Massages for me have always been a luxury. I like them. They make me feel special. Sometimes I feel so relaxed I fall asleep. Once, back in Cincinnati, I had one where steam was pumped into a special covered bed so my body was all warm before the masseuse started to work on me.
BUT THEY WERE SO EXPENSIVE THAT THESE WERE FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS ONLY. INEXPENSIVE ONES WERE $60.00, SOME WERE ALMOST $100. WOW!!!!
When I got to Asia (starting with India), I knew they would be affordable. lisa's research mentioned they would be affordable enough to do daily. The following are my massages:
Tibetan Massage in McLeod Ganj – A practitioner of Tibetan Massage “beat” me up. My back was worked on for about forty forty minutes of the hour. He went deep. Later I heard this is good but don't get it done daily because it can cause injury to muscle tissue. Felt good. He used two bowls placed on my chest and lower abdomen which were tapped to cause a vibration to go through my muscles – this was supposed to center me. The cleanliness of the place was a concern, however, as I laid my head on the table (no massage tables with head rests so far in Asia. My mouth and nose were against a blanket that probably carried the germs of the last person here. All in all a good experience. Cost: 450 rupees or $9.00 US
Ayurvedic Oil Massage in Jaipur – not hard on the body at all. Much nicer studio than up north. The person who picked me up at the hotel also gave the massage; multi tasker! A light fast massage using ayurvedic oils heated in a pan at the side of the bed. His hands went really fast from my chest to my feet sometimes making a figure eight on my stomach to switch hands. His clean off at the end consisted of placing a towel in boiling water, wringing it out and draping it over me before cleaning the oil off. Different but nice and very relaxing. Not to be outdone, he was good at honking his horn on the drive back to the hotel. Cost: 500 rupees or $9.00 US
Thai Massage in Chiang Mai – a recommendation from Eric at our hotel led me to Saaji, a parlor where I met Kom Kom. She twisted me every way my body did NOT want to go. In stretching my legs, I thought my knee caps would pop out. I was in a room with other people so it wasn't private. (Thai massage is done with clothing on) No problem. When I would grimace and go OW!, she would simply giggle and say “relax”. She crawled up on the platform, used her knees, elbows and forearms to provide pressure to certain muscles. At the end, she delivered me a cup of tea and sat there smiling, not able to say anything in English and me knowing no Thai except: “Kop Kun Krop” (Thank you). Very nice. I recovered a day later. Cost: 160 Baht or $4.75 US
I will continue to get more in Laos and China. It's too bad that we can't afford to continue this when we get home. The girls had Thai massages and foot massages. What will I say when they want a massage in Cincinnati? The answer will be “Do you want it for your birthday”.