“Ouch, oh god!” I exclaimed. “OW!” Helen made consoling sounds but kept on working.
I was born with several congenital abnormalities and as a result I’ve had more surgeries than the average person and maybe a few more aches and pains. Big areas are my hips, low back and since taking up pickle ball my shoulder and elbow. I probably play more pickle ball than I should although who is to say? (Is 14 hours a week too much?)
She calls it “Korean Massage” but what Helen does is outrageously deep tissue muscular therapy. It keeps all my parts working and I see her twice a month. She is a master at her craft and if the issue is muscular, she can fix it. It might take a while but she will do it. Her Christmas card to me said, “Thank you for letting me keep your body updated. Happy Christmas.” I supplement her work with regular stretching so I can joyfully and addictfully continue playing my sport. (I take the creative license on my own blog to make up words!)
Helen is Korean and trained in her country and in the US. She is soft-spoken, subtle, graceful, highly intelligent and respectful. When I enter her space she performs a slight bow. I return the gesture. Her English is coming along but isn’t fluent. We have a wonderful time together. I am very good at understanding accents and I’m very patient and persistent in trying to understand what she is saying and we’ve made huge strides in in our communication. She tells me I’m “opened mind” so she feels comfortable as we go back and forth until we understand what the other is saying. We do all this while she is expertly finding any and all areas on my body where my muscles might be sore, tight or utterly killing me.
I look forward to seeing Helen every other week but I don’t look forward to the pain. As I drive away however, I am pain free so it’s worth it. Today as she worked on me I was saying “Ouch!! and OW!” At these times she models a deep breathing technique and I can hear her and begin doing it myself. Sort of like Lamaze for childbirth.
Then this gentle soul quietly said, “You say ouch and ow, some people I work on say son-of-a-bitch or mother fucker. I know what son-of-a-bitch means but what about mother fucker?”