Jun 17 2013
An offshoot of long established social enterprise Just Massage, Ms Dzung’s Massage employs blind and partially-sighted staff and offers quality massages in a calming environment at good prices in Hanoi.
Just Massage closed in 2012 (it has now re-opened — see below) so Ms Dzung, a skilled blind masseuse and trainer, decided to set up her own massage studio, taking some of the other Just Massage staff with her. Her studio is located in Tay Ho district, not far from Just Massage, but in a more pleasant spot overlooking West Lake. It occupies a few rooms above Alexan Cafe so to get there you need to walk through the cafe and up the stairs at the back.
After swapping your shoes for bamboo-soled flip flops you will be invited to take a seat in the waiting area and be served ginger tea – available for sale and highly recommended – while you peruse the treatment list. It’s short and easy to digest: aromatherapy, Swedish, hot stone, shiatsu or foot massage. Swedish and shiatsu are available for a minimum of 30 minutes while the others are 60 minutes or more. Two massages suitable for pregnancy and a facial treatment, using ingredients from Sapa, are also available.
The massage room has five beds, divided by curtains. Large floor mats are usually used for the shiatsu — you’ll be provided with baggy pyjamas to change into — and beds with face holes are available for the other treatments. Cubicles are cosy but just about big enough to change; they are very clean pleasantly decked out in neutral colours. The same music is on a continual loop — classic piano and pipe massage music – but it makes falling asleep perfectly feasible.
All the masseuses are blind or partially sighted and have been well trained; they know what they’re doing and have been taught the same, necessary, English phrases: you will be asked if there’s anywhere they should focus and if the pressure is suited to you. You’ll also be told when it’s finished, but you’ll probably work that one out.
I’ve not yet tried all the massages but can vouch for the shiatsu – that perfect blend of pleasure and pain – and the Swedish. Prices are very reasonable, starting at 150,000 VND for a 30-minute massage, with 60 minutes at 250,000VND for the basic treatments.
Although Miss Dzung’s is not particularly busy it’s advisable to book in advance nonetheless, particularly for a big group or at the weekend.
Just Massage was closed for a while but has now re-opened in its original location. However, our limited experience of the new place suggests it’s not quite up to the same standard, at least for now — the massage is still good but the environment less appealing. It appears that Ms Dzung’s took the furnishings when Just Massage closed and the new decor is less warm and space more cramped. However, it’s still for a good cause and offers the same treatments at the same prices as Ms Dzung’s.
Ms Dzung’s Massage
68 Quang An Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
T: (04) 6671 2249
237 Au Co, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
T: (04) 3718 2737 / (01677) 289 945
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