Everyone enjoys a relaxing massage. Laid on a comfy bed while someone gets rid of all the knots that have accumulated from daily stress. Sitting with a nice drink afterwards while in a state of complete relaxation. A Turkish massage doesn’t quite follow the same routine. Rather than being wrapped up in a comfy towel and covered in lavender oil, you’re thrown about and scrubbed within an inch of your life!
I felt that since I was in Turkey, I had to try the famous Turkish massage. I don’t really do anything like that back home but I thought ‘why not?’ since I was on holiday and the idea is to completely chill out. A massage would be the perfect thing to put me in the mood of relaxation. We paid our hotel for the trip and the next day a taxi rolled up to reception and took us on our way. It was only a small place with a plunge pool next to the reception desk and a few other corridors leading off to small rooms. A large Turkish lady strolled up to us and ushered us into the changing rooms to get prepared.
After squeezing into our swimwear, we were put in the sauna to roast like a turkey being prepped for a Sunday dinner! I hadn’t really anticipated how long we were going to be in there, so ended up drinking my bottle of water in 5 minutes. Time seemed to go on and on and I was getting hotter and hotter, sweat started to drip from places I didn’t know I could sweat from. A few times I thought about opening the door and leaving but I insisted on keeping my cool, even though the temperature was far from it. Then suddenly I thought that my prayers had been answered when one of the staff members opened the door and asked how we were. Everyone said they were ok so she said she’d leave us in for another 10 minutes… oh dear!
Eventually we were released back into the fresh air. I was wondering when the massage was going to take place. We were then taken into a grand tiled room. In the middle of it was a marble slab, it was enormous in size. I felt like I was in some sort of Greek bathhouse. The men and the women were taken to opposite sides of the room. My masseur asked who wanted to go first and it ended up being me who was the lucky one. I was told to sit on the marble slab, before I could catch my breath I was having hot water thrown over my head. I didn’t have chance to realise what was going on. After that I was told to lay down on the slab. I was then completely covered in bubbles before I was scrubbed within an inch of my life with a loofah mitt. This continued for a few minutes, being turned onto my front then my back then my front again. After that was over it was time for the actual Turkish massage. My masseuse would then go onto pull my arms behind my back and crack them a few times before going onto crack various other parts of my body. I wasn’t sure what was going on or whether I was enjoying it or not. All I could focus on was trying not to break a bone! In the final bit of the massage I was pushed onto the marble slab and cracked again to which my masseuse said to me “Turkish massage!”
I was then sat up and had warm water thrown over me again, which symbolised the end of my unusual massage. Luckily this particular spa also had a slightly calmer option. Afterwards I was taken from the bathhouse room to be seated on a lounge chair and offered a cup of apple tea. It had never tasted so good after going through that! I definitely felt looser but at what cost? I could only laugh about it with my mum who was sat next to me and who had watched the whole thing. Next time you’re in Turkey make sure you give the Turkish massage a try. When I say it’s an experience… oh boy it’s an experience!!