Sunday, 7 pm, Sometime in late September, 2015, Hilton Hotel East Memphis
When I was trying to figure out which massage school to attend, all of my massage friends said, “it really doesn’t matter – you don’t learn how to do massage in massage school anyway – it’s the continuing education courses that teach you how to be an amazing massage therapist.” “Why would you go to massage school if you don’t learn how to do massage? It doesn’t make any sense,” I argued.
Well, they were right. In massage school, they teach you mostly how not to hurt people and about certain health conditions with which a client might present. A client’s health condition might affect the way one does massage for that client. I learned more about massage therapy when our instructor went ‘off-book’. Most of the time, we stayed after school for two hours learning the answers to burning questions like: “How do you relieve back pain?” “Can we practice on the psoaz muscle group?” “How does one do massage with release?” (Just kidding: I never asked about the psoaz muscles.)
And, regardless of the curriculum my two massage school instructors were amazing. I came to know both as close acquaintances and about their favorite Master Teachers in massage therapy.
After massage school, I sought out continuing education workshops given by the Masters l learned about in school. And, even though I didn’t have my license yet, I signed up anyway. I remember the people at the registration table asking me, “why are you paying all of this money ($350) if you don’t have your license yet. Your continuing education units (aka C.E.U.’s) won’t be associated with your future license.”
At my first C.E.U. workshop, I learned that if you don’t come to these workshops with a partner, they pair you with anyone that doesn’t have a partner. My assigned partner was five foot six, and, opposite of my height, six foot five. She had an entitled demeanor and was ungrateful that I provided sheets, head rest covers, and that I constantly raised and lowered my massage table to accommodate our dramatic difference in height.
She reminded me looks-wise of a girlfriend (friend who’s a girl) who is gay, and, not just gay, but stereotypically gay. My friend has a Mullet hair style, wears golfer-like clothes, and has her Caucasian skin covered with a golfer’s tan. My friend is bossy, spews her opinions everywhere, and is loud. My workshop partner was all of these things also except my workshop partner was from Alabama, and, she sounded like it!
At the end of the weekend, all of us were brain-fried and physically exhausted. But, there was one last technique on the weekend syllabus. I call it The Hamstring Slide, and, I use this move in my sessions. As I slid my hairy forearm along her hamstring toward her sit bones, she hollered out an “AHHhhhhhhhhhhh.” And, then, “I can’t W-A-I-T to get home and show my huhzzzband this move.” My brain filter was turned off. As I said earlier, we were all brain-fried. I said out loud, “Y-O-U have a H-U-S-band?!?!”
Everyone turned around with obvious giggles because they knew EXACTLY what I meant. But, I didn’t mean it in a malicious way…it just came out of my mouth. And, as soon as I said it, I realized how intrusive that must have come across.
She lifted her head out of the face cradle and turned to the side to address me. “Well, of COHRSE I have a HUHZZZband.” Everyone around me continued to giggle quietly but didn’t hide their facial expressions since Ms. Alabama was face down on the table. We finished the exercise and proceeded to the long-awaited closing of the weekend.
It was my very first C.E.U. workshop and I learned a lot in those sixteen hours, like, don’t stereotype people! It was a long ass weekend and I was drained. And, during the entire weekend, I thought, “this is what massage school should have been!”