Friday, December 07, 2007

A bumpy ayurvedic massage

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.

Ayurvedic massages are quite the in thing today with celebrities and people from all around the world flocking to Kerala to try this alternative therapy. Even in London, there are several Kerala Ayurvedic medicine outlets. It has been claimed that ayurvedic massage has surprising medicinal benefits and is also used as a diagnostic tool by experienced masseuses. Imagine you get a massage and you are told that you have a liver problem or a spine problem. I am not joking - it is routine work for some people in this profession.

Though my experience wasn’t entirely pleasant, I would advocate an Ayurvedic massage at least once in your lifetime.


Anonymous said...

Is this place a popular one around Trichur? I'm also thinking of getting one massage next time I'm in town. Do you know how their panchakarma treatment is?


Girl With Big Eyes said...

Yes, it's a quite popular place. Email me if you want the exact co-ordinates of the place.

I've no idea of their panchakarma treatment, but my parents who are regular over there could give some pointers.

chaos said...

i hv been to Aayush (HLL!?) the guys were reasonable good ... they were not slow (as u said and i expected too) ... but then it wasn't slappy either... first time i had one was in alleppy ... there it was good... the guy there gave me 'foot' massage!!!

kavi said...

I always liked those massages. Me and my hubby do it almost every time when we go to kerala. Almost reached on the verge of an orgasm, a couple of times while doing the massage

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Looks like you did not get the authentic slappy version :)

GTH! If I were a masochist, I could have said the same too.

VKM said...

u have started talkin in pounds now! :)

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Oh yes, absolutely enjoying it too - when I get to take back pounds and get to pamper myself with stuff like these.

Mo said...

Self inflicted pain is pleasure!!!

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Whoa! I am not masochistic.