How good do you feel after getting a massage? Well, what if I told you there is a growing trend in the massage industry that is leaving customers feeling twice as good?
I recently spent some time in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. It was there that I first learned about blind massages. In Asia there is a large population of people with seeing disabilities, including more than eight million in China alone. Because of their disability, finding work is challenging. Many find themselves living on the streets and earning a living through panhandling. But thanks to an initiative started by the Association for the Blind, specialty schools now train the seeing-impaired in massage therapy. The perfect occupation for someone not used to relying on vision. In fact, only blind and visually impaired people can become licensed masseurs in South Korea (because they feel it is the only occupation for people with this handicap, and who otherwise would have little alternative to guarantee earnings). The training is intense, and students must successfully graduate before getting hired. Understandably, the sensation of touch for a blind person is extremely acute and gives blind masseurs an added dimension to their massage skills. The blind massage trend is catching on, and various spas across the United States are now offering similar services. Talk about a happy ending.
Lisa Costantini is a writer/editor currently traveling the world with her husband working on a project about sport and culture. More information can be found on their website at www.whysportmatters.com. Lisa will be blogging from the road for us as she and her husband travel through Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe over the next several months.
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