Ten count.

i just sneezed!   i'm a new man!

Today Gabe is wearing a red raincoat, a grey fleece, blue jeans, and brown boots.

Did you know you can get a headache from a massage?

Yesterday afternoon I was feeling tense and headache-y all on my own, so I decided on a whim to cash in the massage gift certificate that my parents got me for my birthday earlier this week.

I called and got a last-minute appointment, and had a truly amazing massage. I was like, in the zone for the whole thing. It was so relaxing, and although I normally try to avoid ever speaking during a massage because it will take me out of the zone, I actually had a nice (albeit mumbled and brief) conversation with my masseuse about my weird body tension.

When I started doing yoga, the only adjustment I ever got was my teachers walking by a shoving my shoulders down away from my ears. Apparently, my shoulders are always hovering just millimeters below my ears, which is not where they belong.

And apparently, holding your shoulders up and forward is not very conducive to relaxed muscles or open chakras.

(I already knew this. I just didn’t know I personally was guilty of doing it basically 24 hours a day for my whole life.)

So while I was getting my massage yesterday, she was working on my head and upper neck and she asked, “Do you get a lot of headaches?”

And I said, “Kind of.”

And she said, “I can tell. You have SO much tension here. It’s like a brick.”

I’m not a doctor, but I know that in general your body is not supposed to have brick-like qualities.

So she worked on my scalp and my neck and I had the realization for the first time ever that those muscles *are* always tense, and that having someone rub them felt really, really good.

It was pretty incredible (though I don’t think those muscles ever even got fully relaxed, but that will probably take another 28 years to un-do) and after the massage she even taught me some qi-related body shakes I could do to transfer my energy back into the earth rather than up into my head.

(I live in Humboldt County, where these kinds of lessons are inevitable. I just accept them now.)

I went home blissful. And sleepy. And hungry. And thirsty.

I ate ice cream and drank lots of water. And then I got a raging, get-in-bed-and-don’t-get-out headache that lasted until I went to sleep at 9pm.

Apparently, as I learned from the internet, feeling sick and getting a headache after a massage is actually a sign that it went well. Something about your lymphatic system and toxins and your internal water balance all getting massaged and released can really throw off the rest of your day.

And apparently, I had a really good massage. Because oh boy, this headache was no joke.

Luckily, it was bedtime by the time it really hit in full force. So I went to sleep and woke up without a headache and with a light, somewhat-flexible neck.

I can still feel my shoulders creeping up to their usual hiding spot, even as I type this, but I’m working hard to keep them down. I’m just trying not to feel tense about what failures my shoulders are. I don’t think my masseuse would appreciate me giving myself tension about feeling guilty about my tension.

So maybe I’ll just shake these bad vibes down into the earth. I hope my neighbors can’t see me.

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