Tag Archives: massage

NOW what?!

In the continuing saga of my health, I have just recovered from my first cold of the season, complete with coughing “all night long, Mom! You didn’t stop hardly at ALL!” I don’t get colds too often (I think all these years of teaching have made my immune system pretty tough!), and when I do, they’re not usually too intense. They just seem to hang on a long time, and I’m rarely sick enough that I need to stay home. I’m usually able to pop some cold medicine and I’m good to go, so that’s what I did this time. Except apparently I couldn’t control my coughing while asleep. Sorry, DD!

My shoulder is slowly getting better with the weekly massage therapy. The guy just about annihilates me every time, but I keep going back because whatever he does, it’s working. Although my shoulder was feeling quite good after my massage early last week, I tweaked it a day later while attempting to put some dishes away on a high shelf. After my massage therapist gave me a stern talking-to for trying to do too much too soon, he spent a lot of time on a few trigger points at my appointment today. It hurt so much, but right now my shoulder is feeling very relaxed and non-throbby. No pain, no gain seems to be the message here.

And now I have just discovered – or rather, my doctor did, after I had a urinalysis last week – that I have a bladder infection. How I got that I don’t even want to speculate. I don’t think I’ve ever had one before, but I do know that they are extremely common in women. Maybe I’ve just been lucky and have dodged that bullet for years. Anyway, I didn’t experience any of the pain that is one of the usual symptoms of bladder infection, just a few of the more minor signs that needed to be investigated and could have been caused by a number of other issues. So now I’m on antibiotics for five days and I’ll be back at the doctor’s in two weeks.

Compare this to my 82-year-old mother who has completely recovered from her minor stroke last March and is now happily going for walks every day, going to social get-togethers in her building, as well as busily baking and preparing for Christmas already. She’s full of energy and feeling great, she says.

Well, I’m glad somebody in the family is.


Rubbed down and wiped out

I had my first therapeutic massage yesterday.

Oh VioletSky, why didn’t you warn me?

Today I feel like a truck hit me. I slept like a rock last night and I’m still tired now. My shoulder is sore to even touch – and my masseur told me that he would go easy on me because it was my first time. (Okay, okay, if you want, insert your own joke here. I’m not going to do it!)

I have to say that I was a little apprehensive going in. I’ve only ever had massages at spas, and I was pretty sure that this would be quite different. I am used to coming out of massage treatments feeling warm and relaxed and perfumed and really good. I came out of this one exhausted and wondering if this constant discomfort and at times, sharp pain, was going to be worth it.

He vigorously rubbed and pushed and pulled and stuck what seemed like his whole body weight onto my poor shoulder. He moved my arm here and there and – ow! – even out to there. He said that I would probably hate him while he was working on me, but that I would like him a lot more in a day or two. He kept saying, “Are you okay? Just let me know.” I kept saying, often through gritted teeth, “That hu-u-u-urts!”

But damn, I can painlessly move my right arm sideways just about out to shoulder height today.

Just don’t touch me.

(And glutton for punishment that I seem to be, I’ve already booked my next massage.)


I’ve just come back from an amazing spa weekend with a great group of women. This is the seventh year that we’ve been doing this spa getaway thing, and we have so much fun every time.

It started when one of my friends was turning 40, and told her husband that she wanted a spa weekend for this milestone birthday. She did some research and discovered the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa on Vancouver Island.

This place is absolutely gorgeous: right on the beach, surrounded by forest. It’s quiet and serene, and the restaurant food is to die for! The accommodations are classy (though not 5-star), especially if one stays in a suite, as our group of six did. And the spa – oh, the spa!

This is as high-quality a spa as I have ever been to – and believe me, I have been to many, many spas. All the usual spa services are available, but it’s the setting that makes it such an incredible experience. Many of the treatment rooms overlook the beach, so along with a soothing body polish, for example, one gets to gaze out the window at the waves rolling in on the rocks and driftwood. That’s if you have the energy to lift your head and open your eyes, of course.

The Kingfisher also has Western Canada’s only hydropath. This is like a water path that you walk along, wearing your swimsuit, stoppng at various stations. A few of the stops are a mineral massage pool, a waterfall massage centre, a steam cave, an icy shower (I always skip that one), a river walk where different temperatures and pressures of water blast at your legs, and a tidal bath where you slather yourself with a seaweed and mud mix to draw out toxins from your skin. The best part is the post-hydropath visit to the Relaxation Room. This is a delightfully calm lounge where you lay on a chaise longue, wrapped in warm towels if you wish, sipping lemon water, listening to soothing music and gazing out over the ocean through the picture windows in front of you. Bliss!

But enough of the advertising…

One of the treatments I had was an aromatherapy massage. I’m not totally sure what was in the oil that she used on me (I did sniff lavender, but I know there were a few more scents mixed in), but something didn’t agree with my nose and it immediately plugged right up. So there I was, face down on a massage table, breathing through my mouth and drying out my throat and lips. It wasn’t very comfortable at first, but I eventually relaxed and settled right in, mouth hanging open.

In fact, I relaxed so very much that I started to drool. Yes, drool. Drip, drip, drip onto the rocks artfully arranged in a plate below the face hole on the massage table. Now, that’s a treat, isn’t it: staring down at your own saliva splattered all over some rocks about a metre away from your face – and you can’t turn away or go anywhere.

Still, drool and all, I highly recommend aromatherapy massages and the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa if you’re ever on the east side of Vancouver Island.