Treat Yourself: A Day at MTHAI Spa
I spend most of my days hunched over. It's not from texting, or using the laptop too much, though that doesn't help. Like many women, I suffer from a disorder known as 'Bodacious Ta-tas'. It wreaks havoc on my back and my posture has suffered as a result. I spend most of my day in pain. Having the equivalent of two five-pound bags of sugar (I'm so sweet, y'all) on my chest leads to a lot of discomfort, so I occasionally have to get a massage to relieve the discomfort. However, the costs of massages can be a bit daunting. I called a place recommended by a friend, and they wanted 90€ (DAAAAAMN!!!) for a one hour massage. I was desperate (not 90€ desperate, though. Is it possible to be desperate AND cheap? Get back to me on that.) and on the verge of offering Prince money to walk on my back in his heels, so I turned to my favorite Madrid message board for advice. One of them recommended that I try Mthai. I am SO glad I did!
I arrived at a the studio and was immediately directed to take off my shoes and put on these little slippers. I got a form to explain my trouble spots and soon I was on my way to the massage room! Oh Boy!
Now, here's where the challenge begins. I'm learning Castellano (Spanish, y'all!) and I'm constantly in situations where the language barrier pops up. The massage therapist, we'll call her 'M', begins to tell me where to leave my clothes, what to put on for the massage, and I realize: I'm getting real lost... REAL FAST. It's like charades. I lose what she's saying, because I keep trying to translate in my head: “She's motioning at my pants. Should I take them off? What, like NOW!?... okay now she's talking about bragas. That means 'bra' right? I'm supposed to take off my bra? And my underwear? Or should I leave it on? Help me, I'm lost and it's so cold- annnnd she's leaving. Wait what? What just happened??”
I make the daring choice to take OFF my bra (Hah! Take that, society!) and leave my panties on. I throw on the sheet and tiptoe to the waiting mattress. I lay there for a few minutes, just long enough for the paranoia to set in. Now I'm imagining the entire staff sitting around a monitor, pointing and laughing at the dumb American: “... so then I told her to leave her pants ON! Jajajaajajaja! (That's Castellano for 'Hahahaahahaha'. Just so you know.)”
The massage therapist came back after a few minutes and began to work her magic. The next hour was pure bliss. It was a hot oil massage, and she used hot stones as well. Sometimes, the stones made things a little toasty but everything was amazing. Honestly, it was all I could do to stay awake. The massage therapist was professional, sweet, and surprisingly strong. She used the perfect amount of pressure, especially on the parts I mentioned, and I almost purred like a kitten. True story.
The massage room was dimly lit, and there was soft music playing. I was surrounded by cushions, and tapestries in different prints and colors. The environment was perfect: comfortable and private. The staff was warm and friendly, and offered me water to help detoxify before and after the massage. All in all it was a wonderful experience, and I can not wait to visit Mthai again!
Khephra is a New Orleans native, who re-located to Madrid, Spain at the absolute end of 2013. Some of her favorite things are: food, Theatre, yoga, tinto de verano, and traveling through the country she's only seen in dreams. She can usually be found wandering through the streets of Madrid [because she's lost... again], or at an intercambio. When she's not accidentally cursing at old ladies in Castellano, or wading neck-deep into the dreaded dating pool, she spends her free time working to be a better writer, teacher, and dancer.