MASSAGE parlours are a dime a dozen in Malaysia, with most touting to offer relaxation or stress-relief massages.
The newly-opened Tim Bodycare Training Centre (TBTC) in Petaling Jaya aims to provide something a bit more unique. Proprietor Tim Low Chee Kiat offers sports massage in addition to Thai and Swedish massage at this place that can serve up to 35 clients daily.
Open seven days a week, TBTC is a place where you can seek relief for muscle soreness after a round of golf, or a gruelling game of tennis.
A graduate in information technology from Australias Murdoch University, Low said that he found his true calling as a masseur as he wanted to help people. I had worked in a few places which paid well, but it was something not of my own choice, but of my parents.
And so, not too long after working in the corporate sector, Low went to Bangkoks famous Wat Po School of traditional medicine to learn Thai massage. In December 1996, he completed all basic, advanced and trainer classes offered there, and reaudited the courses in 1999 to keep up with the latest in Thai massage. And somewhere along the way, he picked up Swedish massage skills.
Low is now an accredited trainer for the art of massage under the Human Resource Ministrys National Vocational Training Council (MLVK) scheme, and takes his job seriously.
TBTCs specialty is that it also offers people a chance to learn massage, in addition to receiving them. The cost of learning Thai or Swedish massage in a group setting will be RM500, while private classes will be at RM700. Advanced classes for those wishing to learn about massage for the aged, or even sports massage (which is based on Swedish massage) itself, will cost RM1,200 and upwards.
Some of TBTCs corporate clients are the Pan Pacific Hotel, the Nexus Karambunai Resort, Le Spa, Senjaka Man Spa, The Body Shop, Sweat Club as well as the Bangi Golf Resort.
Low, 30, claims to have produced 430 graduates from the basic massage curriculum, though only 12% opted to learn sports massage after their basic training.
Most people learn massage because they want to improve their knowledge about body care, improving marital relations in the case of married couples, to earn extra income, or just to make friends. Giving a massage is a good way to demonstrate love to parents, children and family members.
On TBTC, Low said that it was also set up to provide an avenue for those who are serious about being a full time masseur/masseuse to make a living, as well as to offer continuous training.
Yes, people tend to have a low opinion of massage centres, and this is caused by some spas in KL that offer other services. However, if you do it properly and professionally, it is a good career choice.
At TBTC, services of a masseuse costs RM75 per hour, while a masseur costs RM60.
The reason behind the disparity? A shortage of masseuses.
Most of those who sign up to learn the art are males, while walk-in customers (who tend to be male) normally prefer masseuses instead of masseurs, said Low, who assured that with seven private rooms, ladies could also venture in without any fear of loss of privacy.
TBTC is located at 2 (first floor), Jalan 8/1E, off Jalan Barat, Petaling Jaya, TBTC is open from 11am to 11pm daily. For details, call 03-7960-6800.
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