One of the major, major advantages of living in Asia is that you can get a really good massage practically for free. And I was really fortunate to find a place in Kathmandu that, for 15 Euro, would massage the life out of me for 90 minutes.
A friend introduced me to the ‘Sotai and Kai Therapy’ Centre in southern Kathmandu. There they specialise in Japanese physiotherapy. And it is run by a whole family, a Japanese father and his Nepali wife together with their now grown-up children. It’s a really nice friendly set-up run out of 2 homes just around the corner from Namaste supermarket.
I first went for a body balancing massage.
I was given a pair of pajamas to put on and laid down on a hard mattress on the floor. Before I knew it, there were 3 guys working on me… one on my shoulders, one on my back, and another standing and pressing his foot deeply on my legs. Apparently this type of ‘Sotai Massage’ started 3000 years ago in China. It then spread to Japan along with Buddhism after 1500 years. The theory is that, when someone is tired, their muscles become hard. This results in pressed blood vessels and poor circulation. This generates waste products in the body and various sicknesses are produced in them. What the massage does is ‘unties’ the muscles. And that kind of hurts. But definitely in a good way.
After a few times, I went and asked them about bits of aches and pains that I had when running. Over the last few months, I started going twice a week for Sotai and Kai therapy where heat treatments were applied and deep massage given. This served apparently to realign my limbs and straighten me out nicely.
I don’t fully understand what they did, but somehow they have managed to sort my body out that I can run pain free. I hadn’t noticed that every time I ran, there was pain here and there. But once I started going for bi-weekly massages, I was amazed how the aches started slowly but simply disappearing. And that’s definitely worth 15 Euro a pop!
Contact Sotai & Kai Therapy Clinic, Jamsikhel Patan (in front of Suzuki showroom)
Tel: +977 (0)1 5543045. Mobile: +977 9851016612. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Article on Sotai in ECS magazine also available here.