I had heard of a popular massage clinic called Seeing Hands in Kathmandu. It is run entirely by blind people. The project began as a small charity providing professional massage training to the blind. The British founders wanted to create a business which reinvests in its growth & continues to train blind therapists. It has grown into a self sufficient social enterprise run by the blind to aid the blind. A remarkable venture!
The reviews on trip advisor were exceptional & I was keen to get a massage so I called in & made an appointment for myself & a girl from my hostel. We arrived early for our appointment & sat in the busy waiting room seeing the previous clients come out from their massage relaxed & rejuvenated – I couldn’t wait to be them! When we were called into our shared massage room we undressed & lay on our treatment tables already relaxed at the prospect of our upcoming massages!
Our therapists asked us questions relating to our massage preference & any points of tension while applying oil. My therapist had a confident stroke & I melted into the table, my muscles aching for some attention. Her pressure was firm but not as strong as I would prefer & after a few requests for more pressure I relented. The hour went in too quickly & all too soon we had to leave.
We dressed & walked down the stairs as though walking on clouds of air. I love that almost sedated feeling after a good massage. The man on reception was also blind, which I only realised after I unhelpfully handed him the money without advising him how much I gave him. We paid around £12 each for our 1 hour massages. It was considered pricey for the area but I feel strongly on supporting honest commendable businesses. I hope to get another massage after trekking. I felt this one was well deserved after India & my unnecessarily lengthy 30 hours of travel to Nepal.
If you are in Kathmandu (or Pokhara, where they have another branch) I really recommending getting a massage. It is for a really good cause. The profits from the company get reinvested to train new therapists & the therapists get paid for the treatments they provide. It offers such a good opportunity for disadvantaged people to become independent in difficult circumstances. I adore this business model & the commitment they have made to make such a positive impact on lives. I have to say it wasn’t in the top 5 massages of my life, but given the circumstances they did a really impressive job. I noticed people complain about the setting as being grimy but it was fine – I’ve been to a helluva lot of worse places! If you’re in the area I think Seeing Hands* is worth a try. Enjoy!
*Sadly I have to warn you to beware of similar companies exploiting their blind therapists, set up purely for profit.