Sunday, August 25, 2019

Uzbekistan: Massage at Eco Wellness Spa

I had noticed the new Eco Wellness Hotel and Spa several times since it popped up a few blocks from my house, and after a few colleagues recommended it (all women), I decided to give it a try.

I had been told that walk-ins were easily accommodated, so I turned up and requested a one-hour “classic” massage, as presented on the spa menu.  In ten minutes, my massage therapist Nurata appeared.

“Follow me,” she said, and she led me up a wooden staircase to the second floor.

At the top of the staircase, I ran into one of my colleagues, emerging from a changing room sporting a fluffy white robe and slippers; perfectly normal for a spa.

Nurata ushered me into Massage Room 3, dimmed the lights, and stood there.

“Put the clothes here,” she instructed.

I was waiting for her to leave the room or at least turn her back, but she continued standing there, staring at me.  Realizing the system in place, I took off my shirt and pants under her watchful eye and hung them in the wardrobe.

Obviously, she would see everything in the course of the treatment, but this felt odd.  No robe, no slippers, not even a towel was provided.

I laid on the bed, face-down in my underwear, and I remained thusly exposed for the next hour.  Besides providing a thin veil of modesty, a towel would have been nice to stave off the cold.

Nurata started the session by bending my body, particularly my legs, in different directions, similar to Thai massage.  This was not what I wanted nor what I expected.

“Oh, lord,” I thought to myself, “I hope I don’t have a full hour of this.”

This was full-contact massage, and Nurata was up on the table with me much of the time.

As she was ramming her knees into my back and compressing my rib cage various ways, I could feel her long hair cascading over my body.  It seemed a bit too sensual, and I thought maybe a bun would have been more professional.

After 15 or 20 minutes of the bending and stretching, she pulled out the massage oil and lowered my underwear so far that there was little point in wearing it anymore.  Again, she hopped back up on the table, rubbing me down not just with her hands, but also with her arms and legs.   She alternated between wispy, barely-there pressure, which elicited goose-bumps more often than not, and piercing elbow gouging that made me wince.

She learned my name very well, and every few minutes, she would whisper, “What do you think of this, Chris?”

I’m easy.  “It’s fine,” I’d tell her.

As usual, she spent the bulk of the time on my back and legs, and then it was time to flip over.

She did a lot more chest and stomach work than I usually get in massages, and it was all with the goose-bump-inducing summer-breeze pressure.  Naturally, she worked the arms and legs as well, nudging into underwear territory more than once.  As before, the long hair was caressing my skin as she moved about.

I get plenty of massages, and this one felt fairly provocative.  I wondered how many of Nurata’s clients requested “special services” during their treatments.  Whether or not that was her intention, she was certainly setting the mood.

When at last she was finished, Nurata tapped me on the shoulder.

“I hope you enjoyed it,” she told me.  “Please come back again.”

 Then she supervised as I got dressed, lest I should miss a button or have trouble with my zipper.


Anonymous said...

Mercy. You just never know. Best massage I ever had was at an underground bus station in Jakarta. What was I thinking?

Eleanor White said...

Chris, you do live the life -- and thanks so much for sharing it! Hi from Boston. Eleanor White

Aldo said...

As always, great story and well told!

Bruce said...

Wow, now that was good reading. I was wondering where you were going with the story, but it all ended up ok. Except you were short changed fluffy slippers and a smoking!