My body has been registering the stress of the past week. Little sleep, tons of travel, even more performances for very important audiences, a very tense showdown over my commercial shoot where I could either a) get kicked out of my show or b) humiliate Chicago Actors in general and be blacklisted by one of the three casting agencies in town. Also, my mom. My mom my mom my mom my freaking mom. My heavens, my mom.
I believe your body silently takes all your stress and manages it for you efficiently and miraculously. It clenches your jaw to keep you from screaming out the wrong thing in anger; it contracts your back muscles to prevent you from punching a hole in the wall. When you're scared, it pulls your shoulders up to protect your neck. Instinctual things like that.
And if it has to KEEP clenching and contracting and stiffening, it starts to hurt. Then YOU have to take care of IT for a little while.
So I am a huge believer in massage therapy as actual therapy. I totally feel emotions locked into my muscles, and when one releases, the other does too.
I got a massage on Friday.
It actually made everything worse.
It was like my muscles were library fine I'd been dodging for years, and when I finally came forward, they slammed me with a bill for $3,275.21 for that copy of Breakfast of Champions I checked out in 9th grade.
So, this morning I went to get a chair massage at Whole Foods. I asked for 20 minutes, but the guy went for 40 and then gave me his business card for a free hour massage. He seemed sort of horrified. He had been muttering in Japanese throughout the massage. Also his hands were shaking from pushing so hard on my spine.
"It should be like this," he said, touching his fluffy stack of paper-towel face guards, "but it is like this," and he touched the countertop, "it is like it is a bone I am touching ...?"
It was a good massage. As he worked on the knot that's given me a Leona-Helmsley-level-BITCH of a headache for the past 2 days I realized my mom's actions weren't necessarily my fault, and started crying. In the massage chair in the corner of the Whole Foods on Huron street.