Now I’m not what one would call a massage fanatic. Anders is – I am not. I would rather have a manicure/pedicure any day. I never even had a massage until I was 50. Kiersten and Steven treated me to one for my 50th birthday and it was my first. I loooooved it! I had my 2nd in the Guangzhou hotel in April when Anders and I were house hunting. That was heaven as well. What I remember most is that the girl who gave me my massage told me, “You white, so white.” I’m not sure if she was referring to just my skin or the hair/skin combo. Still it wasn’t something that I would do twice a month. Anders loves massages and has had several while in China, both on business trips and while he was here for 3 1/2 weeks by himself. He found a place not far from work that he really likes so I caved on Saturday (he had a very tough week) and we had one together.
It wasn’t what you think of when you think of Chinese massage (I think torturous) but it wasn’t the relaxing, fall asleep kind either. We walked in and were served tea while we waited. Then we were led to the back through a bead curtain, walked along teak floor tiles, smelled incense and body oils, heard the soft sound of water while spa music played. It was all very calming and peaceful We were ushered into a room where we undressed, put on paper panties ( perhaps Anders put on paper underwear not panties), and laid down. Our face cutout was actually very nice as there was a candle and a lotus flower floating in a bowl of water. The flower was real. I had to touch it because I knew that I would wonder the whole time I was on my stomach if it was real or fake. The girls spoke very little English but that’s not necessary for a massage now is it. It started off very innocuously but by the end there were parts that were uncomfortable/painful. I believe the real reason for the lotus flower is to give you something to look at while you’re in pain and try to conjure up a more peaceful thought.
When we switched from our stomachs to our backs is when it started to hurt. She lulled me into believing that the stomach massage was going to be like a mother calming her colicky baby but let me tell you it was neither calming nor maternal. It was definitely meant to be therapeutic and judging by the gas, liquid, and solids that I could feel moving through my intestinal system she was well-trained. I could feel stuff moving as she massaged me. Not even my gynecologist has the intimate knowledge of my organs that masseuse girl does and she was touching me from the outside! She would rub a line from my solar-plexus to the bottom of my belly button with her thumbs but stop intermittently along the way and apply intense pressure in one spot until I didn’t think I could take it anymore and was about to tell her to STOP! At that instant she would move on and massage my lower stomach, as if she was physically moving matter along, rub all around my stomach and start again. It got so that I was dreading the feel of her fingers making their descent to my belly button. I think that if I went for a massage like this every week I would have 6-pack abs in no time because I tensed (I’m sure not good) to counteract the pressure I knew was coming. Anders had prepared me for this bit but it’s like childbirth, you don’t really know what it’s like until you experience it yourself.
Even the arm massage was disconcerting. She took her index finger on the inside of my wrist and tried to touch the back of it. When it became almost unbearable she would stop and rub. Again, I could feel things migrating in my stomach.
The other hurtful part came at the end. She ended with a scalp massage and I thought, ok this’ll be a relaxing way to end a slightly painful massage. I settled my mind and body because one always end on a good note right? Right?!?! Oh no, it was not to be. She took her thumbs and I’m fairly certain that just as she was touching my kidneys, fallopian tubes, and appendix she was trying to touch my brain! I think I have permanent divots in my forehead. The bizarre thing is that when she did that I could feel more gas, liquids, and solids moving in my stomach! I’m not sure where that connection is but that’s what it felt like.
I have concluded that the hurtful parts were all meant to facilitate a colon cleansing, no matter what part of the body the pressure was applied to, and the normal massaging was done to make up for the punishment.
You too can have a 90 minute massage and colon cleansing for the price of $50. I know it’s cheap but still…
6PM – 87 degrees, real cool-down here