Meridians Tissue Manipulation at Hygeia TCM Wellness

I won’t pretend to understand what Meridians Tissue Manipulation (MTM) really is so here’s a copy and paste from the website:

Drawing upon the ancient knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine, our signature Meridians Tissue Manipulation (MTM) Therapy is based on the philosophy that our external appearance is influenced by our internal health. MTM Therapy is a form of remedial massage that uses buffalo horn tools to enable the therapist to go deeper to unlock knots in your muscles, providing more effective relief for chronic pain, muscle stiffness and fibromyalgia. As our MTM Therapy works directly on your meridians (the channels in your body through which the life-energy known as qi flows), it is also able to relieve symptoms associated with meridian blockages such as weight gain, water retention, etc.

And from my own research (aka Google), benefits from regular massage include enhanced circulation, relief from pain (including headaches), better recovery from intense sports training and competition, and better sleep and relaxation.

Benefits from energy sessions include a deeper relaxation experience, and these sessions have a calming influence on the mind allowing you to be aware of your breath and energy. These sessions can address insomnia, anxiety attacks, chronic tension, and recovery from traumatic injury or medical treatments.

The wellness centre which coincidentally is only one MRT stop away from where I stay, has a homey and welcoming interior. There’s a dispenser of ionizing water, and several machines meant to balance your inner energy.

While I was offered the MTM Back Therapy, the centre has 6 different other therapies, each targeted to a specific problem:

  1. MTM Eye Therapy: Helps to refresh your peepers and reduce dark circles and eye bags.
  2. MTM Face Therapy: Firms saggy skin, reduces wrinkles, contours face shape, and eases headaches and migraines.
  3. MTM Back Therapy: Alleviates upper and lower backaches and consequently, improves complexion.
  4. MTM Buttocks Therapy: Helps to alleviate sciatic problems such as lower back and buttock pain, numbness in the legs and feet, as well as constipation and bladder-related issues. It even provides a lifting effect on the buttocks.
  5. MTM Arm, Chest & Shoulder Therapy: Eases stiff neck, frozen shoulder, and tightness in the chest area while firming up the bust and flabby arms.
  6. MTM Tummy Therapy: Reduces bloatedness, improves digestion, helps with menopausal issues, and ultimately, shapes the waist and enhances complexion.
  7. MTM Leg Therapy: Reduces cellulite, firms saggy flesh, alleviates water retention, and improves the appearance of varicose veins.

I also filled in a survey before my session so that my therapist could understand and align the treatment to my needs. They surprised me by knowing exactly what other problems I had by just looking at the survey I filled in though. Based on my insomnia, various aches and cramps and myriad problems of an aging (and lazy) body, they could tell that I have weak stamina and irregular flows. Never doubt the power of TCM – they know EVERYTHING.

And according to them – my body is utterly fucked and needed a complete overhaul. #sadface

Getting nekkid in a cozy room and stuffing my feet into a warm air blaster!

Oh yeah before I forget, my treatment was done with the Meditrina Ageless Herbal Cream (which I love and have blogged about here and am still using) and the Moxa Pain Relief Essence (which I also love but have not blogged about but probably will sometime soon and am still using).

A variety of tools were also used during the massage. One of the more prominent one was a buffalo horn, or 牛角 in Chinese. The accupoint stick has been used for pressure point massage for a long time now.

But anyway, if you think they look like torture tools, you’re not far off. Read on to enjoy my pain if you’re sadistic.

PS: The following pictures may disturb some delicate people. They’re unedited and grainy so I can show the true colours, they look scarily red and abusive, one of them has holes in it, and most of them show a half naked fat chick. You’ve been warned.

The session started off really nicely. My therapist used the Moxa Pain Relief Essence on the tight knots in my body – namely the shoulders and lower back. I won’t explain the effects now if not I won’t have anything to blog about in the review but let’s just say it was one of the nicest parts of the massage.

Oh, and here’s a piece of info for you: I’ve heard that the best therapist from the entire group of MTM specialists was the one who worked on me. Personally, I thought she was really really good so do look for her if you’re going for a session. Her name is Grace, and a special discount code for my readers is at the end of this post.

The brand person and Grace both were anticipating me yelling in pain at this point. While it was no walk in the park getting scraped by a bull horn on the scalp, I quite enjoyed it and didn’t think it was beyond my pain tolerance. Most likely, I’m thickheaded but I’ve always loved head massages.

There were a few spots near the temples which brought on an instant migraine which lasted the entire hour though. And a mole I have was rubbed raw so do tell your therapist if you have funny growths in your head so she can take special precautions. Weirdly, I had some mild dandruff for about 3 days after my session but then again, I always has a problem with dry scalp.

This is where the fun begins…

I was already nursing a headache and the buffalo horn twanging the tendon at that spot didn’t help any. The right side did feel good once Grace stopped pummeling and moved over to the left though. Through self admission and survey diagnosis, I’m a very tense person 24/7 and it makes me clench my back teeth unnecessarily so I always have some tightness at the neck/jaw area.

And then we move on to the most tightly wound up area on my body – the right shoulder. You’ll get to see a bruise at that spot in the following pictures…. but that’s still not the most painful part of my massage.

My therapist waged war on the concrete block pretending to be my shoulder and exclaimed several times that she wasn’t sure how I was still mobile with such tense muscles. And for something so hard and unpliable, I felt every prod and poke against my unwilling flesh.

It was as if my body and I had become two separate entities, and my shoulder (against my wishes) erected the goddamn Wall of China against the invading buffalo horn. All I could do was lie there and breathe and thank Youtube for those weird times it led me to labour breathing videos to cope with pains. At one point I wasn’t sure if I was giving birth or having a massage. I was half expecting to hear a baby’s wail as the pain in my shoulder stopped. And then Grace moved to the other shoulder. I now know that I will never give birth naturally to twins in this life.

Eventually, my (the?) shoulders lost the battle. They were battered into submission and lay quietly exhausted. I think I might have grown wings for a moment or two – I haven’t felt them so free in years. Like a gigantic burden off my… shoulders, for lack of better words.

PS: She went back to my shoulder at the end of my session to scare them into indefinite submission by the way. They’re still behaving quite well today.

After which was lots of scraping for my back which looks painful but really isn’t. I had to deal with tickling more than anything else since I’m highly sensitive around the waist area.

To anyone outside my room, they would have thought we were watching a comedy or were throwing a party. Bony or thin skinned people might hurt from this though. The friction’s quite intense and the pressure applied presses your skin and muscle against your bones.

Because of all these rubbing and scraping, you’re highly recommended to have a body scrub/exfoliation of the area the day before your massage. The brand folks told me that it could get quite scary seeing the amount of dead skin cells sloughed off you. Not to mention embarrassing and unhygienic too.

# Holey picture ahead, trypophobic people skip this image please #

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I can’t really remember what sort of deficiency in my body causes this but apparently its not normal for anyone’s skin to remain so depressed. I vaguely recall something like the imbalance of energy and surplus of water that makes me have this creepy reaction.

And according to whoever could see my back since I obviously couldn’t, I was excreting moisture from my crater-like pores. I always knew I was poisonous. Rawr.

Half my back done and I was still alive, conscious and joking around. I won’t talk about the right back since it wasn’t any different from the left. My photog left the room from here on so you’ll have to make do with descriptive text.

There was more tickling as the long hard thing went into very sensitive areas (hahaha) but I surprised myself by tolerating and holding in my natural response to punch people who tickle me. I didn’t fancy the arm massage – made my fingers twitch in a funny way nor the hand massage – gave me cuticle problems but they were fine.

The problem came when it came to my butt.

I’ve always like butt massages as well but never had experienced pressure pointing in that area. (Oh please, joking about a long hard thing poking at my backside is too obvious.) I already knew that the Achilles heel on my body is strangely the muscle in my gluteus maximus but I seriously threw up a little when Grace suddenly and unexpectedly applied the buffalo horn to my butt cheek.

Call me a pussy but I called for a timeout then. I was hyperventilating a little and needed a few moments to get back to normal. When I was breathing normally again, I did caution my therapist to go easy on that area but since I had shown an impressive amount of pain reception throughout, I guess she thought I could take it. Well, I couldn’t.

I fainted.

Only for a couple of seconds but I think I seriously scared her when my entire body went lax and unresponsive. We figured out later that it was a fall on my backside a few months ago that likely led to this sensitivity and overreaction. Everything was smooth sailing from there on.

Wow, I never knew I looked fat from behind.

The redness and swelling worsened by the next day but it looks worse than it really feels. I had some bruising on my biceps, the right shoulder, my knuckles and butt cheeks but they weren’t dark purplish pigmentation that garnered attention.

All my bruises faded away in less than 5 days.

I was brought to a nice area to wash up a little, fix my hair and makeup after the entire 1 hour session. My body felt strangely light and airy but yet the skin on my back was tingly and prickly.

As I discovered later that evening, I made the right choice to not wear a bra cos my back was so swollen that I would have fit into a 38 instead of a 32.

One thing to note here though – this outlet doesn’t have shower facilities so clean up well before you exit the treatment room.

# Another trypophobic picture coming up #

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I suddenly turned into an orange. I just thought that this picture was weird enough to share, so there. I don’t know when my pores closed cos I can’t see behind me =.=

On the contrary, I felt more refreshed and lively after a session with enough pain to deplete my energy which makes me believe than MTM really does rebalance your body to keep it running at its optimal peak performance.

Although I enjoyed the full benefits for about a fortnight and am still having a less tense back now from a short 1 hour session, I might not voluntarily submit myself to this until the muscle in my ass heals.

You should go try this out especially if you, like every other Singaporean, is bogged down by stress though. An hour’s massage costs $159 but you could try out the first session at an introductory price of only $78!

And if you’re hooked, use my discount code ViviMTM10% for 10% off services.

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Hygeia TCM Wellness Pte Ltd

Add: No 5, Tampines Central 6, #01-01, Telepark (S529482)

Tel: 6260 5575

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