Massage My Soul
Massage My Soul
Ever since my mother gave me a face massage when I was just a child, I understood the importance of relaxation and rejuvenation therapy for one’s body and soul.
Travelling in Thailand with my beloved friend John, who I actually met in the Narita airport while waiting for a plane to Taiwan decades ago, is where this tale of massage begins.
He suggested that we get a massage at Wat Pho, an extraordinary Buddhist temple in Bangkok. Wat Pho is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage which is still taught and practiced at the temple to this very day.
We arrived at this magnificent temple, we entered a large open room with mats laid out side-by-side upon its vast floor. A surreal experience to say the least, with row upon row of people lined up, strangers side-by-side, all receiving an authentic Thai style massage and entering into bliss.
Perhaps one could say we were all united as one in humanity at that particular place and time (See ICHIGO ICHIE ~ ONCE IN A LIFE TIME) .
But wait, there’s more to this story, much more.
That night we took an evening flight to Rangoon, Myanmar, where we stayed at a beautiful rest house made of teak in the heart of Rangoon.
The name of this delightful and exquisitely appointed teak rest house was “Three Seasons.”
After coming back from our first day trek in the fascinating city of Rangoon, I said to the very lovely and charming Burmese lady of Chinese ancestry, whose name was Mimi, “I now understand what the three season of Myanmar are:
The night we arrived, and even though the air conditioner was on in the extreme heat and humidity, I was sweating throughout the entire night and into the early morning.
Waking up drenched, I mentioned this to John, as I was slightly worried that I may have come down with some kind of tropical bug.
He said “Well, how does one actually feeling anyway?”
“Absolutely fantastic” was the sheepish reply.
My wise and dear friend John said to me “there were toxins released from one’s system during the Thai massage at Wat Pho, and these toxins have been dismissed by sweating them out throughout the night.
Now that small scare was out of the way, we ask Mimi, the wonderful proprietress of the exceptional rest house, Three Seasons (what are the three seasons of Myanmar?), if she could arrange for us to have an excellent Burmese style massage.
Mimi said she’d be delighted to call her go-to woman, and she will meet us back here after lunch.
As we entered the Three Seasons, there was an old lady standing in the lobby with a large smile on her face.
I asked Mimi, “Where is our masseur”?
With knowing eyes, she pointed to the old smiling granny waiting for us in the lobby.
We looked at each other with puzzled eye, and wondered what could possible be in store for us with this petite woman, whose wisdom and experience exuded from her weathered and beautiful face.
She spread her mat out on the floor of our room and John went first.
Now, as I observed her massaging John in what could only be described as seeing his painful grimacing, this obviously highly skilled massage therapist was working on a man one and a half time her own size, and getting deep into his tissue.
Well, it was my turn, and I soon found out exactly what the story was.
It was when she lifted my leg up and crushed her heel into my groin is where the ice cold fire started to shoot from my groin into my brain, that I came to realize she was a master of Burmese style massage.
After this experience, we anointed this remarkable woman “Needle Fingers Granny.“
Regardless of these extraordinary massages in Southeast Asia, nothing can rival the extraordinary massage I stumbled upon in my very own hometown here in the Land Of The Rising Son.
Randomly entering the massage salon, I signed up for a 90 minute course including 30 minutes on my feet.
I was assign the next available massage therapist, and I was greeted by a smiling and gregarious woman.
Little did I to know then, this was to be the beginning of a lifelong relationship with the best masseur I’ve ever experienced in my life.
She understand at an extraordinary deep level where my work needed to be done, like my elbow joint which I dislocated 30 years ago.
She never lets up one second as she reached her masterful fingers not only into the depth of my tissue and joints, reliving them from years of wear and tear, but indeed, into the very depths of my soul.
Every time I go there, it is never without trepidation of the uncomfortableness that I will be experiencing for the next 90 minutes.
However, being comfortable is not why I go!
I go to experience her exceptional massage technique, which leave me refreshed and somewhat wiser as I ponder life’s mysteries while enduring what can only be described as the deepest tissue massage here on earth.
Remember, there are three kinds of tissue massage, just as there are three seasons in Myanmar:
One would have to come here and experience it for oneself, to understand the true meaning of the “deepest tissue massage”.
Thank you so very much Ms. Kondo, we appreciate your prodigious massage technique and for your wonderful disposition.
Bonus: If you would like to experience this incredible massage, you can do so here.