weeks ago my therapist told me to get a massage and to expect tears to flow while laying on the massage table. i couldn’t go weeks ago because i was stuck in the old unworthiness-of-kindness and undeserving-of-self-care beliefs. i had shifted beyond punishing myself, but i hadn’t yet arrived at self-worth. on friday i bought a groupon for two massages for half-price at one of those massage factories with 30 tiny rooms and a staff of 100 where massages are cheaply churned out from 9am to 8pm every day of the week. i scheduled my first appointment for this afternoon. wizard drove me, because i wasn’t sure i would arrive without veering into a procrastinating shopping trip if i got in the car to drive myself. he sat in the lobby reading a book while i laid face-down on a massage table and cried for an hour.
i began crying the moment i disrobed, before i could place myself beneath the sheet draped on the table, three minutes before my massage therapist returned to the room. i let myself cry for a few seconds before shutting off the tears. the tears began again the instant the massage therapist placed her hands on my back. i tried to hold back tears with deep breathing. tears fell between breaths. the tears dropped fear, sadness, and gratitude. my massage therapist gently stroked the length of my back and down my arms, encouraging pain to release through my fingertips. after a few minutes, i told her “thank you for your healing hands.” she responded with a heavy spanish accent that no client had ever told her she had healing hands. she said that she is here to help, that she asks for healing to come through her. i began speaking to her in spanish, the words i learned from a curandera who mentored me long ago. my massage therapist began repeating a word quietly beneath her breath that i couldn’t understand, a word i didn’t know but recognized as a healing mantra that had been given to her in ceremony. my massage therapist is a descendant of generations of curanderas. my massage therapist intuited why i was lying on her table this afternoon. she accurately perceived that the pain i’m manifesting isn’t a result of present-day stress but is the muscle memory of decades-old trauma. she told me to stop holding back the tears. she thanked me for breathing. she chanted. she shook my body, grabbing each shoulder and shaking the pain out. i cried. i breathed. i released pain, fear, and sadness. i gave voice to gratitude. she healed me with her hands.
i bought a groupon for two massages. i received a healing from a curandera. i booked another appointment for next week.