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Get a blind massage in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a haven of street markets selling knock-off designer labels and expensive stores selling the real thing, but one can eventually run out of shopping stamina and need a completely different kind of therapy. A massage!

I had heard about blind masseurs in Hong Kong from a friend living here. He swears by them. Rudely, this so-called friend was out of town for my visit so my first task was to find the Visitor Information Centre at Central and try to find out where indeed these blind massages take place.

Blind massage in Hong Kong
The curtains may or may not be closed. No one cares!

Established in 1987, there are now a couple of blind massage centres in Hong Kong and all the masseurs are trained in traditional Chinese acupressure and massage by the Hong Kong Society for the Blind.

HKSB provides training and education for the blind across many disciplines as well as, in this instance, providing jobs.

I had a really sore neck from sleeping oddly about a week earlier and had not had time to get to a physio before leaving home. Well that was my excuse to spend the whole day being pampered. As it turned out, ‘pampered’ was quite the wrong expectation to have!

Blind Massage table Hong Kong
There’s nothing fancy for the seeing. Pic Tracy Hunter on Flickr

Amy manoeuvred her way around the wall to the foot of the table. I was concerned she might trip on the pile of clothes I’d stacked on the floor so pointed them out, but she wasn’t bothered as she set a talking alarm clock for one hour. She turned and ran her hands down my spine, familiarising herself with my shape then threw a small cotton sheet, no bigger than a pillow case, over my shoulders and began to work.

There is no such speed as gentle. I was jiggling until my brain rattled and at times my knuckles were white as I fought to handle the pain. Determined not to be a wuss, I found if I blocked my ears by clenching my jaw muscles I was able to disconnect in the same way I used to as a 16 year-old waitress carrying burning hot plates.

Blind massage
One of the masseurs trained at the HK Society for the Blind

My initial neck and shoulder trouble spots, while hurting in a satisfying masochistic kind of way, were nothing compared to the tense muscles she found in my backside! How did she know?

She flicked the sheet over my lower back and began working into my gluts and I nearly shot through the curtains. It took all my concentration just to keep breathing. Her English was quite good and my wincing caused her to ask what I did for a job. Sitting at a computer, I squeaked, which apparently explained the pain.

“15 minutes,” said the clock in a robotic American accent and by now I had learned to enjoy experience and did not like the countdown every five minutes, then one minute, till the end finishing with a tinny concerto to round off the appointment.

With my back and butt now pummelled into well being, I was no longer a walking knot so decided I needed my feet seen to…. But that’s another blog!

You might also like my post on the best places to shop in Hong Kong!

Hong Kong skyline

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!