In massage school, as in other helpnik places, they coach you to ask clients to rate the pain they are feeling on the ever-reliable scale of One To Ten.
As if we needed another layer of precious artificiality between people who are suffering and the people who are supposed to be trying to help them.
I had a lady — obviously therapy-broken — come by this evening with a compound spasm in her right-side neck muscles that she gravely reassured me could go all the way up to “an eight” at intervals during the day. I think we frittered away the first five minutes of her appointment assigning numerical values to the problem.
I have always preferred to rely on “It’s a little sore but I can live with it,” “It makes me catch my breath,” or “It hurts like f**k when I do this.”