Posts tagged ‘Massage’

No Pain, No Gain?

“It hurts so bad, yet feels soo good!” Oh baby~ that’s what you’ll say when you grind your feet into one of these handy-dandy bamboo slats. Its curved, hard surface has a way of pushing deep into those biped muscles of yours, smoothing out every tense fiber to the bone. Some call it torture, others call it a soothing massage.

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I kept this ‘ashi-fumi ta-ke’ around for years among my odd collection of massage devices. It was far more economical than the others ($10 or so), yet had the most striking effect on my body. What they say is that the foot is the map to the rest of the body. That is, each area corresponds to a particular body part. Your arch connects to the digestive system, your second and third toe to the eyes, and so on. So when part of your foot really hurts after using the bamboo it means you’d better lay off the booze and get your innards checked by the doctor.

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Women especially use this device as a lazy way to lose weight. They balance themselves on it while washing the dishes or brushing their teeth, taking in the pain as they firm up their calves. But if they’re like me, they’ll give up before anything miraculous happens. And then they’ll move on to the next fad diet like scarfing down a banana every morning.

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Truthfully, I don’t really know how much healing power this wooden torture device actually has. But if it can double as a weapon of death then maybe it’s worth keeping around?

Himawari

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February 20, 2009 at 10:54 am Leave a comment

Massage Therapy is on Every Corner

Ever thought of hiring a personal masseuse?

Well, unless you’re loaded, you probably can’t afford one. So what’s the next best thing? How about a massage shop on every corner?

Okay, maybe not be as abundant as Starbucks, but shops catering to soothing the knots of a stressful work day are only steps away; in a department store or along a busy shopping arcade, even at the airport. No need to reserve, all you do is walk in and within minutes you’ll be kneaded like putty.

Hour-long sessions are about 6,000 yen, which comes out to 95 cents a minute. Not exactly chump change, but still affordable. Back in the day when my Tokyo dorm rent was only $100 monthly (I miss being a student), I’d treat myself to a massage nearly every week. Especially when winter came around, I’d mentally write off massages as a necessary expense for my health. Regular visits boost circulation and keep you warm.

Massage shops fit a particular category called iyashi-kei — that which heals the body and mind. Certain music can be considered iyashi-kei if it rejuvenates you, as can certain food if it comforts you. Even certain celebrities are iyashi-kei if, just with a glance at their image, can turn angry men into teddy bears. Like I’ve mentioned before, Japan is a high-stress society, so people will pay top yen to take a load off.

Next time you visit Japan, stop by a massage shop. It’s a whole new experience, far better than what you can get in the U.S. You’ll experience customer service at its best and you don’t even have to leave tip! (^D^)/

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
JPBizDirect, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more
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July 29, 2008 at 1:32 pm 1 comment

Massagers to Die For

Despite common notion, Japan is a high-stress society. Aside from universal worries about finances, health and finding a soul mate, Japanese people lose sleep over how people view them – individualism not being a good thing. They also worry about pleasing the higher-ups. If the boss wants a beer, you better get one for him. If he wants a girl to pour him the beer, you better find one of those, too.

The longer I lived in Japan the stiffer my shoulders became as I worked to conform to the societal norms, which are especially strict for women. What resulted was not only a disdain for coy women but an extensive collection of massage tools. It ranges from small wooden mallets (cost about $2 each) to a high-speed circular ultra-kneading lounger (costing about an arm and a leg).

One of the more unique massagers is a hand-held tool you plug into the wall:

As soon as the green tip heats up you press it onto your skin wherever you’re stiff. I like to knead it into my eyebrow ridges after a long day of Scrabulous. Be warned, the longer you leave it, the hotter it gets. Burn marks are possible. Though back in the old days when electricity wasn’t abundantly available they used to light a small fire over muscle aches. Thank god for advanced technology.

And then there’s my electric shocking device I bought at Yodobashi Camera, Japan’s version of Best Buy:

The battery operated remote is attached to two gel pads you stick on your skin. Turn on the device and you’ll feel tiny electric waves that either vibrate or pulsate through your muscles at whatever speed you wish. One word of caution: Don’t stick the pad over a bone. Electric waves passing through are as uncomfortable as biting on foil. Oh and never, stick the pad on your head. No amount of electric shock will make you forget your last bad relationship.

I have other devices in my collection that I’m reluctant to show anyone. They’re also fun to use, but believe me, the warning labels run even longer.

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
JPBizDirect, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. – Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more
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April 15, 2008 at 9:56 am 1 comment


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