Friday, February 24, 2012

Kata Kori (肩こり)

Friday February 24, 2:57 p.m.

Last night, I told you folks about YouTube's masseur-in-chief, Baba The Cosmic Barber, in India. Well, YouTube is also well populated with tons of videos of masseurs and masseuses plying their trade in Japanese clinics. Unlike here in Toronto...or probably anywhere else in Canada...these clinics are almost on every corner in the Kanto. I ought to know...I used to frequent one of these places back in my old neighbourhood in Ichikawa City, Chiba.

I could describe it to you in writing, but going with the adage that one single picture is worth a thousand words, I'll give you a whole ton of pictures running for a few minutes. My title refers to a worldwide ailment: stiff shoulders. The Japanese treat it almost as a devil to be stomped...or rubbed gently away...via the temple that is the local massage clinic.

I used to go to mine once every two weeks for a 10-minute session for a thousand yen. Not expensive at all. I did stop it a few years ago when I wondered how effective it really all was. Part of the problem is that I had different masseurs on almost every visit. Some were good and could untie those knots, but others treated my back as a testing ground to see how far their fingers could stretch out my chest. So, all in all, it came out rather average.

Still, now that I'm back in Toronto, I sometimes wish that I could get any sort of rubdown. Those cats doing massages on YouTube are even looking pretty good right now.