Seeing Hands – Blind Massage in Kathmandu, Nepal

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.


Ubud Massage

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Under the guise of ‘career research’ I went for my very first Balinese massage. I went to Jaen’s Spa II. A driver collected me & took me a 15 minute drive away into the more peaceful countryside. I adored being away from the bustle of the town!  The spa was idyllic with spiritual statues, a little garden & a relaxing flowing fountain.
When I arrived the lovely receptionist greeted me & offered me a drink & the massage menu. I selected my massage then picked an Ylang Ylang oil from the 3 choices. I was introduced to my therapist Leny who showed me to a seat & bathed my dusty feet. I have the most tickly feet so this was embarrassing & not very relaxing. It seemed lovely with the flower petal in the bowl & my feet were in dire need of a scrub!
Next I was shown to the treatment room. It had two treatment tables, a shower & a bath. Leny left while I got changed into the sexy paper undies & lay face down on the table. Leny came back & gave me the best massage I’ve had in a long time. Seriously, it was the top 3 o my life! The pressure & strokes were perfect & her strength was undeniable. As a massage therapist I really appreciated the treatment & enjoyed every moment. She knew exactly where to spend more time on me & when to move on. When I requested alternative pressure she reacted accordingly & it was perfect! I made mental notes of some of her moves with the intention to incorporate them during my treatments.
After my massage I felt amazing! I was offered a fruit plate & drink from the receptionist & discussed the likelihood that I would return the next day if I was staying on in Ubud. It is so pleasing to find an amazing therapist & have the opportunity to revisit them. I highly recommend Leny especially if you enjoy a deep massage. She is very skilled & responsive to preferences – which I really value in a therapist.
Thanks again Leny! You are amazing!

My 8 secrets for a cringe free massage

My office

My office

I work in the field of Sports Rehabilitation & massage, normally high end massages in luxury ski resorts or on the other end of the spectrum with sports teams. Looking forward to the upcoming ski season got me thinking about this & what may be some valuable insider information & words of advice for massage therapists everywhere.

Some of the chatter amongst my colleagues circles around when male clients get erections during treatments. I find this massively inappropriate, although hilarious because it is not happening to me of course. It has never happened to me. This situation has happened to my friends many times. Never me. Should I be offended?? I have a 0% erection record & I am determined to maintain this. I started calculating how many massages I have done & dreading that via the law of probability I had one approaching imminently.

I have thus constructed guidelines that I have been living by so I can avoid this situation. These are my tips for when doing massages in a client’s home/chalet. If you work in a spa or with a team you will also be able to adapt & implement some of the tips.

1>Always look sweaty, out of breath & flustered – made believable as you have had to haul your treatment table & kit in the snow for a 20 minute incline whilst more than likely lost & late. This is the client’s first impression of you so it should make a lasting mark. Out of breath panting could be added in a strictly non sexual manner.

2>Exude a simple innocence. A great opportunity to do this is when taking your shoes off. Try to do this when you’re still carrying your treatment table & kit bag. This will look exceptionally awkward & you will inevitably stumble over. This acts to remove any sexual inclination the client may have towards you.

3> Smile. It’s always great to smile. There is no need to be rude to the client. This also discards the mysterious air that men find attractive in moody cows.

4> Be a bit of a mess. This will lower the client’s expectations of you from your initial poor impression digging further the hole of unattractiveness that you want to be consumed by. It’s always helpful to set up your treatment table in a tiny box room, making it physically more difficult will aid in making you look like a hot mess. An unattractive hot mess. While you’re at it why not move the furniture, try to locate plugs & mess around with plug adaptors for your electric blanket.

5> Require pity. When calling the client to commence the massage be sure to look apologetic for your entrance & how long it took you to set up – despite it being a humanely commendable duration to do everything. By mentioning that it took you a long time the client will consider it to have been long & think even less of you. He may doubt your capabilities as a massage therapist, which is a risk. You should easily be able to redeem yourself via your treatment. This lingering sense of disappointment will abolish any sexual tendencies the client may have towards you.

6> The treatment. Carry out an excellent treatment as always. Never compromise on quality, your skills & professional reputation.

7> Chin alignment. At all times keep your head tilted downwards creating a multi chin effect. From the angle your client is at this will be wildly exaggerated & no man or beast would contemplate a sexual encounter with the likes of you.

8> Facial expression. This is your gift to freestyle with. Think unsexy & repulsive. Be as natural as you can with this. It is surprisingly simple to master these looks. In some cases this may actually be your neutral facial expression! So simple! They are highly successful in discouraging an erection.

I hope these tips help you to avoid those those flag pole moments. I can’t imagine the horror in having to deal with this situation – if you have experienced it, please comment & if you have any tips to add please share them.

Battered, bruised & a fully fledged Thai Massage Therapist!

After 2 weeks of intense training I am a Thai Massage Therapist!

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My body has taken a beating from being practiced on, poked, prodded, jabbed & stretched. It is astonishingly exhausting getting a 3 hour Thai massage every day!


I researched a lot of massage schools & Baan Hom Samunphrai Herbal Health Centre & School seemed ideal for what I wanted. It is a gorgeous hidden gem some 20 mins from Chiang Mai old town. It is a charming, rustic, peaceful retreat. They offer overnight stays to extended stays spanning months as well as an array of training courses from Thai Massage, Reflexology, womb lifting, acupressure & herbal workshops. I opted for the 80hr live in Thai Massage course (26,200baht/£510) to add another string to my Sports Rehabilitation bow.

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A typical day starts at 7am with Rasidaton (chanting, paying respect & Thai yoga). Breakfast is served 8am – 9am & at 9am we start training. We generally get taught a massage sequence & practice on each other with help from Homprang & her assistants. We train from 9am – 4pm with a 1 hour lunch break at 12pm. We are encouraged to practice in the evening again but we are all normally too tired to….

I found the course quite tough as there was a lot to remember: the sequence, my exact hand position, foot position & posture, the pressure I have to apply etc. When we would practice a new part of the routine it seemed daunting but it all came together & I was confident & happy by the last few days of the course.


We spent a day making herbal compresses & doing herbal compress massage with them. I really loved this & it’s not something I would ever have opted for previously. Compared to the strong & stretchy Thai massage that I had been getting daily the herbal compress was a hot, soothing delight! I will definitely go for a herbal compress massage in the future!

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I’m sure many interesting characters have graced this place in search for relaxation, peace & solace. They have many returning guests which is a testament to their hospitality. Everyone on the course I took part in felt that they would return at some point, myself included!


The meals are delicious traditional home cooked Thai dishes. To be honest, I didn’t know exactly what I was eating half the time although that didn’t stop me from tucking in! On the subject of food I am sadly being feasted upon by mosquitos. I am convinced I will contract Dengue fever. They just can’t get enough of this exotic treat. If I knew bug language I would post signs on my legs saying ‘These are not beautiful white lilies, they are private fleshy property’. I am permanently slathered in Tiger Balm. I am in a world of visually disturbing, itchy pain.

I have gorgeous pics I will upload in a few days – not of my legs 🙂


Farewell to yachting??


I’ve had a season of highs and lows.

I HATE starting new jobs & being relatively useless when I start. Surprising considering how often I inflict new jobs into my life.

Super yachting has been a judgemental time for me full of tellings off, disapproval and feeling like I’m not making a positive impact or being fully appreciated. I am a notorious approval and appreciation seeker. I want it. In buckets. I can’t give myself pats on the back, I’m self depreciating Irish through & through – I need everyone else to pat my back!

I have loved the insight into the industry: the glamour, the lifestyle, the back stage effort that goes into showtime, the people, the sights. I have cheered dolphins riding the bow, I have had a starlit bbq at anchor by an active volcano, I have basked in the glamour of chic celeb haunts and relished the seclusion in the middle of the sea. I have cherished the sunsets, sunrises, new people I have met & all the beautiful places we have been.

No regrets. The bad times melt away as always and I am left with wonderful memories and experiences to treasure for my lifetime.

It’s time for me to go home and reunite with my family & friends & to become a recognisable relative to my niece and nephews.


Bitches be yachting

I’ve made it to a shipyard in Italy to join my very first super yacht – on sticks. Trust me to meet my first yacht on a dry dock. Super yachting is a completely new industry to me.

Upon arrival to the yacht I instantly knew it would be a mostly vertical learning curve. The standards are so high in everything we do. The volume of things to learn and remember to do is a bit daunting, never mind everything associated with the marine aspect. I want to regress to my 2 year old sponge like mind self so I can fully absorb all this new information!

I think I will find it difficult to cope with the restrictive confines of working and living in such close proximity to my colleagues. Already I think it will be suffocating – and I am a positive and optimistic being! Not being able to get away from negative personalities will be tough for me. I am exceptionally skilled at getting far away from anyone with a negative attitude who could drag me down.

Here goes anyway. I’m throwing myself into a new experience. Bring on yachting!