Posted by: martinworster | June 8, 2004

19. SHIATSU IS SHITE

Terrible experience at the mercy of the hands of a masseuse, New Age music gone wrong, dolphin mating sounds meets euphoric rave synth breakdown.

 One funny experience I have to share is my first dalliance with shiatsu. I used to think it was a kind of dog, but no, it’s a therapeutic massage and I thought I’d give it a whirl. I found the ad in Metropolitan magazine which is the main English rag out here. When I phoned for an appointment the lady sounded nice enough although I was a little dubious the practice was in the old Gothic part of town. It was a baking hot day and I managed to find the address on a street where you could shake hands across the width of it.

I then went upstairs to be met by a tall Argentinean woman. This isn’t going where you think it is by the way. She asked me to strip to my boxers and to lie face down on the thin matt as she lit a joss stick. I felt weird. She left the room, I guess to give me time to climatise and ‘relax’. I suddenly panicked thinking she was some mad axe woman who lured gullible gringos into her sweaty den. She came back and put on a CD of new age clichés; wale noises, dolphins mating, rain forests and some Celtic pan pipes. At least it started off like that.

She started to touch the pressure points on my back whilst breathing deeply. This carried on for a while. The music changed. Instead of being new age womb sounds it started to get a bit lively, in a rave meets Beethoven’s 5th type style – i.e. not very relaxing. Combined with the heavy drilling sound from the street below, I was not very relaxed. In fact the sweat was dripping from me and I was very stressed. Instead of it being an experience I never wanted to end, I was praying for release. At all times I got it into my head she was a murderer and every time I couldn’t see what she was doing – reaching for a bludgeoning instrument, meat carver – I was checking her out from the corner of my eye.

She started to do silly parts where I had to breathe in unison with her. Big, deep breaths, I guess to exorcise stress. The stress rushed in. She continue to lightly touch pressure points on my back. I was crying out for some deep muscular tissue action as I had knots there the size of golf balls. Gladly it came to an end and after saying a polite goodbye I split.

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