Thursday, January 15, 2009

An Interesting Massage

This past weekend I went out with a few Chinese friends. After the night was pretty much over, one of them suggested that we go get a foot massage. The massage places normally stay open pretty late and they are also quite cheap, at least compared to massages in the US. A 90 minute foot massage, including some tea and fruit, cost a little less than $10 (60 RMB). I've had a few massages in China, but don't get them that often. However, when invited, I like to go. The masseuses are normally girls in the 18-30 age range. It also seems that a lot of times most of the people getting the massages are men. Perhaps this is no coincidence as I have heard that some massage parlors offer multiple "services," if you catch my drift. Fortunately, though, the place we went was one of the more well-known parlors in Hangzhou and was legitimate. Normally when they give a foot massage, they'll first bring out some boiling hot water for you to soak your feet in. After that they'll spend considerable time massaging your feet. For the unaccustomed, foot massages can be pretty ticklish, but after you've had a couple, they're pretty good. Don't underestimate these skinny girls, though, as they will give you some deep tissue massages that will leave you sore the next day. After they finish with the feet, sometimes they'll do your back for a short time. However, this time they presented us with an interesting alternative. Basically, they have these glass globes that are a little larger than the size of a baseball. They will light a fire inside the globes to make it hot and then suction the globe to your back, which indeed is a little painful. After the globes are firmly suctioned, they'll leave them on for about 10 minutes. At the time they just said that the suction is "good for the health" without providing many details, which is a typical Chinese response to some kind of action that doesn't make sense to a Westerner, but is supposed to have some health benefits in Chinese medicine. After some research online, I found that the suction is supposed to be good for "detoxifying" your body. Those ubiquitous toxins always seem to be causing trouble. Despite the potential health benefits, the side effect of this suction therapy is of course some huge hickeys on your back. Try to look cool when you have nine large, dark circles on your back. I think I will get this massage therapy before the next time I plan on going to the beach. That way I can demand the respect of everyone who sees me. I took these pictures when I got back that night. I'm pretty sure you've never seen a physique as nice as mine is before, so just focus on the suction marks. You will have to pardon the crooked pictures, as they were taken by me standing backwards to a mirror.
Suction Marks Still Clearly Visible
This is a True Mark of Manliness
They say that the marks will last about one week, but mine are still quite visible after 5 days. Maybe it will take almost two weeks for them to completely go away. I took a few more pictures the day after when it was light outside so that it would be easier to see.
I found a video on youtube that is pretty much exactly what I got. This guy got a few more cups than I did, but the process is exactly the same. Check it out: . See how the skin gets sucked up into the globe? This type of massage might be worth trying, but to be honest, I don't feel any health benefits now that a few days have passed. I think next time I'll just stick with the usual massage.


Phil Dawsey said...

If you were a little more manly, you'd have gotten as many as the guy in the video and broken the world record!

Phil Dawsey said...

Go get one on your neck and go around bragging about the ridiculously large hickey you have

Amy said...

Wow! That is insane. Was it painful? I sure don't think it would be worth it.

Jenny said...

I wish I had thought to do that to you as punishment for wildin' out too much.

Anonymous said...

you're letting the chinese do their "health experiments" on you. I like pretty much everything about those back shots you keep taking. measure the length of the longest hair back there too, boy!

Anonymous said...

what were you thinking.i know its not something i`ll do soon. love grandma

Wes said...

Amy - It wasn't too painful, but it was a little bit when they first put it on. The days after I got it, the spots were mostly just like a light bruise.

Kyle - I think my longest back hair is probably 1.5-2 inches.