I woke up today, took a shower, and when I was drying my back I felt my neck meat tighten up into a snarl of barbed wire. This happens every few months, and is related to an old injury. About ten years ago I was following the Body for Life program, and was doing some seated dumbbell shoulder presses. I was using poor form, straining and pushing my head against the headrest (unlike Mr. Man in the below photo), when I felt something pull in my neck. Since then, I wake up with a stiff neck every few months or so.
Usually, I take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, and painfully muddle my way through the day(s) until my neck loosens. Today, the longer I sat in new employee training, the more my mind focused on the pain in my neck. During a break, I looked up the nearest location for Massage Envy, and made an appointment.
When I made the appointment, I thought the receptionist said "Marcella" was available for the massage, but when I arrived I realized it would be "Marcelo". He showed me to the room, and I explained that my neck was killing me. He asked me to describe the pain, and then acted like treating it wouldn't take the full hour. I mentioned that I was a cyclist, and he said he would also work on my calves, hamstrings, and quads.
He left the room, I disrobed down to my whitey-tighties, crawled under the sheet. I waited on him, secure in my manhood, and he came back into the room and started working on my neck and back. As usual, it was slightly painful. It felt like he was singulating each muscle, and as he found tight spots he would mention them to me. Each time, I knew he had hit one BEFORE he said anything. The relief was incredible. He worked for about 30 minutes, then moved down to my legs.
I've never had deep tissue massage on my legs, and it was intense. At one point, he worked my calf in a way that caused my foot to cramp, but then he worked on the pressure point in the foot until it released. It felt amazing. He talked about calcium deposits, drinking enough water, pressure points, constrictions, and other things I don't really understand or necessarily believe. But what I do know is that when he was finished, I felt great, and had much less pain in my neck.
If you've never had a massage, get one. It's not inexpensive, and I've paid anywhere from $40 to $60 per hour, but it's well worth the cost if you have the funds. It will treat what ails you.