Sunday, April 09, 2006

Stress Removal

SwingDaddy was kind enough to watch Q this afternoon while I went for a massage. Ahhh, all the knots and tension spots are gone.
I first sought this masseuse, let's call her Ms. Soothing, just about two months after Q was born. My arms and back were aching from the stress and strain of holding him, and I thought my body was going to ruin. A dear dancer friend J recommended her, and I made an appointment right away.

After some introductory talk about being a new mom and chatting about other dancers on whom she worked, Ms. Soothing started her magic and asked almost immediately, "Are you nursing?"

The "piano wires" in my neck had given me away. "You have Nursing Neck!"

As a novice mom, it takes ridiculous amounts of energy to figure out how to hold and feed your baby. Even though they get so much bigger later, you eventually develop good (or at least better) technique, and your whole body doesn't ache like those early days.

That first set of sessions got me back on my feet, and I still go every few months. My lower body generally gets good marks due to dance workouts - I'm relatively stretched and relaxed. Unfortunately, my upper body is usually a mess of tensions and requires a lot of work.

In the autumn when Q started getting heavy, Ms. Soothing told me to treat him like a sports activity. "You stretch before dance, right?" After that, early mornings had Q observing patiently from his crib while I did my prescribed stretches before picking him up. Not surprisingly, I started feeling much better.

No one ever tells you how much upper body strength you need when you're a mother. I would have started a weights routine had I known.

Today I came home with instructions to do upward facing neck stretches when I get home from work, to counterbalance all the looking downwards (at computer materials, at the kiddo, etc). I treated my sister, Lady O, to a treatment too, so I can't wait to see if she liked it.

The cartoon above is how I feel after a massage, all nicely boneless. SwingDaddy was given a copy of The Complete Far Side a few years ago. It's terrific, but be careful. The books are so heavy that you might need a massage to work out the kinks from carrying them around. :)


Update: I originally posted the famous Boneless Chicken Ranch panel from the Far Side when SwingDaddy suggested it as a graphic, because it was too funny not to post for a day, but I've taken it down since it's under copyright. I wanted to replace it with some soothing floral-type picture today and discovered that the only "nature" photos that we've taken with the new camera are from the Stanford cactus garden. Attractive, but cacti weren't the best illustration for the "Stress Removal" title. I had to run outside and take a few flower shots.


Anonymous said...

It was fabulous! I am really sore though:)

Fourth Breakfast

Anonymous said...

good example of feeling like a boneless chicked after a message.

Need to trest reading the two Farside books like a sporting event, Stretch first