The Worst Massage Ever

Morning kidlits! Another fabulous story from my weekend is about to unfold…

A month or two ago I bought two Groupons for 75% off a 60 minute massage at a place in my neighborhood that a friend raves about. Last week I decided to make an appointment for Saturday afternoon. I was so excited because A. I love massages and B. It was so inexpensive for NYC. So after I finishing another practice exam (30 points lower than last week – sadface) I headed over to the spa.

I get up the stairs to the reception area and wait for about 10 minutes. They had snacks on the table which was nice. Other people came in with their Groupons as well. Sweet! My appointment was with a man and although this doesn’t make me entirely comfortable, I am secure enough to know that I’ll be fine and he’s probably somewhere along the lines of… gay. He takes me up another flight of stairs to the treatment room where birds were chirping over the soundsystem. Very soothing.

He tells me to get undressed except for my underwear and lie on my stomach under the blanket and he would come back when I was settled. It felt like I was lying under there forever. Finally he comes back in and starts to warm up my back. It was ok, but I’ve always had massage therapists that would do things symmetrically: start with the whole back, along the spine, do each shoulder, each arm, each hand, etc. He was not following any pattern whatsoever.

This is not me and I did not look this happy

All the sudden it felt extremely hot, like he was rubbing burning lotion in streaks on my back. I realized after a few minutes that he was using hot stones. I should have realized this earlier, but I did not request a “hot stone” massage. It actually felt pretty good when I realized what it was. But then he ran a hot stone all the way down my left arm and left it in my hand. It felt like a fireball was burning layers and layers of skin off my palms. I panicked. I could just see the red hole of burning flesh that I would find after he was done. I am one of those people that hates to say anything when I am having services done – pedicure, manicure, even when waitresses serve me the wrong food. I always feel bad about complaining – I am SUCH a people pleaser. So I stayed quiet and politely moved the stone to the table and out of my burning palm of flesh. Of course I realized he was going to this with my other hand and took that thing off right away.

I wanted to do this.

When he moved to my legs, I think he actually washed my feet with what felt like some sort of squeegee. Sanitary I suppose, but totally gross feeling. So the leg part was pretty awful and I felt like he wasn’t keeping enough blanket on top of my… down under region. He did manage to work out some tension in my calves I didn’t know I had.

Suddenly I felt the blanket come completely off me. Granted, I was lying on my stomach and all necessary items were covered, but I didn’t know what was happening. “Time to turn over” I heard him say. I peered up and saw that he was holding the blanket in front of him like a shower curtain so he couldnt see anything. Phew. I turned over and he laid the blanket across my frontal region. He did his top-part-of-the-leg routine. It was possibly worse than the back-part-of-the-leg routine.

Then, the worst part of the whole 60 minutes happened.

He moved over to the side of the table and uncovered my stomach. My pelvic and chest region were still covered.  He then started to massage my stomach. WHAT??! I have never in my entire life had anyone massage my stomach. What tension do my organs hold? Ugh, it was so incredibly uncomfortable I can’t even describe to you how awful it was.

Plus, my abs do not look like this.

To finish off the worst massage ever, instead of rubbing my T-zone and temples on my head he just pressed super hard into like three different spots. I was so relieved when he was done. I got dressed with all this grainy lotion all over me, checked out at reception and ran out of there as fast as I could. Immediately after my appointment, I had to  meet a fellow bridesmaid for the September wedding for coffee for the first time . I felt so out of sorts because of the massage she probably thinks I’m a nutjob. Ok, more of a nutjob than usual.

I can’t believe how awful it was. I am hoping that it was just a bad experience with the specific massage guy and not a reflection of the Spa itself. My friend raves about it, so if I dare go back to use my 2nd Groupon – I will make sure to schedule with the woman she normally sees and hope for the best. I decided not to name the spa directly, so they don’t get any bad press. I really am a people pleaser. 

Have you ever had an awful massage experience?

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13 Comments

Filed under Anxiety, healthy Living

13 responses to “The Worst Massage Ever

  1. Oh my god that sounds horrid. I would’ve spoken up. I always yell at them, “MORE PRESSURE!!” I’m paying for it damnit!

  2. rachel

    😦 he does not sound ideal! as a massage practitioner, i will say, though, that abdominal massage is not that unusual and that a lot of ppl hold incredible “psychic baggage/junk/call it what you will” there. including me. Which can make it very sensitive/uncomfortable! Also, massage is sort of like therapy in 2 ways: 1 – there isn’t one perfect person for everyone; it’s important to find a good match 2 – it works best when there’s lots of (or at least some) communication 🙂 sounds like an excellent opportunity to practice advocating for yourself!

  3. Sandy

    I have had a creepy massage experience. I was given a gift certificate for a massage. I went and had to fill out a health history and give some personal info(cell phone #, etc) which I thought was odd but hoped it was because it was such a professional service type spa. My masseuse was a guy( who was not gay). He talked the whole time, made comments about my” runners legs”(GROSS!) and grunted thru some parts of the massage. After it was finally over he asked to schedule another massage which I did. I felt some weird sort of post massage pressure to do this I guess, knowing the whole time I would cancel. Segway to me leaving a voice message to cancel this appointment. The guy called my cell phone 5 times( I did not answer) and left messages to try to find out why I was cancelling. Maybe because you are a weirdo stalker massage freak!! I have not had a massage since.

  4. I always have a woman do my massages. Now I know why! You had me creeped out the whole way! Thank God you got out in one piece. I tend to not speak up when I’m paying for services but AA has taught me to respect my boundaries more so this is becoming less of a problem for me….

  5. omg – I was hoping you were writing a Fiction piece and soon would state, “when I woke up……………”
    ACK!!!
    Hmmm, though there were those ab massages I had,, oh, wait,, that was post-delivery in the hospital –
    Yikes, seriously, girl, there’s “people pleasing”, like you know, don’t hurt someone’s feelings, but PSYCHE!!! Girl, this one needed a “shout-out”
    For real, I would email management as it would appear they’re unaware,,,
    ha, he is probably mgr….

    Anxious to hear how the other masseuse does!!
    ~d

  6. GAH! That sounds AWFUL! I am so sorry you had such a horrible experience!

  7. Lindsey

    Dude, this sounds almost exactly like my last massage experience – HORRID! I really don’t like when people touch any part of my body other than my back/shoulders/neck and I specifically told my last massage therapist this – not to mention I went in due to knots in my upper back area. Anyway, same start – not symmetrical – and then she spent probably all of 15 minutes (out of 90) on my back. She even started massaging my butt at one point, which I’m just NOT comfortable with. I did speak up a couple of times during the massage, but it did not deter her – I can only assume she didn’t understand English very well. So disappointing… I’m sorry you had a bad experience, too. 😦

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