Well Being

So, I Teared Up (i.e. Started Sobbing) During Massage Therapy — And It Actually Helped

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Remember last week when we answered some awkward massage therapy questions? Add, “Is crying during massage therapy normal?” to that list, because even though it is apparently common, it's also quite embarrassing. I know this because later that evening, I went to my regular appointment and, though everything started off normally, I eventually learned why massage therapy benefits more than your physical well-being.

My session began as per usual: I lay face down on a heated table under a sheet and he went to work on my back. I relaxed in the wonderful way that can only come from spending 0% of my brain power on anything besides feeling calm. Halfway through my appointment, I turned around to lay on my back, which allows him to access my hips (my primary area of pain) in a different way. After a few minutes of this, as he was working on my right side, I felt a twitch in my eye. I chalked it up to dry contacts until I realized my throat was gaining that weird, familiarly upsetting lump. Oh god, not right now, I thought, but my tear ducts fought against my will and, sure enough, tears began to slowly stream out of my eyes like I was watching the opening scene of Up!.

There I am, lying on this lovely table with a bright plaid sheet over me listening to jazz while somebody else is trying to alleviate my physical pain–in other words, all the elements that could possibly make me relax–and I am weeping.

I announced my tears awkwardly:

“Um, (therapist's name drawn out for a few seconds)… is it normal to cry? Because I am about to, uh, start. Right now.”

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