No pain, all gain with Sotai

Posted on March 3, 2011


The lovely Richard Bull made me an appointment for Sotai Therapy in KTM earlier this week. He thought it might be beneficial for my knackered knee. ‘Some swear by it’ he said so off I went in search of a random back street in Pulchowk to find a little enclave of treatment rooms off a quiet courtyard. Known as the Sotai Body Balancing Centre, the place is now run by Torakichi Akita (Tora) although it was originally set up by his father and mother a decade or so ago. It is one of its kind in Nepal.

I had never heard of Sotai previously … turns out it’s a pretty eye-opening treatment concept which has yet to hit much of the world. Sotai is essentially a traditional Japanese physical therapy that balances the body’s nervous and muscular systems. Its literal meaning is to ‘work or manipulate body alignment’ and the basic premise is that distortion in the frame is the main cause of disease.

First developed by Kaizo Hashimoto, following endless frustration at not finding cures for many illnesses using conventional medicine, Hashimoto developed this holistic technique in an effort to restore the natural body alignment while relieving stress.

We’re continually prone to stress and abnormal tension that accumulates in our bodies thanks to today’s fast-paced lifestyles. Add to this poor posture and poor breathing, and we become victim to a huge range of physical problems.

Sotai aspires to reverse these simply by allowing the body to move freely and naturally.

 The therapy professes to alleviate everything from migraines and arthritis to neck, shoulder, knee and lower back pain. Its no pain, no gain approach is a welcome change to many of today’s treatment-styles. Rather, Sotai encourages relaxed positions and gentle movement with the aim of easing over-strained muscles, not exerting them further.


Back to my experience. Once I’d changed into some giant pyjamas, Tora explained a little about the therapy. He then ran his fingers down my spine and immediately noted that my body is pretty unaligned … my right drops lower than the left (this I knew) which basically means more weight falls on my right side hence more pressure on my buckling knee.

He used a heat treatment … a sweet-smelling Korean herb which is in a block, much like Chinese ink. The heat penetrates deep down and manipulates the muscles.

Other than my knee, we got talking about some other ailments. He suggested I eat less meat as your body finds it so hard to digest. He said my body temperature is way too low … I must take warm baths, use hot water bottles and avoid air con. He told me to always try to sleep between 10am and 2pm as this is when your body is most efficient at renewing and preparing hormones for the following day. And he told me to reduce my stress levels. Not the first time the queen of multi-tasking has heard this one!

The treatment lasted a good 90 minutes and it was without doubt 90 minutes very well spent.

So if in you find yourself in KTM at any point, book yourself a session. Go for Sotai & Kai Therapy if you have an actual injury or illness and the Sotai Massage if just in need of some release from the pressures of every day life.

I know Tora will be added to my little black book for sure.

Need to Know

Tel: 5543045


Go: Jamsikhel Patan (in front of Suzuki show room & round the corner from Herman Helman’s Bakery)

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