Daily English
Cultural English
Practical English

0862 Getting a Massage

访问量:
Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 862: Getting a Massage.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 862. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Go to our website at ESLPod.com. Become a member of ESL Podcast and help support this podcast and keep it going.

This episode is a dialog between Robert and Staci about getting a massage, when someone touches you physically in order to relax your muscles. Let’s get started.

[start of dialog]

Robert: Why are you twisting your back like that?

Staci: I’m in pain. My back and shoulders really hurt. I think it’s from sitting at this computer all the time.

Robert: What you need is a good massage. It can get rid of the knots in your muscles and get you some pain relief.

Staci: I don’t know. I don’t like the idea of getting naked in front of a stranger.

Robert: If you’re skittish about that, remember that you’ll be covered with a sheet, except for the part that he or she is working on. It’s not a big deal.

Staci: But what if they’re too rough with me? It might make things worse.

Robert: An experienced massage therapist will ask you the amount of pressure you want and you can speak up if you don’t like what he or she is doing.

Staci: Do you think a massage could really help me?

Robert: Definitely. I recommend my massage therapist. She’s licensed and very good.

Staci: She doesn’t use smelly oils or play hokey music during the massage, does she?

Robert: No, she doesn’t. She’s very professional, without being too clinical, if you know what I mean. Call her!

Staci: I’ll think about it – ouch!

Robert: Call her right now. You don’t have a minute to lose!

[end of dialog]

Our dialog begins with Robert asking Staci, “Why are you twisting your back like that?” “To twist” (twist) means to turn something, to move part of something in one direction while the other thing is in a different direction. “To twist your back” – the back of your body – would mean to move the top of your body, for example, in one direction, to the left, while the rest of your body remains straight. That would be to “twist your back.” Staci says, “I’m in pain” – I hurt – “my back and shoulders really hurt. I think it’s from sitting at this computer all the time.” Staci is sitting at her computer all day and she says it is causing pain in her back.

Robert says, “What you need is a good massage.” A “massage” (massage) is where someone touches your skin and your muscles in order to relax you. Robert says a massage can “get rid of the knots in your muscles and get you some pain relief” or give you some pain relief. “Knots” (knots) in this case refer to tight sections in your muscles that are causing you pain, usually because you’re very tense, you’re very stressed. You have a lot of things you are worried about, perhaps. That could cause knots in your muscles, pain that can best be relieved by massaging the knots, by taking your hand or someone else taking their hand and trying to get those out of your muscles by putting pressure on them, by rubbing them. Your muscles, you probably know, are the parts of your body that help move your bones back and forth. “Pain relief” (relief) is a reduction or a lessening in the amount of pain, the amount that something hurts you. Robert says, “A good massage can get rid of” – meaning can eliminate – “the knots in your muscles and get you some pain relief.”

Staci says, “I don’t know. I don’t like the idea of getting naked in front of a stranger.” “To be naked” (naked) is to be without any clothes on. I am usually not naked when I record these episodes. I’m just kidding. I’m never naked when I’m recording these episodes. “To be naked in front of a stranger” means that you have no clothes on and you are in front of someone you do not know. That’s what a “stranger” is.

Well, Staci doesn’t want to get naked in front of a stranger. The reason she says that is because typically, when you get a body massage, you go somewhere and you have to take your clothes off. If you don’t take your clothes off, the person giving the massage has no way of easily touching your skin in order to relax your muscles.

Robert says, “If you’re skittish about that, remember that you’ll be covered with a sheet.” “To be skittish” (skittish) means to be nervous about something, to be uncomfortable about something. Heather is very skittish about going to see a doctor because she doesn’t like the sight of blood. She doesn’t like looking at blood, that red stuff that comes out of your body if you put a hole in your skin. Robert says to Staci, “If you’re skittish about getting naked in front of a stranger, remember that you’ll be covered with a sheet.” A “sheet” is a piece of cloth that you put normally on top of a bed. When you are sleeping on it, you put sheets on it so that you’re not sleeping directly on the actual bed. You have this piece of cloth, this piece of fabric, that you sleep on that you can take off and wash easily.

When you get a massage, you’re typically covered with a cloth, a towel or a sheet that covers your body, except the part where the person giving you the massage is working. Robert says, “It’s not a big deal,” meaning it’s nothing you should be worried about. Staci says, “But what if they’re too rough with me? It might make things worse.” “To be rough” (rough) means to use too much pressure, to be too strong in the movements, not to be gentle, not to be “tender,” we might say. Staci says that she’s worried about the person giving the massage being too rough with her. She says, “It might make things worse.”

Robert says, “An experienced massage therapist will ask you the amount of pressure you want and you can speak up if you don’t like what he or she is doing.” A “massage therapist” (therapist) is a person whose job it is to provide massages, to give you a massage. In many places, massage therapists have to get a license from the government in order to work. Robert says “The massage therapist will ask you the amount of pressure you want.” “Pressure” (pressure) is how strong they will press against your body with their hands, basically.

Robert says, “You can speak up if you don’t like what he or she” – the massage therapist – “is doing.” “To speak up” is a two-word phrasal verb meaning to say something to the person who is in charge when you’re not happy with something, when you don’t like something, when you want to change something. A teacher might tell her students, “If you have any problems with your homework, you need to speak up – you need to say something so that I know.”

Staci says, “Do you think a massage could really help me?” Robert says “Definitely. I recommend my massage therapist.” Robert has his own massage therapist that he is suggesting that Staci use as well. Robert says, “She’s licensed and very good.” “Licensed” means that she has a license (license), which is official permission, usually from the government, that allows you to say that you’re a massage therapist, in this case, and work as one in that particular area. Robert says that his massage therapist is licensed.

Staci says, “She doesn’t use smelly oils or play hokey music during the massage, does she?” “Oil” (oil) is a thick liquid that massage therapist will sometimes put on your body in order to make it easier to rub your muscles. “Smelly” (smelly) is something that has a not very pleasant smell or odor, something that stinks, something that has a bad smell. Staci is worried that the massage therapist will use oils that are smelly, that don’t have a good smell to them. She’s also worried that the therapist will play hokey music. “Hokey” (hokey) is something that is, we might say, overly emotional or sentimental, something that has too much emotion in it. In this case, it would be music that’s supposed to relax you but you might think is kind of silly or kind of stupid. Sometimes massage therapists try to relax the people that they are working on by playing music but if it’s silly music, if it’s hokey music, you may not like it. That’s what Staci is afraid of here.

Robert says, “No she doesn’t. She’s very professional, without being too clinical, if you know what I mean.” “To be clinical” (clinical) would be almost like a doctor, someone who only uses evidence and science to do what they’re doing. Robert is saying that the massage therapist is not too clinical, meaning she’s not like a doctor, in this case. She’s going to help you relax. “If you know what I mean,” is an expression that we use or a phrase that we use to mean the other person probably understands what you’re trying to say even though you haven’t explained it very well.

Robert says, “Call her.” Staci says, “I’ll think about it. Ouch!” “Ouch” (ouch) is the sound we make when something hurts us, when we’re in pain. We say “Ouch!” Sometimes you would say other words as well when you’re in pain. Robert says, “Call her right now. You don’t have a minute to lose.” The expression “You don’t have a minute to lose” means that you have to do something immediately, right away. If you don’t, then your situation will be much worse.

Now let’s listen to the dialog this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialog]

Robert: Why are you twisting your back like that?

Staci: I’m in pain. My back and shoulders really hurt. I think it’s from sitting at this computer all the time.

Robert: What you need is a good massage. It can get rid of the knots in your muscles and get you some pain relief.

Staci: I don’t know. I don’t like the idea of getting naked in front of a stranger.

Robert: If you’re skittish about that, remember that you’ll be covered with a sheet, except for the part that he or she is working on. It’s not a big deal.

Staci: But what if they’re too rough with me? It might make things worse.

Robert: An experienced massage therapist will ask you the amount of pressure you want and you can speak up if you don’t like what he or she is doing.

Staci: Do you think a massage could really help me?

Robert: Definitely. I recommend my massage therapist. She’s licensed and very good.

Staci: She doesn’t use smelly oils or play hokey music during the massage, does she?

Robert: No, she doesn’t. She’s very professional, without being too clinical, if you know what I mean. Call her!

Staci: I’ll think about it – ouch!

Robert: Call her right now. You don’t have a minute to lose!

[end of dialog]

Our scripts are never hokey. That’s because they’re written by the wonderful Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again, right here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. Copyright 2013 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
to twist – to turn; to move one part of something in one direction and another part of the same thing in another direction so that it begins to turn against itself

* Mariah held the medicine bottle in one hand and the cap in the other hand, but no matter how hard she twisted it, she couldn’t get it to open.

massage – a service where one’s skin is touched in a strong way to manipulate the muscles, usually for relaxation or to recover from an injury

* Normally, Randall suffers from headaches, but a good neck massage can provide relief.

knot – a very tight section of muscle that is painful and that one is unable to relax

* Knots in the shoulder muscles are a common sign of stress.

muscle – the part of the body under the skin that contracts and expands to move bones, providing strength and movement

* Adam lifts weights every day to build his muscles.

pain relief – a reduction in the amount of pain (unpleasant physical sensations or feelings) a person experiences

* After Sylvie hurt her knee, sitting down was the only way she could find pain relief.

naked – without any clothing; with all of one’s skin exposed

* Did you know that some teenagers take off all their clothes and swim naked in the lake at night?

skittish – nervous; uncomfortable about doing something

* Heather could never be a doctor, because she becomes very skittish whenever she sees blood.

rough – not gentle or tender; using strong, not soft movements

* James doesn’t want to pick up his baby girl because he’s afraid he’ll be too rough.

massage therapist – a person whose job is to provide massages to clients

* Andres is studying to be a massage therapist specializing in recovery from sports injuries.

pressure – a measure of how hard something pushes against something else

* Use this cloth to apply pressure to the wound until it stops bleeding.

to speak up – to say something, especially without being asked about it; to offer information, possibly information that one is uncomfortable sharing or when one is unsure about how the other person will react

* Thank you for speaking up when Fyodor was telling those inappropriate jokes. I think we all felt the same way, but nobody else was brave enough to ask him to stop.

licensed – with official certification and permission to do something

* Is your corporation licensed to do business in New Jersey?

smelly – with an unpleasant smell; stinky; bad smelling

* Mom wants to know who left these smelly socks on the floor.

oil – a thick liquid used as a lubricant (substance used to make it easier for two parts to move against each other)

* Janice has very sensitive skin, so when she gets a facial, she has to ask the technician to avoid using any oils.

hokey – corny; expressing too much emotion in an old-fashioned, odd, or silly way

* Lyle has a sweet and hokey sense of humor.

clinical – based on logic and facts, without emotion

* Our medical school program helps students become less clinical and better able to interact with their patients.

if you know what I mean – a phrase used to mean that another person probably understands what one wants to say, even though one hasn’t been able to express it very clearly or precisely

* Kylie is nice, but she isn’t the smartest employee, if you know what I mean.

to not have a minute to lose – to need to do something right away without any delay or hesitation

* Put on your shoes, grab your coat, and get in the car! Our flight leaves in 50 minutes and we don’t have a minute to lose.

Comprehension Questions
1. Why doesn’t Staci want to get a massage?
a) Because she thinks it will hurt.
b) Because she’s afraid she’ll get cold.
c) Because she doesn’t want people to see her body.

2. What does Robert mean when he says that the massage therapist is “licensed”?
a) She has certification.
b) She is very inexpensive.
c) She is the best in her field.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
knot

The word “knot,” in this podcast, means a very tight section of muscle that is painful and that one is unable to relax: “After rowing his boat all morning, Hank had terrible knots in his shoulders.” The word “knot” also refers to how two things are tied together: “They put the Christmas tree in the back of the pickup truck and tied it down with rope, hoping their knots would be strong enough to keep the tree there.” Finally, when talking about wood, a “knot” is a dark area where a branch once connected to that part of the tree: “This would be a perfect piece of wood for a table if it didn’t have that one knot in the middle.”

to speak up

In this podcast, the phrase “to speak up” means to say something, especially without being asked about it or to offer to information, possibly information that one is uncomfortable sharing or when one is unsure about how the other person will react: “If you really thought Gerald was wrong, why didn’t you speak up at the meeting?” The phrase “to speak up for (someone or something)” means to say something in support for or defense of someone or something: “If all the representatives are men, who will speak up for the needs of women?” Finally, the phrase “to speak (one’s) mind” means to say what one thinks, even if other people will not like it: “Very few people are brave enough to speak their mind like Hannah does.”

Culture Note
Massage Techniques

Massage therapists offer many types of massages, each of which is designed to meet a specific need. Some of the most common types of massages are described below.

A “Swedish massage” uses “light” (very slight, without very much strength) or medium pressure to reduce stress and pain while helping people relax. A “deep tissue massage” uses similar techniques as the Swedish massage, but the massage therapist tries to focus on the “deepest” (furthest inside the body) layer of muscles to “release” (let go) “tension” (tightness).

Athletes often choose “sports massage” which focuses on specific parts of the body that are “troublesome” (problematic) in certain sports. For example, sports massage might focus on the shoulder for a golfer, or on the knee for a soccer player.

Some massage therapists specialize in “reflexology.” They focus on specific parts of the hands and feet and, by applying pressure to those areas, try to “promote” (encourage; help to happen) relaxation.

“Aromatherapy massage” uses “scented” (with an odor or smell) oils during the massage to achieve certain “outcomes” (results), leaving the client “energized” (with a lot of energy) and relaxed.

When providing “hot stone massage,” the therapist places heated “stones” (rocks) on parts of the body to loosen the muscles. The therapist might apply “gentle” (soft; light) pressure over the stones.

Finally, “Thai massage” is becoming increasingly popular. This is a more active form of yoga. The massage therapist moves the client’s body into different “postures” (positions), helping the client stretch in order to reduce stress and improve flexibility.

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - a