Massage Etiquette


I thought I was done with coincidences for awhile after discovering that senior deckhand Ian Strachan and I played together as kids in Maine, but today turned up another surprise. We were hiking through the tropical rainforest of Barro Colorado Island in the Panama Canal and I started talking to a couple in my group. They mentioned that they’re from Connecticut, and naturally, since my mom grew up there and my grandparents still live there, I asked where in Connecticut they were from. Stonington, they replied. Since that’s the town over from where my grandparents live (Mystic) my response was, “oh, do you know Dave and Ginny Schimdt?” knowing that it was a shot in the dark. But yes, they know Dave and Ginny Schmidt. Quite well actually, I think they said that they ran into them at the grocery store the other day. It really is a small world.

On a completely different note, I’d like to share a list of massage do’s and don’t’s that I came up with last week. Several of them arose from an awkward (not in a bad way) and rather humorous massage I gave the previous trip. It was an older gentleman who was not in the best of shape, to say the least. To make a long story short he pretty much directed me in what to do, saying “when are you going to get to my feet”, “when are you going to get to my hands” and then halfway though, he fell asleep. When he started snoring and blowing air out from between his lips and scrunching up his face into a ball my first thought was “be careful who you marry.” Several times I had to turn my head to keep from laughing. But from that I came up with a few rules for massage etiquette. Here they are:

1) Wash your feet. Please.
2) Don’t talk (much). It’s hard for the massage therapist to concentrate and it can’t be very relaxing for you.
3) You may think your leg or arm is too heavy to lift, so you try to help by lifting it yourself, but it’s actually much easier for us if you stay limp. Not to mention more relaxing and more beneficial for you.
4) Unless it’s a really horrible massage, don’t try to direct your massage therapist. Asking “when are you going to get to my feet” is kind of rude.
5) If you have a cut or a rash or open sore, please let your massage therapist know. In this case surprises are not fun.
6) Be on time. Even five minutes early if you can. You’ll get a longer massage and we won’t have to rush.

That’s all I came up with, but I’m sure there are many more to add. Let me know if you think of any!

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One Response

  1. Well, you’re not going to get away with that! You have to get that couple’s name or I’ll never hear the end of it! Glad I comply with your do’s and don’ts list for Massage. Looking forward to another one soon!

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