This is my first time to try the Ayurvedic massage. After a few hours of climbing up 1200 steps to the Winter palace of Sigiriya (you can read my post about that Sigiriya climb here: 1200 steps to heaven) and going down, we rewarded ourselves with a unique Sri Lankan massage.
We were brought by our companion to the Anura de Silva Spa at Grand Regent Holiday Resort. The Ayurvedic doctor in the house was Dr. Anur Silva. He studied the Ayurvedic medicine for 5 years. He was assisted by his apprentice who studied the massage therapy for one year.
We were asked to bathe first and were given two towels each. I didn’t know that one towel is meant to be used to cover myself before going naked in the massage room.
The therapist started pouring some minty (eucalyptic) oil on my head before performing the relaxing and soothing scalp massage. After that, he put a generous amount of oil to both my arms and started doing the tickle massage. It wasn’t the normal massage where the therapist tries to relax your muscle by inflicting strong pressures. It was more gentle and the force was coming from the fingers. I am ticklish in some areas of my body and when these fingers run through those zones, I couldn’t keep myself from laughing (no matter how I try to distract my thoughts with other things).
After the arms, he asked me to lie on the table with my face fronting the bed. He then asked permission to remove my one and only body cover. So I lay there on the massage table, naked, motionless and exposed. He started the massage again by pouring enormous amount of oil on my body and sliding his hands over my body. It was very sensual and very smooth. I didn’t experience the typical body-stretching, joint -snapping massage. There were no torso contortions nor any back breaking acrobats. The focus was on the repetitive, frictionless motion that seems to emulate the blood circulation in your body. I would say that there’s a very thin line of experiencing an eroticism during the massage. You just have to focus your mind on other things to avoid embarassment when he asks you to flip over and face the ceiling. So after the back massage, he asked me to lie on my back and he covered my private part with a towel. The same steps were done. Swept my upper torso with tons of oil. It’s like a bathing on oil. This time it’s even more ticklish because his fingers were doing the random quick presses on the sides of my body, near the arms and the armpit, on the chest and the agonizing part is on the abs and the belly button. I had to suppress an enormous amount of laughter on that zone.
After the oil massage, he asked me to move in the tomb of wellness–this isn’t really the name of the enclosure, but it looks like a cascet where it’s covered with leaves and there’s a hot steam underneath. It’s like a personal sauna. I lied on my back, with my head and neck just right out of the enclosure. I was cooked for 15 minutes. I guess this is how a chicken feels when they’re placed in a pressure cooker. It was very relaxing and I was juiced out of my sweat. After 15 minutes, he asked me to go the Sauna room. The room is made up of clay wall and it’s also covered with the leaves. I don’t know what’s the name of the leaves but the doctor said it’s medicinal leaves. I stayed in the sauna room for 15 minutes. I was sweaty, greasy and oily. After that, I was led back to the massage room where the therapist wiped my entire body with a warm towel and appled aloe vera cream. I feel refreshed after that and when I went back to the hotel I just want to doze off instantly.
If you get a chance to visit Sigiriya, this massage is a must try. It’s only 3,500 Sri Lankan rupees and the entire session is 1.5 hours. The contact number of the doctor can be found here:
Anura De Silva
HP: 071 6340842
Holiday Resort Galakotuwa,
Tel Nos: 066-5670136 / 066-2286166