You know that scene in the last season of American Horror Story where the cannibal family, the Polks, start seasoning Lee’s leg in preparation to eat it? Sorry to bring up that seriously disturbing image but that basically sums up what a churna pinda swedana ayurvedic massage feels like. It is as if your flesh is being tenderized to be prepared before being baked in an oven.
This style of massage is meant to be good for easing muscular pain, soothing the joints, and relieving the body of stiffness. All things my body desperately needed after practicing yoga for over 3 hours a day for two weeks! I left my pinda sedana massage feeling bruised, yet soft, silky, yet stinky. The odor of the heated herbs was so strong it actually made my stomach rumble for lunch. You’re not allowed to shower for a few hours after having a heated massage so I went about my day smelling like seasoned meat. The next day my yoga practice was deeper than ever and my lower back and shoulders were not causing me as much pain as they had before the treatment. The verdict? Although this massage was strange and somewhat painful I would absolutely do it again.
Experiencing local wellness methods is one of my favorite ways to get in touch with the culture of the country I am visiting. Tell me in the comments what has been the strangest massage you have ever received, or even which was the best? I still fantasize about the coconut husk body scrub massage I had in Northern Thailand that left my muscles soothed and my skin silky smooth. Another personal favorite was a Tibetan pressure point massage I got in the Himalayas.