I just read an online ad for Massage, Sports Stretching, and Cryotherapy. It is a pretty good deal, too. For under fifty dollars, a licensed massage therapist (well, I assume the therapist is licensed, and hope the therapist is licensed, and so I will proceed on that supposition), performs a first-rate thirty-minute deep-tissue massage to relieve pain from strenuous work-out sessions or from chronic conditions. Great! This part of the deal alone is probably worth the money.
Next comes the sports stretching. I have no idea if the sports-stretching expert is the masseuse or masseur, or if the expert is licensed in sports stretching or even needs to be licensed in sports stretching, but once again, I’m assuming this person is skilled, experienced and qualified to oversee the client in a safe and constructive manner. Maybe the trainer is a physical therapist. Here, the expert supervises stretching, instructing the client to position the arms and legs and torso and neck correctly so as not to strain muscles, ligaments or tendons. An improper technique can lead to a lifetime of discomfort or even pain, and the need for more deep tissue massages. Minor adjustments in movement can ensure that the client stretches each area adequately and properly. The expert can teach the client how to “undo” old habits and develop a stretching regimen that is good for the client’s needs. So far, so good.
The third and final part of this package deal involves cryotherapy. Cry-o-therapy. Up to this point, we’ve done the massage. We’ve stretched. And now we need cryotherapy? You want that I should cry? What do you think was happening with all that deep tissue massage business? No one could see my tears because I was lying face down on the table with that little opening for the face and my tears were cascading on the plush carpet below. Haven’t you ever wondered why these places play soft music and there’s a pretty little water feature in the corner of the room? Nobody wants to hear a grown client cry! If the package deal involved an extended session for deep tissue massage therapy, somebody might have needed to call the Coast Guard to rescue everybody with row boats because the tears would be falling so fast and furiously. And you think I wasn’t wincing enough with the stretching? Who are we kidding here? This was murder. Clients think to themselves, “Hmmm. Perhaps my pain level before I came in here wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.” And now, my special on-line package deal involves some kind of licensed or unlicensed therapy to make me cry? CRY-O-THERAPY?
No thanks. I’m going straight home, pour myself a glass of iced tea and smother myself in ice packs.