I am in school studying therapeutic massage. The program is engaging and rigorous and I like it a lot. I think though, that I would like it better if I got me one of those palpation slaves.
You see, I have to memorize a crap-load of muscles. (That is "potty-load" for those of you under 13 years old.) Trust me, there are a lot of muscles in the human body, too many really, more than most of us need, unless you make a habit of doing Olympic caliber gymnastics. Most folks though, the non Olympic Gymnast-types, the types I hang out with, don't really make use of all those muscles that are available to us. This is evidenced by the fact that most of us, 24 hours after taking our first Pilates class, will complain about being sore, saying something to the effect of, "I felt muscles I didn't even know I had." This is my point exactly. I used to be one of those people. I was perfectly ok with not knowing that I had certain muscles. And if, by some bizarre circumstance, a previously unacknowledged muscle made itself known to me, that was ok, I could deal with it. We could even co-exist harmoniously, for a time, as long as the muscle calmed down quickly. But I didn't really feel the need to get to know the muscle on a first name basis. But now, muscle-knowledge-avoidance doesn't cut it anymore. I am required to know all of them by name. And, there are a lot of them. There are flexors, extensors, brevises, longuses and an occasional profundus. There are eight muscles that work our thumb alone. (Eight muscles for each thumb- how 'bout that?) Cool huh? Yeah. It is really cool, unless you have to memorize all of them.
So what I really need is a palpation slave- someone who will hang around for palpation purposes. For instance, when I need to figure out where the flexor digitorum superficialis is, I could poke around on my palpation slave and find it. I would start at the elbow, feeling for the three points of origin, then I would feel along the body of the muscle, following it until my fingers find the tendon that eventually splits in two, in order to allow the flexor digitorum profundus tendon to pass underneath. Oh, it would be a merry time- me and my palpation slave, finding muscles together. Me, dressed in my orange jump suit and he in his loin cloth.
Now don't get me wrong, I would prefer if my palpation slave wore terry cloth shorts and sat on my comfortable couch, eating fancy Ritz cracker sandwiches and watching public television while waiting for palpation time. I would love to take my palpation slave to the movies, or go bowling, but I am smart enough to know that no one would be interested in a gig like that. So, when I advertise for a palpation slave on Craig's List, I will clearly state that the palpation slave will live under the staircase in my basement, eat off the floor and wear a loin cloth. I fully expect be overwhelmed with responses to my ad. Do you know why? Because people are sickos, that is why.
Other people anyway. I just need to learn my muscles.