Nigerian Men Need Massage Therapy More, Says Beauty Therapist – THISDAY Newspapers

By Vanessa Obioha
In a busy metropolis like Lagos, creating time to relax can be hectic. The long hours of traffic and other time-consuming projects can stiffen one’s muscles and affect mental health. The toll of such activities is often pronounced in men as surveyed by beauty therapist, Christiana Ngala.
According to her, men generally go through stress. This does not mean that women don’t equally experience stress but for men, relaxation can be a tough call as they are always on the go.
“A lot of men go through stress. Sitting down in traffic for a long time especially those that are always working in offices, work far from home, or not staying with their families. They are alone. Women, on the other hand, can easily have a companion. Even when their husbands are not around, they can easily go to a hair salon and feel happy,” Ngala said.
To be sure, both genders need massage therapy. At her beauty spa, Ninna Bella, in Ikeja where she offers beauty treatment as well as massage, she is mostly patronised by men for massage therapy. Women, on the other hand, are often dissuaded by the cost of massage therapy which in her view is affordable.
Body massage, she said, is very important to every human being, adding:
“It helps blood regulation, releases tension, and decreases high blood pressure and sugar levels.”
However, the job of a masseuse can be risky. The perception by most people is that their job is similar to prostitution. Ngala debunked that myth saying:
“People look down on massage therapists. They feel we are doing rubbish. That’s false. It’s a mindset. Over the time I have been doing this business, I see people with such mindsets. But outside the country, we are appreciated. We are even applauded.”
She has been harassed once by a customer during massage therapy. She politely told him that her services do not include ‘happy ending’, a term for sex after massage.
Sexual harassment by clients, she said, is not only peculiar to masseuses, masseurs equally experience it. Having spent six years in the business, with branches in Lekki and Abuja, Ngala has learnt how to handle situations that disrespects her profession.
To discourage future attempts, she always clarifies the services rendered and educates her staff on the need to be professional in their work while reporting any abusive behaviour by clients.
“We need to be seen as professionals. Our services need to be treated with respect. If that mind shift occurs, perhaps, clients will stop sexually harassing us,” she said.

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