It’s the end of Day 2 at my guitar building workshop and my left forearm is in a burning pain. This workshop definitely isn’t for those with carpal tunnel or other forearm problems. I decide to let it be. “Maybe it won’t hurt tomorrow."
Upon waking up from an 11 hour sleep (did I mention that building a guitar is exhausting work?) my forearm twitches in intense pain. Thankfully it’s Saturday and there will be no guitar workshop today.
I’ve got to take care of this pain.
Being that I’m in the land of Ayurvedic Oil Massage I decide this will be my course of action. The neti pot is an Ayurvedic treatment and you know how much I love the neti. Seems like a great plan.
First, a quick lesson on Ayurveda: it’s a traditional Indian system of medicine. The word Ayu is derived from Ayussu, which means “life span," and veda means “knowledge." Therefore, Ayurveda is the knowledge of life. :) It is all encompassing, meaning it deals with body, mind, and soul. And although in this instance I am using it for treatment, it is generally a way of life and used regularly for prevention.
(Don’t say you didn’t learn anything from this article!)
There are approximately 10 Ayurveda clinics on a short 1 km stretch of Calangute-Baga Road so I have many to choose from. I pop into 4 to get prices and recommended treatments.
Unanimously the Elakizhi massage is the recommended route to take, with prices from 700-1500 Rupees. Elakizhi begins with a 45 minute full body massage and ends with approximately 30 minutes of a boiling herbal treatment, focusing on any specific pains.
I don’t understand why nobody will just massage my arm because otherwise, being that the rest of my body is made of an indestructible polymer you won’t discover for another 200 years, I’m all good. (We ran out of materials in the future so my arms are made of human…in case you were wondering.)
I chalk it up to “Don’t be stupid! They gotta treat the whole body Karol!"
(Yes, I did just claim I’m from the future. Yes, I’m sticking to it. No, you can’t have tomorrow’s lottery numbers.)
My first choice is to find a massage center run by women, for obvious reasons. But it seems the men have this little beach town on lock down. Or maybe I just don’t know where to look.
Whatever, I need a massage.
I decide to choose the shadiest looking of the group of massage centers.
It’s tiny, 3 rooms, and in a little shopping plaza with a knick knack shop on each side. If nothing else, it seems like a good choice because it’s the only massage center with another client actually getting a massage.
For 900 Rupees (~$20) I’m going to get a full body massage by a man “specializing" in Ayurvedic massage. I don’t see any certifications, but hey, who am I to judge? I don’t have an English degree and here I am writing to you. (English degrees are phased out in the future, sorry friends.)
I step inside a tiny room and the man tells me to take off my clothes. I take off my shirt and shorts and stop for a second.
I don’t know the protocol, and I don’t want to jump the gun, if you will.
He motions for me to lie down on my stomach.
In one fell swoop he pulls off my Ex Officios and hangs them up.
“But you told me I was your first! How are you THAT good?!"
I am officially naked and another man is going to run oil and fingers all over my body for the next 75 minutes.
I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say the man “grazed me" more than once. I guess that’s not sparing you the details, huh? Sorry. (No I’m not. You’re going to be just as uncomfortable as me, thank you very much.)
The actual massage consists of an incredible amount of oils and the smell of exhaust and cow manure wafting in from the street. My left forearm gets a Ben Gay-like oil treatment. If you’ve never smelled Ben Gay, it smells like Grandma’s bathroom.
To complete the session, the man asks me to stand up, and then towels me off (uhh, I should really choose better words) to get rid of excess oil.
As I head out the door feeling like a 5 cent trick I have 3 thoughts on my mind:
1) That was the least relaxing massage I’ve ever had.
2) My forearm still burns.
3) Next, I’m getting my hair done at Amanda Bynes’s salon: