Warning: This massage is not for the tickle hearted. At least, a person like me who feels ticklish at the slightest human touch will face difficulties in enduring those long strokes. I am talking about the esalen massage at Aura, The Park.
Unlike the regular knead and roll strokes (you get the drift, right?), the esalen massage involves slow, controlled and long tai chi strokes to awaken awareness and enhance blood circulation.
My massage session began with a slice of orange. No, it wasn’t used on my body but for consumption purpose. I was then taken to a ladies’ room with an eye-arresting wooden décor complete with shower rooms and a sauna cubicle. I changed into a bathrobe and was introduced to my masseuse for the day, Melody. To start with, her name soothed my senses. The young girl took me to a ‘blissful’ room where my sense of smell was pleasurably heightened with a mix of aromatic oils and my sense of hearing cosseted with nature sounds.
Before I could revel in the moment, Melody handed me a remote to select the kind of music I would want to listen to while she does her job. The options were many (including ghazals, if you please), but I stuck to the sounds of nature, something we are usually devoid of anyway.
Melody smoothened “a concoction of essential oils,” on her palms and began the session of long strokes on first my legs (covering almost the entire length in one stroke), moving on to my hands and back and then the belly. The masseuse then pressed her forearms, carefully rolling them at the same time, onto my body. She then moved on to my neck bordering on my temples, earlobes and the forehead.
The long strokes and the careful concentration on the temples was relaxing, to say the least. My head that was jamming on various thoughts - some brain tearing, some nerve racking, some plain chaotic - was peacefully put to rest by Melody and her magical hand movements. An hour and a half later, I exited the room feeling utterly butterly delicious. I rounded off the treatment with 10 minutes in the sauna room. The massage costs anywhere between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000. The other massages available are the Hawaiian massage, the Balinese massage and the classic Swedish.