Massage for the Mind?

This evening, I decided to reward myself [for a clean bill of health from my Doctor’s visit earlier in the day] with a massage. I called late in the day and was pleasantly surprised that I could be fit in for a 9pm appointment. Who knew those even existed?

So, I went this evening, prepared for a full body and brain relaxation. This wasn’t my very first professional massage, but it was my first in quite a long period of time.

I learned something about myself today: I can’t mentally relax the way that most do.

During the massage, I was utterly relaxed physically. I was in HEAVEN. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was drooling on the heated pad and likely came close to electrocuting both myself and the therapist.

However, despite that immense physical joy and relief, my brain stayed active. The lights were dimmed, my phone[s] were silenced, and soft music was playing in the background. Yet my brain stayed alert and awake. What was I thinking about?

Well, at first, I was thinking about my day. How happy I was that everything went well at the Doctor. Sweet, sweet relief that the powers of positivity and optimism were reinforced with the good news that I’m healthy as a horse.

As the massage went on, I thought about my conversation with my instructor and how fortunate I am to be at such an incredible school. I had visited him to discuss my current project and solicit his feedback on the direction my screenplay was taking. As usual, I left empowered, energized, and grateful to attend Full Sail University.

In the middle of an incredible series of shoulder kneading sprints by the therapist, I thought about my job and felt a bit of guilt for taking the day off mid-week, but reminded myself over and over that they could survive one day without me.

And then, oddly enough, I found myself thinking about the massage itself. How the therapist applied just enough pressure to cause momentary pain, and then a flood of warmth and pleasure as she eased up on the tense area – and somehow loosened a knot that had been there since my birth [practically.]

I began to imagine myself as clay in the hands of a sculptor. I found myself thinking of her as an artist and imaging all the incredible shapes she could potentially be molding me into. Would I be a multipurpose ashtray? How about a beautiful vase? Would I recognize myself when she was done?

Instead of releasing my mind in the stolen hour of tranquility and near-silence, I found my brain working in hyperdrive. I couldn’t force it to turn off, even when every single muscle in my body had relinquished it’s control and allowed itself to enjoy utter rest. Why does my brain have to be so stubborn?

When the massage was over – far too soon, of course – and I was dressing, I found myself looking in the mirror, shocked to see that I wasn’t molded into something new. After an hour of intensive work from the therapist, I half-expected to see a change in my physical structure; some alteration, visible to the naked eye, of my frame from where her expert hands had reshaped the very sinew and bone underneath the skin. But no – I was the same.

So, with that in mind, perhaps the same applies to my mind. Perhaps it takes more than an hour to see a visible difference in my cognizance, in my mental health and relaxation. Perhaps one massage isn’t enough to change my body no more than one hour of silence is enough to shut down a constantly-racing mind. That’s ok. It just proves to me that I need to do MORE for myself.

More reading. More writing. More ladies nights. More date nights. More yoga. More running. More music. More dancing. More laughter. More joy.

So one massage isn’t enough to change my world. Fine. Let’s make it 100. 1,000. 1,000,000. Just because one action doesn’t show immediate results doesn’t mean it’s not working.


~ Victoria Elizabeth Ann


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