Indonesians love massage [not all Indonesians though], that it might need to be included in our basic needs along with the food, shelter and clothing. The country itself is a heaven for massage proven by the massage parlors that spreading around the cities and house call massage that available 24/7 at an affordable price. The parlors offer different range of massages, from traditional to weird (like snake body massage). They also offer the happy-ending massage (we call them massage plus plus), but in my opinion, all massage should be called happy ending, if it not making the patron happy, then the do not bother to pay.
For Indonesians, massage must be introduced at tender age. A visit to Dukun Pijat Bayi (massage therapist for baby), for the first massage, could take place when the baby is only few days old. There is a belief that the younger babies introduced to massage, the bigger the chance to love it.
Massage is not only for relaxation, but also belief to be the remedy for any illness. Stroke, broken bone and cancer are only few illnesses than can be cure by massage therapist. People who are ill believe that massage works better than the doctor. Not to mention that the fee of the therapist is less expensive than the medical doctor.
Massage also helps women to conceive. The massage therapist who is specialized on pregnancy focuses to move the position of the womb to be closer with the vagina and allow the sperm to run a shorter track. I know this might not be so logical for doctor. In my opinion, massage is not the only thing that woman needs; she also needs to practice, practice and practice and at the same time the man has to ensure the quality of his sperm.
Women are not the only one benefited from massage because it is beneficial for men and their ‘best buddy’. Mak Erot (Mrs. Erot) was once praised for her help to enlarge man most vital part, not the brain, but their manhood. What I learned from Google, she massaged the penis and like magic, it grew bigger. Mak Erot passed away few years ago. Her departure, I am sure, regretted by a lot of men who did not have the chance to enjoy her magical hands.
Most of Dukun Pijat Bayi, if not all, are not certified therapists. They got their massage skills from the other therapist or from their parents. There are also Dukun Pijat Tiban, which got the ability to massage from the ‘sky’; the ability falls from the sky. Hence the name tiban (Javanese. Something that falls from somewhere; out of the blue). We should all be grateful that Indonesia only have Dukun Tiban and do not have Doctor Tiban, nor President Tiban.
People also attend courses to be a massage therapist; some of them are people with visual impairments. Despite the fact that people with visual impairment can do almost everything, Indonesian educational system underestimated and prevented them to study other subjects. Thankfully, things are changing now.
The weirdest massage in my life happened years ago when I had a back pain. I was recommended to have a massage session with an old lady who, according to what people say, has special power. I followed their suggestion and ended with a regret. The lady spitted on my back without my consent. The spittle, for sure, did not relieve me for any back pain but I do believe she has power. She made me pay, 5 dollars, for the awful service, that’s how powerful she is.
Massage is our basic need. If one could not afford it then one can seek help from other. So do not be surprised if you see a person massaging someone else’s shoulder at the parking lot. They are just fulfilling their basic need!