Traditional Chinese massage

idiot abroad is a show that I currently follow which I believe portrays several miscommunications when it comes to traveling.  An episode which clearly depicts a lack of understanding is when the idiot abroad (Karl Pilkington) visits China.  The scene that I found quite entertaining is when Karl has an appointment with a massage therapist to receive a traditional Chinese massage.  Expecting the European treatment of being seated in a massage bed with scented oils and candles, Karl is actually “relaxed” with flaming oils and cloths. While he is being patted and smothered down with flaming cloths Karl cannot become frantic and twitchy.  From receiving this version of a massage Karl has received quite the opposite of what he initially thought he would be experiencing.  The denotation that exists is depicted in Karl’s definition of what a massage is and how it is performed which varies from what a traditional Chinese massage is and how it is presented.  This scene acts as perfect miscommunications between two different cultures and how expectations are when traveling may not always match the believed outcome


One thought on “Traditional Chinese massage

  1. I think massages are done very differently in every culture and country. This reminds me of a personal experience because when I was in Vietnam I had a massage at my hotel. The masseuse jumped on my back and did all these crazy moves and started cracking my neck. I love massages, but this was too much for me. I freaked out on her because I thought it was unsafe, hurt and was not relaxing, I was terrified. I believe the discourse on this subject is safety in different countries. We are taught that that kind of behaviors is unprofessional and is unsafe. My sister is a masseuse and she told me that in Canada they are not allowed to do that because it may result in breaking or spraining of the neck and back. To someone that was born from Vietnam, like my father, love this kind of massage style. My dad actually hates getting massages in Canada because he thinks that it doesn’t feel like anything or it’s not really helping the muscles. He believes that the masseuse should be doing putting lots of pressure on the muscles, jumping on the back and cracking the neck is necessary. Now I’ve learned that when I’m in Vietnam and I want to go for a massage, I have to inform the masseuse that I don’t want the breaking of the neck and no jumping on my back.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s