Getting a Knife Massage in Taipei

Knife Massage Taipei

So I was walking back to my hostel in the underground shopping mall at Taipei’s Main Station and just when I was about to climb the stairs at Exit Y13 something curious caught my eye. Were those people really being hit with butcher knives?

Knife Massage Taipei - Interest

My interest is piqued!

Seeing my surprise, and perhaps a look of utter horror, a man came out to me, smiled and spoke to me in Mandarin. I can’t be sure of what he said but he showed me that the blades were not sharp and then proceeded to do a little demonstration on my back. To my surprise it felt really good, especially after spending the day hiking up Elephant Mountain.

So the next thing I knew a price list was shown to me and, my curiosity getting the better of me, I signed up for 30 minutes.

It began like a normal massage…

The masseuse handed me a cup of water and asked me to remove everything from my pockets and to place my belongings in the basket below the familiar massage table that had a hole for the head on one end.

Knife Massage Taipei - Bed

Getting comfortable…

The woman began by massaging peppermint oil on the back of my neck and on my lower back and then draped a large yellow cloth over me. She started massaging me (with her hands) all over, beginning with my back, and then arms and then legs and the feet.

Then came the knives!!!

I could hear them clanking together before I could feel them. She began pounding my upper back with them, alternating them like a skilled master chef. Even though I wasn’t being cut by them, it was hard to get the image out of my head that I was being chopped with two large butcher knives. She moved down my back to my butt and to my arms…

Knife Massage Taipei - Ligeia

Let the chopping begin!

Ouch! That hurts!

The masseuse continued chopping me on my upper legs and then reached my calves and it was very painful, no doubt due to the amount of stairs I had climbed that day. Thinking it might be a “good pain”, I tried to breathe through it and let the knives do their job.

Oh my god, is she going to chop my head too?

She moved on to my feet and that was heavenly for my aching soles. But then I felt a cloth being draped over my head. She wasn’t planning to chop my head, was she? And then came the knives straight to the back of my head, which, as soon as I managed to get the image of her chopping my head right off out of my head, felt incredibly good. In fact, it became my favorite part of the entire experience.

Knife Massage Taipei - Ligeia and Massuese

Thumbs up to the masseuse!

She slapped me!

Pretty soon, I heard a timer and the knives got put away. The woman massaged me some more like a cool down. Finally, she started slapping me all over my body as if tenderizing me. And with one final slap I knew the massage was over. I drank a little tea, paid my money and left having had a new experience.

Have you ever received a knife massage?  Would you try it?

15 thoughts on “Getting a Knife Massage in Taipei

  1. Klaaske Compas

    The way you tell this story is hilarious, I can picture you in my mind. Lying there and waiting for the final blow. Hope your hikingpains were gone?

    1. Bounding Over Our Steps

      Hi Klaaske! 🙂
      It was definitely an experience! And,thankfully, it really did help my hiking pains, plus it seemed to help the headache I had. Who knew that getting blows to the back of the head would cure a migraine. hahaha 🙂

  2. Allen

    I once had a massage in Taipei, quite good, but what stood out was that the masseuse was blind. It seems that that is a widespread career direction for blind women in Taiwan. Knives were never offered.


    1. Bounding Over Our Steps

      Hi Allen,
      There were blind person massages offered right in Taipei’s Main station too. I never tried one though. Every time I passed by them, every chair was always full. Perhaps I’ll try it next time. 🙂

  3. Diana Edelman

    Mindy was telling me about this last week and it made me so envious! I LOVE my massages and this sounds like such a cool experience. I would actually go to Taiwan just to do this!!

    1. Bounding Over Our Steps

      Taipei has become one of my favorite cities. There is a great transit system and the city seems full of neat experiences. So much to try and the knife massage was one of the most unique…at least that I discovered during my visit. Who knows what else it out there! 🙂

    1. Bounding Over Our Steps

      Ouch indeed! Did it at least feel good afterwards? Next time, try the knife massage instead. 🙂 And if you want to experience a massage where they put you in all kinds of strange positions, come to Thailand. I never knew I could bend like a pretzel.

  4. Mo Orr

    And the Bravery Award goes to …. drum roll …. Ligeia! Holy moly, knives? I’m laughing and crying at the same time. I’ve had the tenderising slaps but never knives. I love how you embrace new experiences, and share them with us.

  5. Alex

    I actually just wrote a guest post on Go See Write about how I’m a spa addict and all the unique spa experiences I’ve had around the world but I’ve got to admit… I might have to pass the crown to you guys. Seriously impressive!

  6. Steven

    This is something I don’t even know about that knife massage exists. Thanks for sharing this unknown fact about massage exercise.

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