So I have just recently been treated to my first ever massage.

Yes, yes I know it’s hard to believe – but I’m a grown man and I have never ever had a massage.

I have always been a bit dubious to actually have one – for a number of different reasons. The first and most obvious one is “What kind of massage am I getting myself into?!”
I am no expert in the field, but I am aware that there are many different kinds of massage available to the average punter – and while most are catered towards good health – others, maybe not so much…

There is the Swedish Massage which is apparently the best known and most common massage adopted by The West. There is the Thai Massage which is an ancient form believed to have been developed by Buddhist monks thousands of years ago. Balinese Massage is also a very popular contender among the heavyweights of massage culture and is considered very relaxing, claiming to offer many health rewards.

There are massages that revolve around TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine which often focus on pressure points in the body and can often be quite painful. Then of course, there is the form of massage that leaves male customers (in particular) departing establishments feeling incredibly relaxed and glowing with a familiar feeling of euphoria…

It is believed that there are approximately 200 different styles of massage available at this point in time, so choosing what type of massage you should try first may seem a bit confusing or even daunting.

Fortunately for me, the decision was placed out of my hands as the wonderful editor of this magazine arranged everything for me, and all I had to do was turn up. In this instance, I was directed to 8 Medi-Aesthetics in the Rendezvous Gallery, situated on Bras Basah Road.

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Upon arrival I was warmly greeted by the manager Nicole who promptly brought me a drink whilst I waited for the masseuse. The service was warm, friendly and efficient. I was introduced to the soft spoken Hui Ling, a masseuse with 19 years experience in the field and who specialises in the traditional Chinese form of massage. The experts decided a massage that concentrated on lymphatic drainage and detoxification would be the type of massage that would suit me the most. I was quite impressed by this choice as they could obviously tell just by looking at me that a life of concentrated drinking, smoking and staying up late had taken its toll. Only lymphatic drainage and detoxification could restore any form of health to my broken and decrepit frame.

I was led into a small room lit by candles with classical music playing quietly in the background, and lay down on a massage table. This small room is set up to put you at ease with a very warm ambience.

I was a little concerned about being twisted like a pretzel and having to endure painful stretches, and possibly having my spine used a a footpath for a short jaunt by the masseuse. Or, would my legs and arms be pulled, pushed and twisted behind my back in the search of some form of realignment? Was I going to need to somehow say I wasn’t here for anything other than a massage? The combination of potential pain, suffering and awkward discussion regarding extra services did make for a nervous couple of moments while I waited for the expert to begin the treatment.

I had been fore-warned by Hui Ling that this form of massage can involve concentrated pressure focussed on nerves and soft spots of the body, resulting in considerable discomfort. This approach is apparently common practice in TCM treatments. She was however, incredibly firm but gentle, and at no point did I experience any discomfort or pain. In fact her expert hands put me so much at ease I do believe I may have nodded off a couple of times during the experience. I awoke a couple of times with a start – snoring. A little embarrassing and awkward, but from Hui Ling’s lack of reaction I assume a common practice among her clients.

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She very gently massaged me from head to toe after applying some oil, paying particular attention to the area around my shoulder-blades and back – which was sublime. This procedure of kneading and rubbing troublesome areas of musculature discomfort eased me into an almost meditative state.

I am told this is a great way to work out knots of muscle and tendon which have developed over some time. At no point was there any pain whatsoever. It really was a most relaxing experience and if you have never had a massage, I can thoroughly advise you to try one.

All in all, I had the most wonderful hour I’ve spent doing nothing for a very long time. The experience of just lying down and having someone work out years of muscular tension in your body needs to be experienced to be believed. I wouldn’t hesitate to go again and am happy to review any other massage clinics, anywhere in the world, any time! (Yes, this is an unabashed hint to the editor!)

Thanks again to 8 Medi-Aesthetics!

Nick.