I have been battling some lower back and knee issues for a while. Never on a permanent basis, but on-and-off for a few years.
Since recently, however, I felt my back was acting up again affecting my yoga and other healthy living plans, so it was time to do something about it.
I was trying to get some deep tissue massage but all the professionals were booked up so I decided to check out a South Indian (Kerala, to be exact) type massage.
A Kerala Massage for Backpain
Years ago, I had been in Kerala and went to one of those famed hot oil massages which was very relaxing. Here in Canada, west of Toronto, there is a centre that offers massages and the marmani treatment. Marmani, like acupuncture, analyzes the body in a holistic manner and according to a complicated system of energy vessels (in Chinese medicine – meridians and in Indian system, nadis).
So, I booked an appointment.
Having listened to my issues for a few minutes, the doctor pressed at some point on my right shoulder. It hurt. “There you go,” he said, “you have torn ligaments. This happened a few years ago and was caused by some heavy lifting.”
He was right in terms of the duration of the issue but I couldn’t remember what caused it. After pressing on some points on my shoulder, he said I should feel fine.
Then he asked me to lie on my back face downwards and probed my lower back. After pressing a point or two on my back, he also diagnosed some issue with a lower disc which was supposedly causing the back ache.
And then came the treatment. Pressure points were being probed and I winced as he asked me to bend my legs backwards at knee level. The thighs cramped but all I heard was “up”, “up”. He kept pushing me to continue with it and then the pain subsided. Then I was asked to sit up and some sort of device was rolled on my back and then a hot oil spray. I felt good as I drove back home.
2nd Session of the South Indian Massage
A purely hot oil massage session, done the very next day. I was on my back on a bench, down just to my underpants and hot oil was applied and then my back pulled and pressed. Sometimes pressed and pulled.
Like the previous day, I was asked not to bathe until the next day, so that the oil can seep into the body. I feel better.
3nd Session of the Kerala Massage
Two days after the 2nd session and it was another hot oil massage. Since the previous day my right back up to the knee has been hurting. It has never happened before, like this. Usually, it is the back or the knee and only when I exert myself. I am not sure whether this is part of the healing process, where it hurts more before subsiding.
I tell the masseuse that, no, I am not feeling well. She nods and starts her massage. Hot oil and herbs are tied in cloth and rubbed over the body. Sometimes the fingers push and pull and knead.
Again, no bath until the next day.
I have my last session in two days’ time.