I did not like getting massage when I was young. But I was always asked by the elderly especially my dad to give massage as a child. In Myanmar tradition, children are usually asked to stomp on the legs of the senior citizens as they are light and their weight is tolerable . What we did as a child was we held the cane and walked to and fro on the legs of the elderly until their muscles become relaxed. In return, we were given some pocket money to buy goodies and it was a win win situation . Sometimes I asked my niece Cara to give massage and generously gave her pocket money for her 30 seconds massage. She was only 3 years and would do less than 1 minute only.
When dad is extremely tired, we call for a professional masseuse who can come to our house with mat, some herbal oil . They are usually paid by hour and it is not expensive at all in my home town. My dad loves massage and he is also good at giving it. For example he knows how to cure locked neck by massaging. He learnt it from his masseuses.
Yesterday we arrived Bangkok at 8 pm after spending 9 hours at london airport and 16 hours on the plane. We were extremely tired and sore. Especially my back was killing me. When we woke up, the first thing I wanted to do was to have a massage and my boyfriend wholeheartedly agreed. He is not a frequent traveller and he did not have any sleep on the plane and with jet lag, he needed a boost. We called room service to send two masseuses to our room. Then 2 ladies came up and as I had already expected I took off my clothes and lay down on my belly. She then said ” you have to take off your panties”. I was taken aback as I at least could wear underwear in the past. Me and my boy friend looked at each other with a grin. He was like ” I would do if you do ” kind of face..So I braced myself and I was in my birthday suit in 5 seconds.
These ladies were very good because I could sense they touch exact pressure point. If you do not know how to massage, they can end up squeezing muscles and it can be painful rather than releasing the pain. Then I remember the day I got first time traditional Malaysian massage. It was in 2004 and I was working for a district hospital in Malaysia. I had to work at least 70 hours per week and I was very tired after 36 hours oncall . My colleague , a pharmacist urged me to get massage from traditional medicine woman. It was only 30 RM ( 6 GBP ) per hour. But within 10 minutes, I was screaming and pleading to stop as it was so painful. Two of my friends were watching me in ecstacy and forced me to continue. For them massage means releasing toxin and the more toxin I have, the more painful I will be..Stopping massage in midway can make the body worse and they were encouraging me. After 30 minutes, I started to cry and pleaded the person I would pay the same even if she ends and she stopped it. And I never asked the person to do it again . But the truth is the more you get massage, the more you can withstand the pressure from the hand. So first time experience cannot be pleasant for everyone.
In 15 years time, I have tried many types of massages , Balinese, Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian. I like Balinese style as the masseuse use not only touch but also music and fragrance to make you relaxed . They use aroma to make you fall asleep and also Balinese music. I was in Lake Toba, Indonesia walking and cycling whole day and my friends found a Batak woman who came to our challet and cured my muscle pain by two hours massage. In Boracay, a tiny island of Phillipines, I ended up spending more than two hours at night in a massage parlour and did not go back to hotel till midnight . My friends thought I was abducted and thought of reporting to police while I was having a time of my life. In Jalan Alor, KL’s busiest road, I would usualy spend hours doing relexiology. Reflexiology is very theraputic for your nerves and science shows it can alleviate migraine, backache and irritable bowel syndrome. If you look at below photo, you can see the exact point where the sole is connected to other parts of bodies. For example , massaging toes can reduce the diseases of brain such as stroke . Even if it is not right, scientific researches shows bodily touch can improve psychological well being.
I like Chinese masseuses in Jalan Alor because after doing reflexiology, you can also ask them to do pedicure and foot therapy. There are two types of massage in Thailand. Traditional massages are always more painful and you are asked to sit or lie in different positions and it can be uncomfortable. For example, you can be asked to sit on your knees with your hands behind ( duress position ). Alternative one , aroma therapy or oil massage is a better type of massage as you can comfortably lie face down and your hands can be hanging beside the massage table. Most parlours have table with holes for your face so that you can breath. The area will be dim lighted with minimal noise so that you can fall asleep. I always defend the masseuses whenever someone label them giving happy hours. Its because I know it takes months to learn about proper massage and most of them are not doing this profession by choice. It can also be very tiring after a long day for them. There is a massage parlour where I used to go in Kuantan and they employ girls from mainland China. None of them can speak either Malay or English .So I have to use sign language to make them understand. I usually give them generous tips knowing they are far away from home. Its also very interesting a lot of them know your underlying medical illness. For example my mother osteoarthritis was relieved by a Chinest masseuse who also did acupunctute. It was well spent money 10 GBP per session and mom could defer knee replacement surgery. The Chinese lady was so sincere that she refused to give treatment to my aunty who has no health issue although it meant no business for her.
Back to our story in Bangkok, while the lady was massaging me , she asked ” can I have some of your boob?” out of the blue. I was so bemused and asked ” why?”. She thought I got a husband because of big boob. ( apparently we are not married and I explained we are just partners). Then my boyfriend said ‘ I love her not because of big boob because of her kind heart”. Then both girls started to protest and insisted they would trade their boobs with mine if they could. I never thought boobs are that important especially for me. I was more disturbed for having them than not having it. I explained Drew Barrymore did breast reduction surgery and small breasts are prettier. Then they protested me to get boyfriends for them which is quite bizarre. Both of them are cute and charming. Also they are small and petite like other Siamese women..Then one of them revealed she has four children with ex husband. She looks she is in her 20s and we could not believe she is infact 37. The hilarious part was my masseuse was squeezing her breasts and showing how small they were. My boyfriend was absolutely shocked culturally and I had a crack watching their reaction. At the end of session, the girl literally climbed on my back and balanced her knee on each side of my backbone , vertebra , relaxing paravertebral or back muscles .Even after years of getting massages, I was impressed. It is your loss if you do not go to massage parlour in Bangkok .For me, it is a MUST.
with much love