Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ka-plunk and Ka-pow


A couple of days ago I had my first Thai massage…ever. It was sort of by accident.

For those that don’t know a Thai massage is different from an oil massage and it’s because of this distinction that I’ve always done my best to avoid them. In Thai massage the person giving the massage moves your body around into different poses and exerts pressure or pulls muscles or pushes their elbows, finger into your muscles; hell, they may even walk on your back. You are stretched; your body might go ‘click’ and ‘clunk;’ it might hurt, it might be relaxing but it will probably be a mixture of both.

The reason that I have done my damnedest to avoid them is because of a seventeen-year relationship with physios, osteopaths and chiropractors. This connection began only a few months into my first pregnancy when my lower back went ‘kaplunk’ and produced all kinds of hideous pains. During pregnancy chemicals are sent around the body to loosen up joints, ligaments etc to facilitate birth. To someone with hyper mobile joints (me) this can be a problem: flibberty flobberty body parts (the technical term.) A physio at the maternity unit was my first port of call.

I love physios and osteopaths: I rate them highly. BUT, I’m nearly always in pain when I go to see them. So, I’m nervous of Thai massage on three counts: I associate being manipulated with said pain. Two, I’m afraid that they may not be as trained as they should be and what with my wibbly wobbly joints I might end up in pain after the session. And three I have an old shoulder injury and a present hip issue: Gosh, I really am a specimen of good health and fitness. Not.

So that’s how it came to be that Husband and I pottered up the road to a massage place (infinitely more affordable than in our hotel) for a Thai massage for him and foot massage for me. However because the foot massage only lasts for one hour she did a sort of Thai massage on me for the remaining thirty minutes.

I don’t think I can be an easy candidate for such things; I don’t switch off easily. I'm cautious that she’ll do something that will hurt and my brain goes careering off but that can be useful for all sorts of inspiration. But by the time I was turned over onto my back I’d totally lost the use of my arms and legs; they were leaden.

Pretty damn incredible it was.

11 comments:

Queenie said...

Now I'm envious again. Didn't know you were a hypermobility person; I know one other, who has a really difficult time with it despite being only 18. Luckily she doesn't want children (although of course that may change).

JJ Beattie said...

Queenie, I've been told pilates will help and yoga won't. I thought it was a good thing (particularly when I had to climb through a tiny window when I locked myself out once) but it's not really. The dodgy hip is as a result of the hypermobility... but it's not degenerative so pilates should help that. Fingers crossed.

Course, I'm still scared of Thai massage...

Boonsong said...

Wow! You're brave.
I've had a few massages and always come out from them feeling like I'd just done 15 rounds with Mike Tyson (even though both ears remained intact). I don't like them, nor does Mrs S for the same reason.
I know that there are some good masseuses, but I've never been fortunate enough to find one.
By the way, where's today's lizard?

Have a nice day, Boonsong

Carol said...

I'm with Boonsong! The first massage I ever had in Thailand on our go see was a proper Thai one. I didn't even know my body was capable of going into those positions!!

C x

Chris Stovell said...

I'd be scared too! The foot massage bit sounds wonderful though - my poor old runners feet would love it, but I'm not sure the masseuse would be happy.

JJ Beattie said...

Boonsong, did I say today? I meant tomorrow; sorry. Yes, I think 15 rounds with Mike Tyson is usually why I avoid them.

Carol, And I'm still scared.

Chris, oh foot massages are heaven; heaven I tell you. And the ladies have never been sick at the sight of my trotters. Honest.

Denise said...

I'm scared of massage too, after slipped discs in my back. I've also been told to do Pilates, which I start in a couple of weeks...

That massage does sound amazing though, and if you were ever going to get one at least you get the authentic version!

L'Aussie said...

Sounds like quite an experience..:)

DOT said...

I once had a masage in Kyoto, followed by another, and finally by a third in the weak [sic] I spent in that city. I fortunately suffer none of the problems you do but remember still, with fondness, the masseuse walking up and down my back some thirty years later. And let me assure your readers there is nothing erotic about having a women tapdancing on your back. It is just bliss.

Susie Vereker said...

Gosh, was too frightened ever to have a massage in Thailand in case it turned out to be the wrong kind.

Massage Therapist Insurance said...

Wow I must say you are a brave person: I have only saw its video once and decided not to ever ask any Therapist about this technique :)