Thusare Talking Hands is an Acupressure Therapy & Training Center where all of the masseurs are partially or fully visually impaired.
Thusare Talking Hands has a twofold objective, one, to provide a service for people who suffer from physical and mental pain caused by a stressful lifestyle and two, to provide employment opportunities for the visually impaired people by training them in Shiatsu (Acupressure). Shiatsu in Japanese means finger pressure, it is a type of alternative medicine consisting of pressure applied with the finger or the palm, stretches and other massage techniques. Shiatsu is a way to help people relax and cope with issues such as pain, stress, nausea, anxiety and depression with no side effects and medication.
Tell any old aunty that you’re going to a massage parlor and you’ll get a hearty telling off. Massage parlors are not nice places where decent people go. Yes I am at a Massage Parlor but not the type that should evoke skepticism. The masseurs who I met are Sandun, Pradeep, Kosala, Gayeshan and Vijayakumar. Their hands do the talking.
Pradeep prodded a bit here and a bit there along my shoulders and spine and neck while Ishikawa (I will introduce him later) explained to me what Pradeep was doing.
The characteristic of Shiatsu is to apply pressure using only the fingers, palms and the thumbs on points related to the central and autonomic nervous system. Shiatsu practitioners believe that their manipulations can help unblock it and so help the body heal itself. After maybe less than fifteen minutes of Pradeep’s fingers prodding and gently kneading my neck I was ready for a nap but the amazing thing was I felt really great in my shoulder to neck area where there was this gigantic age old knots and it felt good to be able to turn my neck without triggering a headache which was short of heaven.
150,000 people in Sri Lanka are supposed to be visually impaired while another 400,000 suffer from low vision (information courtesy: VISION 2020).While there are institutes which provide skill training, there is a lack of employment opportunities for the visually impaired people.
APCAS – Action for Peace, Capability and Sustainability – sought to serve this population by offering training and employment. Ishikawa Naohito from APCAS has lived in Sri Lanka for twelve years now. He organizes and facilitates Shiatsu trainings for visually impaired people and providing employment at Thusare Talking Hands.
Thusare Talking Hands offers some amazing packages for people. 1) Office Therapy 2) Special offer packages for occasions. They just introduced the corporate package where they go to offices and provide massages while you carry on with your work. For people who are working in high stress environment – this might be the ideal way to get rid of those knotty knots.
Thusare Talking Hands offers are apply to women as well as the elderly. There is a full body massage, a foot massage and the head, neck or shoulder massage. For something different, you can gift a massage for special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries. Sounds like a good deal to me. You can find their stall at the Good Market at Diyatha Uyana on Thursdays and Race Course on Saturdays.
Enough about Thusare Talking Hands already? I want to end with what Sandun said, ‘if you are willing to invest in the visually impaired community, there is nothing we cannot do… if only you would train us’. Thusare Talking Hands is open daily from 10 AM to 7 PM.