Most people with an unusual penchant for being trampled on choose to play rugby against the NZ All Blacks. Others like me head to Caressa Day Spa in Juhu. The spa offers a Rope Therapy massage in which a masseuse walks up and down your body before kneading and stretching you out with a traditional Thai massage. Rekha Chaudhari, the spa’s owner, told me her masseuses stomp on clients to get the blood flowing and remove toxins from your body.
How do they do it?
First, I was told to lie down beneath a box-like wooden gallows that had ropes hanging down with knotted ends like curtain-cord tassels rather than a noose. Then, my (fortunately pocket-sized) masseuse began by stepping on my body from my feet up to my shoulders, gripping the rope ends for balance throughout. She moved slowly, alternating between relaxing sweeping strokes with her feet to pauses in which she pressed down on the muscles. Occasionally, she dug in her heels and toes for sharper pressure. Once she was sure I had been pummelled enough, she hopped down and got to work giving me the softer Thai massage.
Will you really feel detoxified afterwards?
Damned if I can tell. The only time I’ve ever thought about the toxins in my body is the morning after drinking too much beer. I can, however, say that the massage was very relaxing. The pressure from the masseuse’s weight released my muscle tension and straightened-out my creaky bones, especially the curve in my back from sitting too long at a desk. The Thai massage put me into blissful dreaminess, while also stretching out the odd tight hamstring.
What does the masseuse do well?
She displays gymnastic balance while perched on your back. She is also attentive to any grimaces or sudden screams for mercy and adjusts her body weight accordingly. On the Thai side of things, she impressively uses knees, elbows and feet to dig into your muscles and leverage you into new stretching positions.
Did she put a foot wrong?
When she stands on your achilles, you’ll probably let out a yelp as loud and powerful as the mighty Greek warrior of the same name all those years ago. Also, at one point, one of the rope knots she was hanging onto came loose. Luckily, she was able to handle the emergency and jump off my back with admirable grace.
Is Rope Therapy for everybody?
Spa owner Chaudari told us that men choose the Rope Therapy more than women because the guys like firmer massages. We’d say it’s for anyone who likes to be treated firm but fair.
Rope Therapy, 1 hour, R3,200.
By Ben Leahy on January 06 2011 6.30pm