Friday, January 25, 2008

Client Quick Takes

Just a few quickies, since I realize I haven't blogged much about massage except for the "wrong-name" incident the other day.

I massaged a lady a few days ago who warned me that really dry skin ran in her family. She wasn't kidding, either!

Her skin wasn't flaky, just very, very rough. Over her entire body. I've never experienced anything like it. I felt bad for her, and she said that no matter how much water she drinks or lotion she applies, her skin is always like that.

The texture was like that of those really cheap fast-food napkins. At least my hands were nicely exfoliated by the end of the massage!

She was also one of those "massage therapist=expert-about-everything" clients.

Her: Every day when I wake up, the soles of my feet are very stiff and painful. My doctor says it's arthritis...what do YOU think it might be?

Me: WTF, Woman?!

No, not really!

Me: Um, I dunno...maybe it's ARTHRITIS, like your doctor says?!

The odd thing was, my next client had skin like buttah! Very smooth and nice to the touch.

I also did a hot stone massage on a lady yesterday, of course I burnt the crap out of my hands, as always, and when I asked her how she was doing after I turned her over onto her back (I always ask), she said, "I feel like a Gumby!"

I'll take that as a compliment! And I'll take her snoring as such, too.

Today was my day for no-zones, I guess.

First I massaged a gentleman with a torn quadriceps muscle (I didn't ask him which one!), then I massaged a lady with severe varicose veins in both calves. You never, ever massage over varicose veins, EVER. Spider veins are no problem, but if you massage over varicose veins you run the risk of dislodging a clot, which could lead to all sorts of nasty outcomes, like pulmonary emboli or strokes!

So for the guy, I just completely avoided his quads on that leg, and for the lady, I did feathering (very light, gliding touch of the fingertips along the skin) on the affected area.

Sometimes, you just have to work around things.

Another thing I want to add about this.The second client was a massage newbie, always a pleasure, but when it came time for her to turn over onto her back, she let out a rather large *toot*. She apologized profusely, and I told her (and meant it) that it was no problem at all.

Why am I even mentioning this?

Because I want everyone to know that flatulence is OKAY. It's natural, and massage stimulates so many systems in the body that flatulence is fairly common. So don't feel self-conscious if you let one slip (or rip!). Your therapist will take it in stride, I guarantee it.

Yesterday, I had a side-by-side massage with J.H., one of our male therapists.
We're running a special til the end of the month on side-by-side massages, so we're getting a lot of people scheduling them who would normally have a massage alone.

In this case, two female friends were taking advantage of the 20%-off deal.
The unusual part was that J.H.'s client insisted on only getting her back and shoulders massaged, for 50 minutes! So I was doing a full body massage on her friend, about three feet away, and the whole time my client kept saying, "Oh, Jennifer, you don't know what you're missing! You really should get your *insert body part here* massaged!" Or later, "Mmmm, what's that...?"
(I had put a rolled-up hot towel under her neck after I flipped her over)
"Oh, Jennifer this feels sooo gooooood!"

All the while her friend was just trying to enjoy the massage her own way.

I felt like telling her to give it a rest already. I mean, maybe her friend has a good reason not to get a full-body massage. Maybe she's shy, or has been traumatized in some way. How do we know?

What a P.I.T.A my client was, and not a good friend in this situation, as far as I'm concerned.


Chuck said...

Farting on the massage table! Now that's hot. LOL Did it stink? :)

Varicose veins sound painful.

Oh yeah, I thought about you today when I heard about the big fire in Vegas.

Christina RN LMT said...

Nope, no odor that I noticed.

The fire was pretty cool, even though I know that sounds crass.
Hey, no one was killed, and there were only minor injuries.
When we ran outside to see, everyone was kicking themselves because nobody had remembered their cell phone! I wanted "eye witness" pics to post, dammit.

breda said...

I would definitely try my damnedest not to fall asleep! I wouldn't want to miss a single second of a massage - they sounds really great. Hot stones - sign me up!

Christina RN LMT said...

Hot stone massage is very, very awesome. Extremely relaxing and very therapeutic, too.
One of my colleagues had a client actually get mad at her for "letting" her fall asleep!
She said she felt cheated out of her massage and wanted either a refund or the massage extended!

phlegmfatale said...

oooh, lizard lady thingie sounds interesting. Maybe SHE needs that salt body scrub exfoliation thing - think that would help.

By the way, I've been awaiting a post from you about Heath Ledger awaiting a masseuse whilst he was on drugs. Yeah, I know the results have been inconclusive, and I know he suffered from insomnia-- maybe he wanted a massage to help him relax enough to check out for a few hours?

Joey_C said...

Here is a question I've always wondered about.

Do male massage therapists get less business than female massage therapists?

The reason I ask is because when I get a massage I always request a female masseuse, and if women also prefer to be massaged by a female masseuse, would there be times when there is a male massage therapist standing around while clients waited for an available female?

Maybe my assumptions are all wrong, I dunno.

Zelda said...

I know exactly what you mean about the flatulence. When you look at an abdominal x-ray, you will ALWAYS see gas. Some more than others. When I adjust a patient, I'm going to be putting pressure on various parts of the body. It's going to happen.

Don't worry about it. Health professionals are so used to it, that we don't even think about it.

Christina RN LMT said...

Phlegm - It's funny you should mention it, but she did have a scrub scheduled right after the massage! I'm not sure what the result was, but she did tell me she wanted to see if it would help at all.

Re: Heath Ledger. I hear she was his housekeeper/masseuse (how I HATE that word!), maybe she was just on-call for massages when he wanted/needed them. I'd definitely not massage somebody who's been taking heavy-duty sleeping pills, but someone with anxiety needing to relax? You bet! Massage would definitely help in that case.

Joey - You're absolutely right on the money, unfortunately for the male therapists. Business is (almost) always so much slower for them, that clients who say they have "no preference" as to the gender of the therapsist are ALWAYS scheduled with males. Otherwise the guys would be SOL.
You have women who worry about male therapists getting their jollies, or who are so self-conscious about their bodies they don't want a man to see/touch them. Then you have some men who are so homophobic, they definitely "don't want no man rubbing on" them. Plus, some hetero men worry about becoming aroused from the massage, which is totally normal and natural, so they'd tend to freak if it happened while a man was massaging them. Once in a while we'll have a day like Friday, where I had ony an hour and a half of work in an 8 hour shift, but the male therapists were completely booked. Hey, more power to them, they need and deserve the work!

Jethro (I know it's you, when are you going to get that profile thingy fixed?) - As much as I (obviously) agree with you, I'D still be completely embarrassed if I were the one farting. The worst is during the yearly GYN exam. Your feet are in the stirrups, the doc is telling you to relax (yeah, right!), but you're clenching your cheeks together so hard, you could make a diamond out of a lump of coal!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the problem is that Zelda and I use the same email address when we blog. When blogger forced us to change to the new format, it changed my profile to hers. I probably should just get a google account, but I just don't feel like it. Zelda filters out all the junk mail for me.

4chun Cookie said...

that "masseuse" wasn't even licensed in the state of NY!!! I know what she was there for!!

Christina RN LMT said...

Well, whatever she was there for, I wish she had gotten there sooner, maybe he could have been saved.

Christina RN LMT said...

Jethro, that's a handy reason to keep Zelda around! ;)

MrFunkMD said...

Wait, so farting and boners are ok? Where can I sign up for one of these massage thingys?

Christina RN LMT said...

All over town, dude!
Just avoid the places that are open 24 hours, unless you're looking for a "happy ending", too.