I took a real interest in massage when I was about 12 years old. My mom and I would trade giving massages every evening. It was a good deal that continued through high school. When I graduated, my seven-year-old sister gave me a gift certificate drawn in crayon, good for one head rub.
In college, a girl in the dorms showed me how to massage a hand. She said, "doesn't that feel good when I work all your fingers?" She was right. So began my exploration. I learned about craniosacral massage from the radio. A DJ talked about how effective it is to gently massage the head using only the weight of a nickel. Of course, like all the techniques I list here, it takes real training.
A couple years after college, I received my first professional massage. I shocked my masseuse when she walked in and found me laying face down, naked, but not under the sheet. I thought that's what she told me to do. Oops. She later told me,
"your globes were smiling at me."
I started getting massage on a regular basis. I recall my first Russian trigger point massage. It's effective but just too painful for me. I go to relax.
In Kansas City, a Chinese woman gave me shiatsu with a towel. I loved it, except she worked vigorously on my stomach, which made me sick. When she later omitted the visceral work, it was one of the best I've ever had.
Not long after that, I was in Vegas for my sister's wedding. I played three dollars in a slot machine and won three hundred. At the mall, I paid for a water massage. I laid down in something that looked like a tanning bed, and received high-pressure streams of water behind a rubber sheet. It was so good that when I go to indoor pools, I like to lay under the kiddie water fall and let it pound on my back.
In 2002, I went to Thailand for almost a month. On the second day, I learned that a two-hour massage was a mere seven dollars. I decided that was something I would do every day. On the third day, my masseuse asked if I wanted Thai massage. I gave it a try. Turns out, it's like chiropractic cracking for your whole body. She even cracked my knees !