GEORGE TOWN, April 3 (Bernama) -- Masseurs normally perform their task using their hands, be it for traditional or Thai massage, but a non-governmental organisation in Penang, known as World Public Welfare Association, is offering a new kind of massage at Occupy Beach Street here, the knife massage.
A volunteer of the organisation, Ong Chong Jin, 64, said knife massage or knife therapy originates from China and he learns the art in Taiwan in 2010.
"It is a technique from China, very traditional. It existed even during the World War. Somehow it just break off, get lost and practised again in recent years in Japan.
"So the Taiwanese go to Japan and learn, and we learn from Taiwan. Taiwan officially recognises this massage as a technique. The difference between hand and knife massage is the knife is hard, sharp and it can absorb whatever force we apply deep into your body," he told Bernama.
Ong, who has been providing the service every Sunday from 8 am to noon since 2015, said he and seven other volunteers of the association also learned the art of massaging with two knives at a time.
The knives are not sharp and suitable for back, shoulder, head and leg massage, he added.
The knife-massage at Ong’s shop is carried out by 20 members of the association, who take turn to operate the business.
According to Ong, the volunteers include engineers and marketing managers who work part-time as masseurs.
“Part of the payment received from customers is channeled to the association and the remaining for our operation,” he said, adding that the customers were charged between RM13 and RM88 for a massage of between 10 minutes and one hour.
He said they are providing the service as an alternative for the public and the response has been good, with them getting between 20 and 30 customers a day.
“Initially, they are afraid because they thought the knife is sharp. We show them how it is done and let them try for 10 minutes. Most of them find the knife massage very relaxing and able to release the pain in certain area of the body," he added.
Besides the shop in Lebuh Acheh, Ong also has another shop that offers knife massage in Sungai Petani, Kedah, and it is opened every day.