Sunday, May 22, 2011


About two years ago the muscles in my left shoulder, neck, and back went into one hell of a spasm, completely incapacitating me for the pain. Not even paracetamol and ibuprofen worked, and Karel, after several hours, gave me Tramadol. I can't remember whether it worked--I was that woozy from having a quarter dose, and then I had a rebound-anxiety attack later that night--but I haven't been in a biking accident yet, so I assume that I could turn my head to check for traffic the next day.

The aftermath of that unpleasant spasm was a sort of semi-permanent state of constant tightness on my left side. It's not always painful, but it is unpleasant and more often than not a source of grumpiness.

Enter Evert: last year, he got certified as a masseuse but had not yet built up a clientele. To stay in practice, he and Karel made an arrangement, which was that whenever he wanted to stay the night, he'd get a human guinea pig to practice with--namely me. Karel gets a chance to show off his cooking skills (and a night in which I'm not pestering him to rub my shoulder), and Evert makes a small fee. Win-win-win all around. All I can say is, there are worse ways to spend the night than tripping on your own endorphins, and few things better than having your neck-back-shoulders be completely relaxed, even if it's only for a few hours.

Evert lives in the Hague and can be reached at info at wellnessmassages dot nl. He comes with his own massage table and all the relevant accessories, including trippy new-age music (not my personal favorite, but surprisingly suited for a massage), massage oils, and clean towels. He charges €50 for an hour's worth of full-body massage, though there is also the bits-and-pieces option. If you can get over his physical appearance--this guy looks like he can eat linebackers as an after-school snack--you'll find that he's very professional and very, very, good at unknotting all those weird muscles you didn't even know you had.

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