Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Favorites: AIX Massage

New to A Lady Reveals Nothing? You've missed SO MUCH. Not to worry. Every Sunday, I dig through the archives to repost an old favorite. Mostly because I'm too lazy to come up with new content every single day. This story originally appeared when I was in New Zealand on April 9, 2010:

I’m leaving for Thailand, the land of the $10 full body massage. Why spend $110 NZ on an hour in a tourist town like Rotorua? I was sick. I was sore. And I hadn't had a massage in months.

Across the street from our hotel was a massage center, boasting the AIX Massage, (ironically pronounced "aches”.) It's the only one of its kind in the whole world. While you're being massaged, thermally heated naturally occuring mineral water is sprayed onto your entire body using a contraption made up of eight shower heads.

I waited in the lobby. Down the hall, a customer was walking toward me wearing nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist. He was putting on a robe. Mmmmmm…I was feeling relaxed already. I took my seat in the lobby to wait for my appointment. Then, the man in the robe walked into the lobby and introduced himself to me as my therapist. Eek.

He showed me to the changing room, where I undressed, threw on a towel, and then met him in the AIX shower table room.

He started the water, and had me get up onto the table, face-down,my towel still in place. He pulled the shower heads just over the table so that they sprayed my back, butt, and legs. It felt so amazing -- I wondered why I hadn't invented laying down in the shower. He explained that he was going to remove my towel. According to the brochure, all therapists are trained in "towel placement", so there was no reason to fear exposure. I assured myself of this, yet I felt the surest sensation that I was completely naked. Later I was able to discern “towel placement” as he continually adjusted my towel thong by pulling it tight up into my butt.

Working feverishly, he rubbed oil into my calves and hamstrings. It felt SOOOO good. Add to that the pounding of the water into my back and I was in heaven. He asked if it would be OK to work my gluteous muscle, in order to loosen up my hamstrings. As he said the names of the muscles his hand touched them. "Go for it," I said. I've had a thousand massages. I'm even certified to perform them. With an elbow in my glute, he grabbed the corresponding foot in his other hand. He then began rotating my foot, which caused sharp pains to shoot through my hip. "Just relax", he said, and I tried to figure out what had betrayed me. He couldn't see my face, my hands weren't clenched...but I couldn't say the same for my butt cheeks.

"That's tight," he said, and for a moment I forgot myself and took it as a compliment.

I really don't know how he got me flipped over without seeing all of my body parts, but he did. You may be familiar with the massage phenomenon where your sinuses drain when laying on your stomach. Moreso when you’re totally sick. With all of the water spraying everywhere I didn’t notice it until I was rolling onto my back, when a huge chunk of snot stretched from my nose to the towel. I wasn’t able to ‘get it’ properly without him noticing, and so it stayed there and I prayed that he just wouldn’t look at my face. Mercifully, he announced that he “didn’t want me to drown”, and put a towel onto my face.

The massage continued. And continued. I don’t know how, but this one hour massage felt like three hours. I felt drugged. Drunk with relaxation. Mr. Massage, ‘man-in-towel’ had to lift me off of the table.

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