Being beaten with a hammer and nail might sound like some ancient form of torture, but that’s exactly what clients at this city spa are going gaga over. An ancient therapy that originated about 4,000 years ago in northern Thailand, the peculiar massage called Tok Sen claims to, literally, beat the stress out of you.
"Nail and hammer is a crude term, it’s actually called a mallet and wedge, which are tools made from sacred wood," explains Khushboo Vakharia, director at Rewa Spa.
"They’re carved from different trees by Buddhist monks, each tree serving a different therapeutic purpose. We chose the wood of a tamarind tree for our spa, because it is believed to detoxify the body," she adds.
Vakharia reveals that the monks use special chants to charge the wood with healing properties, which are believed to act as a shield for the masseuse. "The giver of the massage passes on positive energy to the receiver through the hammer and nail, while the negative energy released from the body of the receiver is deflected by the chants," she says.
According to believers, stress trapped within the body’s energy pathways is released through the vibrations caused by banging the nail with the mallet. The 60-minute treatment is supplemented with palm pressure and acupressure.
Ask whether clients shy away from being beaten in the name of relaxation, and Vakharia says, "Despite the fact that they’re being tapped with a hammer and nail, you’ll find most clients snoring peacefully."