Cammy invited me to try a new massage technique that the spa she works for, have recently brought in.
"It's called No Hands massage," she told me.
No hands? i thought, immediately envisioning someone placing their hands really close to my body without touching it and calling it a new form of massage.
I was intrigued, and trusted the technique immediately even tho i had no clue what it was, wholly due to the fact that i trust Cammy and the treatments Energy Spa have been known to bring in that I'm equally an enthusiast of, like movement (pilates) and alternative treatments (reiki and holographic healing).
"Someone thought it was a dodgy massage -_- " she said.
"No i didn't think that at all!" i reassured her, while my mind ran off with what the other person must have been thinking.
Summarized in one sentence; No Hands® Massage is a deep, relaxing, rejuvenating and nourishing form of massage that is one of the world's latest and most powerful therapeutic treatments available, that works on many levels - physical, energetic, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
Conceived and developed by UK therapist Gerry Pyves after 20 years of clinical testing, his first book The Principles and Practice of No Hands Massage which was written for qualified massage therapists became the UK's best-selling specialist book on Massage.
His journey discovering No Hands came about in 1987 when he was practicing out of his successful West Hampstead clinic. Gerry experienced excruciating pain in his wrists while massaging a client and just as he was about to apologize for not being able to massage him any further, the client started making noises that implied he was enjoying his massage. Gerry opened his eyes "... to discover in my despair I had inadvertently slumped onto his back! With some embarrassment I looked down at my arms and was surprised to find that (luckily) I had landed on his back with the soft fleshy part of my forearms."
After accepting that he was dealing with Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), Gerry forged on in the following eight years to develop a massage technique that utilized seven different surfaces on the forearm and 23 different surfaces of the body that could be ethically and professionally used for powerful massage. In that way, he also created a new technique that would prevent him (and other therapists) from suffering from injuries due to massage movements, ever again.
To create something completely new, Gerry had to rely solely on his clients' feedback every day as he sought to deliver the most powerful touch he could, and they all unanimously chimed, "Please don't go back to that other stuff you used to do!"
It was only after 15 years of working without hands and 250,000 treatments using this approach, did Gerry release his best-selling book in 2000 to officially announce it in text.
Today, therapists from the world over travel to the UK to undergo courses on No Hands (with over 2,000 trained therapists in the UK) and Gerry travels to countries like Taiwan to train hundreds more.
The transformational touch massage, also known as the Gentle Giant massage, is performed by therapists by moving their bodies in completely different ways - a form which is almost like a dance flow.
I was eager to see how this massage felt as it is nothing like i've ever experienced before, and made my way to Energy Spa in GE Mall.
I headed up the stairs in the spa, where their alternative treatments are carried out, to meet with Alaine, my therapist. A qualified Beauty Therapist and Aesthetician with credentials (CIDESCO, Zurich; CIBTAC, UK; MLVK) and a history in Holistic Therapy (Reiki master since 2003), Alaine has worked as a trainer for Five Star international hotels in Asia whilst undertaking numerous courses to further her skills (Transforming Touch course in 2011). She is currently an Advanced Practitioner in No Hands Massage.
In her opinion, the average person feels pain and accepts it as a normal occurrence, which shouldn't be the way because "... if you look at babies - they enter this world with no pain in their bodies."
Fresh as a baby! Oh wait, it's fresh as a daisy.
"As we grow older, the aches and pains come and we take it as part of our lives. But it's not normal. It's your body being compressed unconsciously. When No Hands puts our weight on, what happens is gravity takes over. When that happens, the compression that takes place consciously makes you realise (that you) actually have tightness on your hips, lower back, shoulders, etc."
"When we release the pressure and the body decompresses, there is a ripple going out cos your body is 70% water. Every time there is a release, it ripples out further. That's how No Hands works - compression and decompression - but in a safe and conscious way. Because it's slow, clients will fall into a stage called hypnagogia..." > 'experience of the transitional state from wakefulness to sleep: the hypnagogic state of consciousness, during the onset of sleep. Mental phenomena that occur during this "threshold consciousness" phase include lucid thought, lucid dreaming, hallucinations...' [source]
Also the best time for one's body to heal itself.
According to Alaine, the healing doesn't come from them, but our bodies. The therapists are just instigators. If the body is not ready to release, nobody can help it except oneself.
Before we started our session, we went through a series of questions i had to answer. She asked me how i felt, then what my set of intentions for transformation are - mental and emotional. I was so ready for this, i'm all about setting intentions since 2014 when things started getting really crazy in life!
Alaine told me about her previous personal transformational intentions.
She used to be much bigger-sized and greedy, not wanting to share food with anyone. "My sister would suggest 'Come, let's share a rice' and I'd say, 'no, you can give me half of yours but i'm ordering my own!"
Alaine told herself that she wanted to slim down. "When you want to have a transformation, you need to have a clear mind." - Why you want it, and how you see yourself post-transformation. After thinking of her intentions, she underwent the treatment but admits that this isn't something tangible upon the first session. You don't see results immediately.
"When i came back to Malaysia, the first thing my sister and i went to eat was spicy food, and i suggested: Let's share a rice, shall we?"
Her sister: ... what happened to you...!?
Alaine: Oh yeah... what is this... #perplexed #surprised
She found that it's managed to transform her mentally, to be more stable and in control after.
Some people may set their intentions as wanting to overcome their insomnia (apparently some lady managed to do that after sessions of No Hands) or what have you, but everyone's is individual.
I listed that i wanted to:
- put on weight in specific areas in a healthy way (just boobs, butt and arms is that okay? lol)
- own more empathy
- have less stress on body and mind
- get rid of eczema / allergies
- release attachments to places, people, things and beliefs
For me it's like a Christmas / wish list. I might as well go all the way and say everything i want!
The latter intention was the most alluring to me, as i'd felt in my recent trip to Bali that i wanted to release all attachments in my preconceived and conditioned mind, as to achieve a higher state of happiness and peace (read: The Tibetan Book on Living & Dying).
STYLE & PREFERENCE
I was explained the styles of No Hands massage i could choose from, and requested to specifically choose which ones called out to me the most, along with pressure/strength on a rate of 1-10, AND percentage if it was a mix of a few styles. Pros of No Hands is you can choose exactly how you want your massage to be with the type of movement and flow, its pressure and intensity, right down to the percentage of breakdown.
The styles are:
- slow, gentle flow
- nurturing, wrap around, like water flowing on your body
- stretching, warming up one's muscles, loosening muscles
- fast, fiery movements
- movement of still
Me: Movement of what? Still is a movement?
A: It will be light touch. Compress, decompress. Very light.
I was open to any technique she would recommend but Alaine wouldn't have it, and insists that the client choose their style of choice, "Which one do you feel more connected to? You have to be in charge of your treatment."
I ended up getting a merge of 65% stretching and 35% flowing, with some fiery thrown in.
Since she wanted such definition i figured i'd give it to her!
Lastly, i was left in the room to change and instructed to walk around the room in circles while just focusing on how my limbs and body felt, to be done both before and after the session. I think the purpose of that is for us to consciously observe how we feel right before and after the treatment.
Again, i was so down for this cos i read up on Buddhist walking meditation techniques a few months ago, and even told Baby about it to which she joked i could do it on her gigantic apartment lawn. But which i decided against cos... society. I'll just do it in the privacy of a room...!
Wearing just my panties, i lay down on big soft pillows placed strategically beneath me, before Alaine entered the room and covered me with a few soft blankets and towels. I felt like a big soft chee cheong fun, ready to drift off to la la land.
I wasn't supposed to pass out during the massage, tho it's alright if i do. Alaine suggested that i: Focus on breathing and intentions, and be aware of the sensations i experienced.
She told me about a psychologist client who envisions two bins for her thoughts directly below her massage table while she's receiving her treatment. "One is a trash bin, and the other is a KIV one. She will sort out her mental states on what she wants to keep, what to throw, and what to KIV." I laughed.
People undergo various sensations. One client inquired if Alaine used acupuncture needles during the session cos she felt a prickling sensation but Alaine confirmed that there wasn't a single needle in the whole therapy room! It was just her body undergoing healing in its own way. Even slow gentle movements administered by No Hands therapists can conjure impactful feelings.
As for myself, i felt something going on with my shoulders while Alaine was massaging my legs - which was very strange! From the beginning of the massage, i did what she asked of me - breathe, focus, then..... halfway through ZzzzZzzZzzz.
I couldn't help it! It was so relaxing and i completely passed out. #ohwell
When i did the walk post-massage, i felt more relaxed, conscious of my own body, my chest felt more open, and i felt like i lacked worry. I felt more centred... because when i went in before the massage - was a crazy mix of emotions (excitement, stress, work frustration, giddy with happiness, just a crazy whirlwind going on...)
Fast forward a month later (which is now when i'm writing this post), i had forgotten all about these intentions i set till i read back on my notes. It's funny, but the intention i wanted the most - which is to release attachment - was just in my conversation yesterday in a bar. And i feel more free. (And it's not because of the alcohol, but in general as an all encompassing constant feeling.)
Maybe it's because i had a desire to let go anyway and have been gradually working towards it, but recently i've felt more FREE and open to completely new and unknown possibilities of life that will open up to me. I feel like i have released some attachments, especially the ones i wanted the most - these ideas of who i'm supposed to be, the role i'm supposed to play in life, my initial ideas of where i'm going or who i will end up with #singleinyour30s
I would recommend this to anyone who's undergoing personal issues of any kind (aren't we all tho!?) but it'll be in your own gut instinct whether this calls out to you or not.
Thanks to Energy Spa and Alaine for giving me this opportunity and love.
Energy Day Spa Ampang
Lot 4, Level 4, Great Eastern Mall,
303 Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel :. 603 - 4256 - 8833
Fax:.603 - 4256 - 8832