regimen and assisted me through a thorough program of the same, i "miraculously" (i.e. like clockwork) lost all inconvenience, inflexibiity and physical discomfort, and found myself fitter and more physically capable than i had ever been before in my life, including when i was a somewhat accomplished scholastic athlete. (no joke--i was FASTER at age 38 than i had been as a track runner in high school and college, and the benefits have continued to stick with me for a decade and a half and counting).
yup, i still do my active isolated stretching, and i still play soccer like a kid. (well, i have had my meniscus cleaned up a couple times, but, hey, shit happens).
so, to get back around to the point, after dr caplan moved her practice to brookline, and i moved myself north from littleton to be that much further from maynard, i had eminent good fortune to discover the healing therapeutic goodness that is andrea horlick, licensed massage therapist. my first experience began with an extended question and answer session to talk all about what i did and how i did it, and what i might perceive to be ailing me. (much as with barry bailey years before, and, i can tell you, any time i go to a massage therapist in some faraway place because i can or i need to, i always try to start with one who gets how important listening to both the words and body of a patient can be).
short answer is, since "graduating" from barry's care, and for the past years, my massage therapy has been almost exclusively delivered by andrea, and i cannot say enough good things about it. (andrea--i was not cheating on you, but sometimes on a trip to vegas when one is up $500 or $600, one looks at the massage therapy offer in the hotel information notebook, and says to onesself, "yeah, i'll get that").
which gets us back to aunt pat, and the natural human inclination to equate vegas with showgirls and their entrepreneurial oldest profession cousins: massage therapy is no cousin to any of that. the years of education, training and apprenticeship at what amounts to slave wages, burdened by state certifications and fees and related paperwork, ensure that "massage" is only a euphemism for better-for-you-than-most-doctors, and far cheaper to boot.
massage is, both bang for your buck in addition to just plain bang, one of the healthiest and best things you can do for yourself, second perhaps only to feeding yourself actual healthy food. (the plug for shaw farms is never far away with me, is it). if you go to the doctor every year but don't know quite exactly what it is doing for you, try going to a good massage therapist a couple of times, or even once, and see how you feel after. no, it's not cheap when it's out of pocket like it usually is, (though some health plans now enlightenedly cover some of it), but when you consider all the crap you do to yourself for that much and more, it's the shortest money you'll ever spend in really doing something GOOD for yourself.
and, so that you can never say i never did anything for you...
if you are ever around the north shore and in need of a fix, tell her i said hi. and then you can tell me thank you after, because you'll feel like you must. she's that good.
AND, because page rankings are based in part on traffic, please, even if you are never around the north shore and in need of a fix, have a visit to her web page and help a sister out.