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.