I have skipped my morning walks for three days, and now my thighs feel sore. I was meaning to use the treadmill in the house each day, but the thought of me sweating and running on a machine, facing a wall, has become unpalatable after having experienced walking on hilly asphalted trails lined by lush greens, in the early morning sun. Such negative ‘conjurings’ of a really great, no-brainer exercise equipment got me into this sore state.
Since I have quite a low pain tolerance, I had to do something to relieve the aches in my lower body. Yup, I’m your “Biogesic” girl who pops pills the minute I feel I am about to get a migraine attack. But I go easy on Ibuprofens and the likes to relieve aches since I have heard they can damage the kidneys. In lieu of painkillers other than Paracetamol, I have a good supply of liniments and balms, and the all-time reliable Salonpas.
Still, body aches are best treated by a massage (I thought). So off I went to my go-to massage parlor – Nuat Thai. It’s affordable so I didn’t really have to think twice about going. I would always go during the off-peak hours to avail of the discount, 250 pesos per hour from 11am-6pm. Regular rate is 350 pesos. But their rates vary among their branches/franchisees. In Cebu, it only cost 150 pesos two years ago, so easily my husband treated me to a 2-hour massage.
Massage is an indulgence that you can get at affordable prices not only in Manila but in other cities in Asia, at least I can say for Bangkok and Saigon where I did get a chance to have one. It is expensive as could be expected in Singapore, but that didn’t deter me to try what I could afford in that upscale city, a mere 10-minute back massage that cost SGD10 at Kenko Reflexology and Spa in Funan Mall. It was so worth it though; I have come back thrice on different trips. They use knuckles and hard pressure using the lower arms to knead the muscles and loosen the stiffness.
In Bangkok, I got to try the room-service massage at the Landmark Hotel which was superb – the best massage experience I’ve had so far. And it only cost me, back in 2010, only around the equivalent of 1,200 pesos. It was different. The masseuse practically went over and under me, reaching all the pressure points. I had the massage after three hectic days of workshop, and I had at the time a bad headache and was feeling sick. Thanks to that masseuse, that flu was kept at bay, and I went back to Manila just fine.
In Saigon, our gracious German host (my husband and I booked our accommodation via airbnb) pointed us to a very decent massage salon that offered massage services complete with hot stones. It only cost around 250-300 in pesos.
Sorry I can’t tell you about first-class spa services provided by hotels since “unregrettably” I haven’t been lucky enough to try that yet. But, as they say, you can’t possibly miss what you haven’t experienced yet. And I am afraid that if I get to try first-grade massage/spa services, that might take away the pleasure I get from my go-to Nuat Thai where I have “suki” masseuses that do not mind a few extra minutes getting me fixed and pliant.