This week I exchanged massage with a LMT here in Portland who specializes in traditional Thai massage. It was heaven! This is a short video of her working, check it out:
I found this video on her website and I had to share. Its hard to describe Thai massage. Its very gentle and soothing, you remain fully clothed and the massage therapist works over your entire body, from head to toe. Once the therapist has relaxed your muscles, they are then stretched out as if yoga was being done to your body. I have never experienced a massage that felt so good!
In Thailand this massage is part of the traditional multi-faceted approach to health care. Treating ailments is seen as a combination of herbal treatments, psychological/spiritual care and physical massage work. This tri-modal system is ancient and still practiced. At this point there is plenty of western medicine available in Thailand, but the Traditional Medicine is utilized as well.
When I went to Thailand back in 2000 I had the privaledge of going out to a temple in the countryside outside of Chiang Mai. I was studying Thai massage at the time and the Hospital where I was taking the class took a group of students out to work on local Thai farmers who had the day off because it was a national holiday (if I recall correctly it was the King's birthday). Out at this temple a lot of local people showed up to seek medical help. The Old Traditional Hospital had arranged to be there for the day with herbs and food and all the doctors. It was cute to see how the local people sought their health care. Most seemed to go up to the panel of doctors in groups. Walking up together they would chatter about their various ailments... even thru the language barrier (I do not speak any Thai other than friendly exchanges of Hello and how are you, etc) you could tell the people were trying to describe their problems together with their siblings or cousins around them, all chiming in their 2cents about what the major complaints were. It was funny to see this casual group diagnosis kind of thing. It was very honest. And then the doctors would write down their prescriptions on little colored slips of paper with directions to seek out the herbalists or the massage therapists or the monks (for spiritual help)... if they needed some massage work they would apprehensively hand one of us white kids their colored little slip of paper and we'd do some traditional Thai massage to their hard working bodies. It was pretty incredible. One old lady became so fond of me after her massage that she took me by the hand and found her sister and together they dragged me over to the food and made sure I had some lunch with them. It was cute. Again, I couldn't really speak to them... but I could say Hi and I had been taught the word for "pain" in case I might hurt someone :)
Anyhow, I digress with side-stories. I am full of them about Thai massage!
If you ever want to treat your body right, get your blood flowing and have the best massage of your life, contact Stephanie Glass and get a Traditional Thai Massage. And don't be affraid to request 2+hours, they are long massages, the longer the better! The massage I received on Monday lasted 3 hours and I was in heaven.