It's partly curiosity and partly an intention of pampering myself that let me sign up for an Ayurvedic massage during my vacation in Kerala. Considering that it cost less than £5 for one hour of massage, it felt like a really good bargain.
It turned out that out of the two masseuses who were assigned the mission of massaging me to good health, one of them was my super senior at school. Undressing and handing over your body to an acquaintance was as awkward as the time your skirt flies up to reveal a 'What day is it today?' cartoon innerwear during the school assembly (It wasn't me btw!).
Once I lay on the table and the warm oil was poured onto my body and the massage strokes started, I forgot all the embarrassment, closed my eyes and actually started to relish the procedure. The enjoyment did not last for long though. Apparently my idea of a massage was grossly different from the actual ayurvedic massage. I expected slow and soft strokes. What I got was sharp slaps and rolled up fists that came down mercilessly on every nook and corner of my body.
When two quite well-built people slap you around, and you wonder you paid good money to get beat up, and one of your tormentors happen to be someone from your social circle, you can't do much other than bite your lips and pray that it gets over soon. It didn't. I counted every second of the 60 minutes and every slap inflicted on me before the masseuses finally led to me to the relaxing steam bath.
Have to admit that my body felt absolutely wonderful the rest of the day, probably because I wasn't being hit or slapped.
My experience seems to be out of the ordinary, as my parents who regularly pamper themselves with a massage, were surprised at my mention of pain. Neither did my husband who promptly fell asleep as soon as his massage began.
Though my experience wasn’t entirely pleasant, I would advocate an Ayurvedic massage at least once in your lifetime.