Her warm hands move slowly down my naked back. At first her touch is smooth, but strong. When she reaches the bottom of my spine, she moves my right hip back and forth. She does the same to my left hip then her hands move back to the bottom of my spine.
I'm laying face down on a padded table. There's an open section at the head of the table where my nose and mouth fit comfortably. I'm completely relaxed. There's no strain on my neck or back. She asks me to breathe through my nose and not my mouth.
The room I'm in is quiet and accommodating. "Soft" is the best way to describe this peaceful space. There is a simple wooden table with two shallow wooden bowls on top of it, both filled with colored stones. After I undress, I get up on the padded table and lay down on my stomach. I reach behind me with both hands and pull a sheet and blanket over my lower torso. Then she taps on the door and I tell her I'm all set. She comes into the room, moves to the front of the table, and begins the therapy.
This is not a relaxing massage. This is a therapeutic treatment from a woman whose knowledge of the human anatomy is as complete as any medical school graduate.
Then the pressure begins. I can't tell if it's her palms or fingers manipulating my back because both hands have merged into one. She presses against the muscles on the sides of my shoulder blades then pushes up towards my neck. I feel pain as she passes over a trigger point, a term for a knotted muscle that causes distress in other parts of the body and not necessarily the area where the knot is located. I hear something crack in the back of my neck. The pressure on the trigger point has intensified. I tell her whether it's sharp or soft pain and she adjusts the pressure accordingly. I breathe through it, inhaling and exhaling so she can get muscles and joints to relax. My lower back jerks involuntarily off the table then settles back down. If I tell her it hurts too much, she'll circle the area and then move back into it. This is the essence of deep tissue massage.
Susan Kempf is a licensed deep tissue massage therapist but to me she's far more than that. She's a skilled and caring surgeon who uses her hands instead of a scalpel to treat my injured back. Working in tandem with my physical therapist, she's improved my mobility and eliminated much of the pain and discomfort that's disabled me for the past four months.
If you have back pain and have had X-rays and an MRI to ensure that you haven't slipped a disk, there's no longer any reason for you to suffer. Consult with a physical therapist and do the stretching exercises they recommend. Strengthen the muscles surrounding your injuries and see a deep tissue massage therapist. You'll learn more about freeing yourself from the stress and agony of the pain that’s kept you immobilized, inactive, and a captive inside your own body.
A Seattle butcher said he's found a way to marry marijuana and meat - by feeding pot plants to pigs.
What is it about Christianity that most of its believers want the rest of us to worship as they do? Christians are convinced that if Jesus isn't your Lord and Savior you're not getting into heaven.
Why's that? You mean to tell me that people living in the jungles of Brazil who don't know Jesus from a totem pole aren't going to heaven despite their humanity and their humble way of life? Do Christians ever think about that? And what about atheists? People who don't believe in gods or spirits or holy ghosts. People who don't feel the need to pray or follow the teachings laid out in a book more than two thousand years old. What happens to them? Do they all rot in hell because religion makes no more sense to them than a witch doctor with rattles cures cancer?
The Bible never mentions` the Earth is round or explains what the moon is. . It never mentions electrons, protons, DNA or other essentials important to life. If the Bible is the word of God, how come it never tells us what the sun is or where it came from? The Bible didn't say it was a star like all the other pinpoints of light in the night sky because when it sets the light disappears. Therefore, how could it be a star? It doesn't shine at night.
The Supreme Court will waste it's time taking up another issue this term regarding the legality of saying prayers before public meetings, such as those of the town council or the water board. The prayers ask for guidance from God. Do you think the Creator of the Known Universe cares whether or not dogs ought to be licensed or the water bills raised? Does God really have time to go over teacher contracts or blueprints for municipal improvements?
Moses is said to have parted the waters so God's chosen people could escape from the clutches of slavery. True believers argue that God intervened, giving Moses the power to alter the laws of physics. Many of the Ten Commandments are impossible to abide by. You have no conscious control of lusting after your neighbor’s wife. You see her and get turned on. You don't "will" yourself to ignore the feelings going on inside your body. You can decide not to pursue those feelings, but can't prevent yourself from having them.
The same goes for killing people. The Ten Commandments make no exemption for war. It says thou shall not kill. How many Christians worked on the atomic bomb, or joined the military, knowing full well they'd be going into combat to kill the enemy? How does Christianity justify the crusades?
When I was seven or eight years old I read the entire Bible. It was the most uninteresting, incomprehensible, and boring books I've ever read. I had to force myself to finish it. I didn't learn anything from reading the Bible anymore than I would have if I'd read the phone directory.
Religion brings great comfort to many people. That's fine. But the idea that saying a Christian prayer before a public meeting violates the separation of church and state and is one of the more egregious religious intrusions into the lives and beliefs of other citizens who aren't Christians. Keep prayer to yourself or openly worship in a church but not at a public meeting where people from all philosophy's, beliefs, and circumstances gather, not to hear a prayer, but to exercise their rights as citizens in an open democracy without the specter of religion hovering over them.