KERATAN 'pena'

          News Sunday Times 4 December 2005
by Rozi (NST)

FOR some reason, my editor chose my 40th birthday to speak with me about feminine health and beautification regimes.
“Precisely what?” I asked.
“Like, I hear there are ways to rejuvenate the vagina?" He said.
And so it is that I came to speak with Mak Tea, a traditional midwife in her mid-60s based in Sg Petani, Kedah, who sagely offered : “Real beauty is life-affirming”.
She’s talking about the inner beauty that radiates from a serene heart, right?
Make-up, skin care and exercise regimes?
It is pelvic health – the condition of your pelvis and its organs, including the uterus – that determines your overall disposition and beauty, she said.
“Seri muka”’ or radiance of the face, emanates from a healthy pelvic region, which is why post-natal care is most vital, Mak Tea stressed.
To her horror, I recounted that I had Coke and durian three weeks after delivering my eldest child 10 years ago, which turned out to be a prelude to two taboo-free confinement periods as well.
And no, I did not abstain – not at all – from indulging in “womb-impairing” food, the worst being cucumber, apparently.
Eat that and it will expand the vagina and make it watery, Mak Tea said.
But if you’ve had three Caesareans (no, I’m not in the “too-posh-to-push” club) and is none too observant when it comes to taboos, all is not lost.
For a start, you may want to try some “Virgin Therapy” (Terapi Dara), which is provided by Nor of dWi d’Beaute in Ukay Perdana, Selangor. It is reputedly the toast of many a ladies’ mid-afternoon soiree.
It’s an intensive treatment, requiring a two-hour session for three consecutive days or, if your “condition” not too dire, maybe once a week for three weeks.
Nor has a serene demeanor, which definitely helps when it comes to confiding in her things of a private nature.
Still, even the most reticent can take heart. The woman seems to have psychic power.
She begins therapy with a “scan” of the client to detect diseases or problems of the supernatural kind.
This is to reveal one’s general state of health, flow and cycle of menstruation, pelvic condition, and even libido level. She could certainly tell, and quite accurately too, more than what you are willing to divulge.
Superstition and trickery or not, she herself stressed that she is not a bomoh (traditional healer).
The Negeri Sembilan –born Nor said she acquired her skills from her late farmer father.
It is based on an ancient healing system that harnesses the medicinal values of various types of vegetation – leaves, fruits, roots, seeds, flowers and tree barks – and the therapeutic values of ar-ruqia (incantation of Quranic verses).
“It’s the essence of the woman, the key to your overall external and internal well-being,” she said, pointing to the pelvis region.
After the scan, the client goes for a mandi selusoh (a special bath of herbal ingredients including lime extracts) to purge the body of toxins, energy imbalances and spiritual disturbances.
Next is the kaut (which literally means “to gather” ) session, during which Nor targets some pressure points on the body to “drag” toxins down to the feet. You actually feel some heaviness in the lower legs on completion of the massage.
Then comes the “cooling therapy” where the feet are immersed in a box of ice water and sea salt for 20 minutes to expunge the accumulated toxins.
Some discomfort may be felt here but note that the water would turn murky and you would feel pounds lighter.
The final treatment is the urutan (spiritual massage), which – honest – involves no physical contact.
She uses “inner energy” to normalize entangled veins (urut), restore the uterus to its correct position (sangkak) and, yes tighten the vagina.
Sangkak, as a physical massage in post-natal treatmen, is a painful process. But here, you would feel only a warm stirring sensation.
Clients are treated to Nor’s concoction of putri sekuntum juice – a lovely fusion of yellow bakawali plant, night rain, rumput sambau emas, tamarind and other nectars of the Malaysian rainforest – as well as herbal remedies that promise to enhance physical, internal and mental strength.
For home care, Nor recommends the salut mas (gold wrap) therapy which uses her secret blend of jamu, dodol tampil dara (re-virginification herb) for women, and herba salut mas for both men and women.
She describes the herbal blend as “love fuel”, which is made from wild honey, kulit kayu tutup bumi, janggut Adam, kemuncup, bunga matahari hutan and 17 other herbs wich she understandably guards with a vengeance.
For men, taken internally, the Dodol Belanga Salutmas enhances potency. As a penile wrap prior to intercourse, it apparently improves blood flow to the male organ and helps to address erectile dysfunction.
And it claims to slow movement of the sperm and semen from the testes, hence preventing premature ejaculation.
Unlike the testerone/steroid options, it does not chemically induce an illusion of strength and energy, Nor said.
For women, Dodol Belanga Tampil dara is to be consumed in the morning after breakfast, while Dodol Belanga Salutmas is a vaginal suppository.

Puan Nor can be reached at  0192837696