Spa News: Confessions of a Massage Addict
When you’ve been rubbed everywhere from Tropical Thailand to Snowy St Moritz you discover that sometimes the most glorious massages will happen in the most surprising places.
Marge Simpson, the cartoon character with the mile-high blue hair, once went to “Stagnant Springs Spa,” where she was massaged not with hot stones but with live turtles (later thrown into a bin labeled USED TURTLES).
I thought of that episode last month during my regular visit to Bangkok as I removed my shoes, rolled up my pant legs, and sat on the edge of a large water tank with half a dozen others at one of the city’s popular “fish spas.” Thousands of tiny fish called kangal rushed over to each pair of dangling feet, ready to nibble away our deal skin. The experience had been described to me as a pleasant sensation, a combo foot rub/pedicure.
Actually it is not, I lasted about 15 seconds. Neither am I a fan of the Beach Massage, it seems a fat guy getting a massage pulls a crowd faster than an Ice-Cream Van on a Summers Day.
Massage to me is a meditation event, much like fishing, it is my time, time where I can not answer the Phone, Tweets, check emails or be otherwise electronically disturbed, I am away from the world and free to think clearly. In fact much of my economic and trading consideration is done during a massage.
This may be more than you really need to know about me, but it’s (pretty much) okay with me to have (pretty much) anybody rub (pretty much) any part of me, and I travel the planet in pursuit of the ultimate massage. There is nothing I like better than an extravagant $1000 spa day, where I’m anointed with aromatherapy oils and bathrobes of astronomical thread counts, not that any of them fit me. But I am not the king of England or Warren Buffett, I am instead a resident traveler of the 3rd world’s most exotic destinations, so sometimes my Spa adventures are budget-priced and…unusual.
In many cultures, massage is a tradition handed down through generations from grandmothers, unencumbered by regulation or certification. I have a kind of Hippocratic attitude – first, do no harm (to myself) – and in unfamiliar territory, I usually start from the bottom up, on the theory that an untalented foot rub can be worse than an annoying waste of time and money, an unskilled person unleashed on by back could leave me flattened, then you need the classic fake emergency call on the Mobile Phone and a fast exit.
The creepy-crawly fish spa was the rare exception to the typically blissful Thai Foot massage that involves actual human hands and rarely costs more than a few dollars.
The best massage (and the best night’s sleep) you can ever have is at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. Once upon a time, during my first stay in Bangkok, when travel was more boat than car and the region was less popular as a tourist destination, it was truly paradise, memories of that still make the Mandarin Oriental like my childhood home. Back then the staff at the hotel spoke modest English but somehow I managed to convey with vaguely lewd hand signals that I wanted a massage.
Currently I am spending a few days near Pattaya and yet to find the ultimate massage, open to suggestions.
I generally believe in the maxim that you get what you pay for. I go to world-class doctors, I buy Egyptian cotton 500 thread count sheets that will probably outlive me; and I don’t expect that monkfish is going to taste like lobster, so I order the lobster. But after all these years, I’ve learned that massages satisfaction is not based on price. And the frequent language barrier off the beaten path is often a plus, eliminating the possibility of the ultimate massage annoyance, conversation. Because the best quality of any massage is of course…silence.
Heffernan Capital Management
Business Development Director – Private Client Group,
3 Raffles Place #07-01
Bharat Building Singapore 048617
Tel: +65 6329 6408
Fax: +65 6329 9699
Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.
Economist/Hedge Fund Manager
Shayne Heffernan oversees the management of funds for institutions and high net worth individuals. He is also an active consultant working with Corporations around the World.
He is recognized as one of the leading Economists in South East Asia, as well as the preeminent authority on ASEAN. His opinions and forecasts are widely read by decision makers in the region and Internationally.
Shayne Heffernan holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reached a peak of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.
Chinese Society of Economists
American Economic Society
Best Hedge Funds 2013
Working with some of the World’s largest financial institutions HCM’s goal is to provide portfolio returns that exceed the S&P 500 Index benchmark while …
Shayne Heffernan: How to Develop an Inflation Hedge 2013
QE1, QE2, QE3, the Bernanke “Twist” and QE4 are pumping out money at a rate never before seen in …
Chopard Jewels Robbed from Hotel Room at Cannes Film Festival
$1-M worth of Chopard jewelry has been stolen at the Cannes Film Festival.
French police confirmed to …
The Hot List
Enviro-Serv Inc (OTCMKTS:EVSV), Medical Marijuana Inc (OTCMKTS:MJNA)
Enviro-Serv Inc (OTCMKTS:EVSV)
EVSV had a stellar dy yesterday, ut it looks like it is just the begining of big things, good …