Sunday, November 9, 2008

Shanghai Foot Massage: Happy Feet

The mark of a good friend is her willingness to talk sense into you. So when my friend, Stacey, realized I had only put together a Must-Do-Before-I-Leave-Shanghai list for my kiddos and not myself, she immediately remedied that oversight.

Top on her list: A foot massage in a truly local spot. None of this fancy spa business nonsense.
Imagine a street lined with neon lights advertising massages--so glaring that one might mistake the signs for Those Kinds of Massages. I was a little skeptical, a lot nervous. But this was Stacey. She of wholesome goodness. She of amazing character. She of discerning taste.
So I pushed through the door. Selected the foot massage I wanted (just herbs, no oil). And was taken to a room of our own. The foot masseuses lugged in heavy tubs of scorching hot water. And told Stacey and me to SUCK IT UP when we looked nervously at the thick steam spiraling into the air. One image came to mind: bubbling volcano. And this was supposed to feel good?

(Note to my germ-phobic sister who just finished a microbes class in nursing school: the bucket was lined with plastic. I am assuming--HOPING--that the plastic liner is changed with every client. So far, no weird fungal action on my footsie tootsies, thank you.)

I mistakenly thought foot massage = foot massage. But no! My back was tended to first. Thank goodness. My shoulder muscles were so tight that the woman leaned her scant weight into me.

For tiny little women, these masseuses had surprisingly STRONG hands as they pressed and pummelled and slapped (yes! slapped!) my calves, heels, and toes.

Bottom line: painful, but oddly therapeutic and weirdly pleasant. Better than a full-body massage in the states, for sure. And for less than $10 an hour, I can see why people get addicted to these.

Two thumbs up. (Or should I say, two big toes up?)

Today I am thankful for the kindness of girlfriends and strangers who have been taking such exquisite care of me.

1 comment:

  1. Hee! Your smile cracks me up -- half "eek!," half "Booyah!"