It really does seem sometimes like there is a massage parlour popping up on every other street. Those massage signs, some subdued, some neon-lit, beckon from spas to shopping centres to corners in the suburbs. However, not all massages are delivered in quiet rooms filled with scented candles and tinkling sounds of nature or new age music.
Here is a list of places where you really couldn’t have expected to be massaged… but you can!
Well, not every zoo, but two in particular allow you to interact with the fellow denizens of the planet as you relax… or try to!
1. Chiang Mai, Thailand
A tourist park in Chiang Mai, Thailand has been trained to give humans a quick lumbar adjustment. The delicate task is usually performed with an elephant trainer but members of the public can shell out some cash for some great photo opportunities.
2. Cebu, Philippines
Compared to elephants, Cebu City Zoo has a lighter masseuse on hand – a nest of four giant Burmese pythons that weigh a quarter of a ton! EJ, Daniel, Walter and Michelle are fed with ten chickens each before the session so they don’t get any ideas about the soft, tender person lying under them.
On the Water
First rule of massage – have a solid surface to perform the massage… like a boat floating on water!
Venice has always ranked high on the list of romantic cities and its canal gondola rides are an icon instantly recognised the world over.
Now, you can combine your love for massage, the water and the romance of Venice in one go with the Gondola Massage.
Organised by a premier hotel spa, the massage is performed by a masseuse as the long vessel glides through the serene waters of a private section of Venice.
2. San Diego, California
Imitating the Venetians in dress, craft and in gimmick, a resort in California is offering a super romantic massage for couples that includes forty minutes of sunscreen, massage oil, chocolate covered strawberries and champagne.
In a Cave
If you thought massages were for wide open spaces and the clear blue sky, think again. In the depths of the earth lie some apparently very feasible alternatives.
1. White Sulphur Springs, WV, USA
The Salt Cave and Spa is a wellness centre that stresses on the non-medicated treatment of chronic disease. Senior doctors and researchers attest to the healing and aroma-therapeutic effects of spending time in a natural environment rich in airborne minerals and ionized air. Get rubbed with coarse salt that exfoliates and nourishes your skin as your tissue is massaged.
The underground location is cool and silent, creating an almost cocoon-like effect where you can leave your troubles and stresses at the door.
Apparently, an hour-long stay in a salt cave is the equivalent of spending four days at sea.
2. Asheville Salt Cave, TN, USA
If 250 million-year-old uncontaminated salt doesn’t do it for you, no salt will. Aside from the humble massage, these Salt caves in Southern USA offer the whole gamut of New Age healing techniques:
- Kundalini Yoga;
- Yoga Nidra;
- Sanskrit Chanting;
- Prayanama Breathing;
- Native American Flute Sessions.