Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thai massage at Oryza spa (Chennai)

Thanks to working before the computer 8 hours a day (not to mention the 2 hours I spend at home browsing the net), my neck and back are in constant unease. I had heard about the Thai massage long back, even before visiting Thailand, but the procedure always managed to keep me away. I mean, letting another human being stand on my poor back? No can do.

But y'day, as I made my bi-monthly visit to Oryza spa in Chennai (the only place where I spend without reservations - apart from the library), I was struck by a sudden urge to try it out. I usually do reflexology (you can read my review here), but since my upper body was making me wince, I decided to try thai massage. After copious amounts of reassurance from the spa attendant ("Yes Ma'am, you spinal cord will be perfectly intact after the session"), I followed my masseuse, a very petite Indonesian lady named Jaya.

Jaya took me into a small room (2m x 4m) and left me alone. I dressed myself in loose-fitting spa clothes (the Thai massage is done on a fully-clothed body) and lay down on my back on the mat. She came in and switched off the lights. Hello! Before I screamed, she switched on a very dim light. Aha, so that's it. I had no problem with dim lighting, the harsh yellow light will definitely not be very conducive for a resting massage.

What followed in the hour after is not quite pleasant, yet not unpleasant either. When my arms ache after typing, I kind of softly plummet them on a bouncy surface, to work out the kinks. Now, imagine if that's been done to your entire body. Jaya started with my legs. She kind of poked (but it didn't feel like poking, more like pressing) my legs using her hands and legs (yes, legs), pulled them, twisted them and kneaded them. She did the same for my hands. It was very relieving, rather than relaxing, because that urge to get a nice hard knock on a particularly persistent ache - she was exactly doing that.

Then I was made to lie on my stomach, and she stood on me. STOOD ON ME! Now I understand why thai massage is done by petite people. Jaya actually stood on my legs and started stretching my arm backwards! And I could hear popping sounds and creaks all over! Nothing painful, but a little alarming if you are doing it for the first time. Then she put her entire body weight on my back.

Yeaaoooowww!!!! It was a little too much in the beginning, as my face was crushed on the pillow and I couldn't breathe for the second whenever she was giving short pushes on my spine. But it didn't feel painful... it felt really, REALLY good. So that's what it was - pulling and stretching and pressing and bending your body in different postures. It was like yoga on demand. Little wonder, because it seems Thai massage originated in India!

The session lasted an hour and ended with a nice but short head massage. After the session, I did feel good. Not great, which is how I feel after a reflexology session, but definitely GOOD. Worth a try at least once in your lifetime!

1500rs per 60 minutes
Branches in Chennai and Bangalore


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