We decided that after we climbed the Great Wall, we would like to also get a foot massage. The place we went didn't offer just a foot massage, so we got the "basic" package. They told us it would last 90 minutes! They started out with our hands and feet. But one of the first things they did was put our feet in REALLY hot water! We couldn't even keep them in it at first it was so hot! Finally we were all able to force ourselves to keep our feet in the water until they became numb enough to stand it.
There was a lot of laughing in the process, but nothing like was about to happen. My brother in law is Hawaiian, and is a large man. His jeans were kind of tight around the calves, so the masseuse told him he need to change in to a pair of shorts. He told them that he didn't think their shorts would fit, but she assured him that they had size 4X. He went in the other room to change, and before we even saw him, we could hear him laughing. When he came out, we laughed so hard that we cried! His shorts were as tight as biker shorts, except they were made out of cotton, not stretchy material. lol They were so tight he could barely move. The girls doing the massage planned to lift our legs and stretch them to each side. But the girl massaging him didn't dare, for fear his shorts would burst. lol Every time I looked his way, I laughed til I cried. Then if I looked the other direction at my husband, I laughed so hard when I saw his legs being thrown every which way. lol It was one of the funniest things I've ever done. I have pictures, but will respect my brother in law's privacy. lol
I have to explain that a chinese massage isn't a soothing, soft touch. It's more like being a participant in the WWF! I had elbows boring in to my back, and pounding and wrenching....it was quite an experience. When we were done, I wasn't sure if I felt better or not! I definitely would think twice about doing it again. lol One of the nice things they did was have a man come in to take off any caluses, and clip our nails. But the weird thing was that he did it all with a sharp blade! A little frightening, but it all turned out good in the end. He had a magnifying glass attached to his glasses so that he could see carefully. In fact, I didn't even know at the time that he had cut my nails.
The chinese take these kind of massages very seriously, and believe they are good for your health. But if you decide to take advantage of this service, be mindful of two things. First, it's not the soothing stress-free massage we give in the states. Second, some massage parlors in China front for other...erm....undercover operations. (prostitution) When we were driving around town, I saw a foot massage parlor that advertised much cheaper prices. I said to the driver, "Wow, that place is much cheaper." That was when he informed me that not every foot massage place was what it appeared to be. I'm sure glad that our friends found a good one for us!
I'm not sure if I would recommend this to women, but I think men enjoy the pounding and elbows in the back. lol But if you decide to try it out, be sure to take a friend or two along. It would be a shame to waste a good laugh on an empty room. :D