Sunday, 1 June 2014

Perth - Reviews of 3 Massage Shops

I can't imagine I go on a trip without some massages these days. Some might say, you need a massage while you're on holiday? Sounds like a contradiction.

Well, depending on how old you're, and what kind of holiday we're talking about. If you're in your 20s, probably no need. And if the holiday is lying on the beach all day, then I probably don't need a massage afterwards. If it's sightseeing and shopping then a massage is a must to recharge your batteries.

With my health issues, it's part of my ongoing therapy.

CN Massage Centre
231 - 233 Hay St
East Perth

I saw this place on the 2nd day I arrived in Perth as I walked past on my way to CafeItalia for dinner. I was desperate for a massage and haven't done any research on massage services in Perth. The $100 for 1.5 hours promotion also helped me to make up my mind.

Location: Quite convenient with Red CAT bus stops almost outside its door.

The Vibe: It's reasonably quiet despite being next to a pub. I was there around 5 pm on a weekday. It's a quiet neighbourhood apart from the pub next door.

Set-up: It sits between the upscale day spa with bells and whistles and the no-frills massage shop. It's closer to the no-frills massage shop with solid wall partitions, but curtains for entrances / doors.

The massage: The masseuse started quite soft (for me). I repeatedly asked for more strength, she put in more effort, but I still find it less than adequate. The masseuse is in her 50s. So she may not have the strength or not willing to put in more. Both of the 2 masseuses I saw are in their late 40s to 50s.

Overall Score: 6.5 / 10.

Bali Beautique Spa
10 Adelaide Terrace
East Perth

After the 1.5 hours of not very effective massage, and 3 days of heavy walking, this old geezer was in need for another muscular maintenance. I was so tired that I didn't even feel like to get to some places to have a massage. Luckily, for me and for Bali Beautique Spa, it locates right next to Fraser Suites where we stayed, and I heard some good recommendation.

Location: There's a bus stop right across the street.

The Vibe: Like the above massage shop, this is located at the more quiet end of the city.

Set-up: The name suggests that this is a day spa set up, and it is. So expect it costs more than the no-frills message place. In this case, it's $125 for 1.5 hours. This is reasonable for a day spa. In fact, almost comparable to the no-frills joint.

The Massage: I asked the receptionist for somebody with stronger hands. I got a masseur. I don't mind being massaged by a male; I need to point it out because not everyone is comfortable to be tenderised by a man, especially ladies. And day spa is especially geared towards female customers. But then some would prefer masseurs.

I don't know if I was given a masseur because I asked for strong hands or only masseurs work here. Those concern about this aspect should confirm with them before visiting.

He had stronger hands than the masseuse in CN Massage Centre, but no where near as strong as I would like.

This is a Balinese style of massage, which is slightly different from Chinese or Thai style. Balinese style tends to involve more long strokes while Chinese are more on kneading, which is about applying pressure on specific areas of the body.

Overall Score: 7 / 10.

Chi Body Spirit
Shop 14 B & C, Carilion City Arcade

By the 3rd week, I was definite in need of something to sooth my tired muscle. While I was happier with my 2nd massage place, I wanted to find somewhere cheaper.

Location: This is located in the city centre. So it's very convenient.

The Vibe: Because it's located in the busy part of the shopping arcade, it could be quite noisy. In fact, the pedestrian traffic noise drown out the soft background music. I don't mind it too much. Perhaps because I already used to these no-frilled environment, and had no problem tuning it out. If the massage is good, you simply dose off, and become the noise maker yourself with loud snoring (this is where solid partition helps a little).

Set-up: The name suggests it sells itself as a Chinese therapeutic clinic, meaning you'll get the assorted TCM services. And as such, it falls into the no-frills category with curtains for doors. It could be more basic where even the partitions are also curtains. But it has solid partitions.

The Massage: The masseuse started with low strength. I asked for more strength. While she increased her firmness, it wasn't any stronger than the Balinese masseur.

Both of them fall far short to what I got used to in Singapore. But I don't hold it against them. The kind of strength I got used to in Singapore would make most people squeal in pain. In fact, when I was really needed truly deep tissue massage, even hands aren't strong enough for me. It was time like this that I asked my masseuses to use her feet to do the massage on my back. The feet aren't just stronger than the hands, but they have the weight of the whole body to add strength. Massage by feet are popular in Chinese community, especially Hong Kong and Singapore. Yes, this is very relaxing if you can stand the pain.

I was told by a Chinese masseuse working in Singapore that it's much harder to work in Singapore than in China. This is because Singaporean demand much harder strength because they live a much more stressful life. Especially stressful office workers who suffer from sitting in one posture in front of the computers for far too long and often.

Overall Score: 7.5 / 10.

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