After over a year on the road, we were more than ready for a back rub – and what better place than Rishikesh with its many massage therapists offering menus of Ayurvedic treats. Cheap by nature, Tony and I didn’t just rush into the first massage center we saw, but, instead, waited for our friends to go through the treatments and then report back to us.
Anicca, a Rishikesh friend who is going through a 5-day treatment package, is the leading expert and has given us valuable insight into the world of massage. Power massage, herbal steam bath, Ayurvedic massage, Divine Touch (done by 2 therapists – how outrageous) or Deep Tissue were all on the table. In the end, we both chose the Ayurvedic massage, a 60-minute full bodywork for a mere $10 at the masseur’s next door (who was just recently hired by a Hungarian doctor to work in a spa in Budapest).
The massage place was not exactly what I had expected. There was no massage table, but rather a mattress on the floor. And instead of soothing background music, the sound of blaring car horns filled the room. But as I was lying on the clean sheet with the warm scented oil on my skin, I forgot all about my surroundings.
The massage started out quite rough with the masseur realigning the bones in my body, but settled into a smooth kneading. It culminated in a face and head massage, which left my scalp tingling. I felt completely relaxed and content, unlike Tony who had gotten his massage just before me.
Tony’s 60-minute massage had only lasted 40 minutes. He didn’t realize it until he came back to the hotel and found everyone wondering why he was back so early. Completely taken by surprise, he went back to investigate why he had been shorted by 20 minutes. Apparently there was a problem with the office clock, and, after Tony made his case, he was signed up for another short massage.
When we were comparing notes later and I was raving about the face and head massage, Tony suddenly exploded. “What face massage? I didn’t get one.” Frankly, it was hard for me to believe they had accidentally missed his head – he’s got a big…aah…brain. Outraged and not in the mood for another massage, he went back again, this time demanding a partial refund. Tony came back all tense and agitated and with the cash he had gotten back, he bought himself a huge desert to restore his holistic health.