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Thai Torture

According to the treatment menu, ‘thai aroma massage is a fabulous blend of East and West techniques, comprising of Thai-style deep massage with yoga stretching combined with sophisticated western-style Swedish massage.’ ‘This type of massage soothes your body and encourages a peaceful mind’. Just what the doctor ordered I thought.

Receiving a friendly welcome, a pleasant foot bath started the treatment but there was no consultation as to whether I’d got a broken leg, a skin disease, allergies, curvature of the spine, arthritis or any other number of possible contra-indications.

Without so much as asking my name, I was shown to a booth where a mattress on the floor was awaiting my fate.

Stripped off and ready to receive…… I asked the therapist for a gentle massage, but unfortunately I don’t speak Thai and in any case, she seemed to be programmed like a robot to deliver ‘one massage fits all’. The oils were pre blended and whether I wanted to feel energized, relaxed, de-stressed, rejuvenated or detoxed, it didn’t matter. Something like a cross between ‘vicks vapour rub’ and ‘olbas oil’ seemed to be the only choice.

Years of training in the West have we therapists (in the olden days) studying anatomy and physiology up to the level of a medical student. We know how the muscles lie, their origins and insertions on the bones, the way the lymph flows to the lymph glands and where the blood would like to be assisted in its circulation. I can understand to the average person how easy it looks to give a good massage, but its probably a bit like a watching any skilled tradesman at work, ( even Motor racing springs to mind!), years of practice on top of sound training produces the excellence.

I can only guess that some of the massage techniques used in this part of the world may have been handed down from specialists in Chinese torture. I was led to believe, and know from experience, that wherever the body experiences severe pain, muscles will tense, the breathing will change and the adrenal glands will think ‘oh heck, better pump out some extra adrenaline’.

Whether I’m a 60kg small woman or a 150kg heavyweight lifter, the pressure seemed to be the same. The most worrying part is the lack of connection between a ‘therapist’ or a robot, and her client, blindly carrying on when muscles are flinching, limbs are jerking and I’m covering my eyes in agony telling her ‘ahhhhhh! Its too strong!!’

My massage didn’t come to an end quite soon enough I’m afraid! I’m not sure what the benefit has been to have my skull squeezed as though it was a coconut, my temples pressed so hard I thought her thumbs were going to pop my eyes out, or covered in a menthol feeling which has me in shivers.

I will keep an open mind to see how I feel tomorrow, maybe I’ll feel fantastic and the bruises won’t be too bad!

Footnote: Zero therapeutic benefit, my Husband does a better job!

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