Up until this morning, I was a Thai massage virgin. So when I woke up in our latest hotel room (Krabi, South Thailand) and found the day was wet wet wet, I booked one to pass a rainy hour or so.
With no hope of any beach action and with a few aches and pains from various travelling exploits, I thought a bit of pampering was a good idea. Perusing the hotel spa ‘menu’ I chose a facial scrub, facial massage and Thai massage, all for about £12.50. Off I toddled to the massage room, confident in my knowledge of what to expect from the facial part at least, and really, what can be so different about a Thai massage. Oil, relaxing pressure, a bit of chill out whale music; a massage was a massage right ?! Oh no.
On entering the massage room I saw 4 low, wide massage beds and a teeny tiny Thai lady, who came up to about my armpit. I was the only customer and I thought what a good job that was seeing as there were no curtains or changing room behind which to strip down to my undies, expecting to be told to undress to the waist as per my usual facials and massages. Perhaps she’d do the ‘holding up a towel whilst not looking thing’, I thought. I’m not shy, so after loitering for a while, and when no towel was forthcoming, I started to make moves to undress, which was quickly halted. She ushered me onto one of the low plinths and sandwiched me between 2 towels fully clad.
For the next half an hour I had my face scrubbed and then slapped and flicked. She also took 2 calls on her mobile; she was having some beef with a fella on the other end. Was my face going to take the brunt of her frustration ? I realised then that this was not going to be a sensual sharing of calming influences; this was war against my wrinkles, my jowls (who knew I had jowls ?! She found them) and my sun damaged skin. Well honestly, what did I expect for £12.50, I reprimanded myself. I started to think about what the Thai massage would bring ? I soon found out.
“Thai massage start now, turn over!” she commanded, and I duly followed. Now on my tummy she pushed my legs apart wide enough that she could sit comfortably between them, then started to assault my body with every bony angular bit she had on hers, which were many I soon learnt. Kneeling on my buttocks, pinning my legs flat with her feet, she dug her elbows into my back muscles, kidneys, ribs and then shoulders and neck. After she had systematically tended to all my upper torso’s cricks and knots she turned her ministrations to my lower limbs. Using her forearms she squashed the life out of my hamstrings and then contorted my foot into the back of my opposite knee whilst pushing my pelvis into the bed, followed by introducing my foot to my buttock, a stretch I’ve not tried in a while. I was quiet surprised it still went that far ! My calves then got a pounding. Full of knots from dancing on the sand a few nights previous, it was well needed but absolute agony.
After she had ensured I was symmetrically bruised and limbered she clambered off me and instructed me to turn over. I did so and in an attempt to pretend I was all calm and serene I unclenched my jaw and kept my eyes closed. A few seconds passed with no contact so I stole a peek between my half closed eye lashes. She was limbering up !! Oh God !! This is an exercise in keeping calm under pressure I told myself, a meditation of sorts, I will not whimper or catapult her off me, I can do this.
She repositioned herself between my legs and started her magic on the front of my thighs and pelvis, sticking the base of her thumbs into both sides of my groin making me almost yelp and jump off the bed; it kinda tickled, kinda hurt. Giggling, she maintained her pressure until I slowly relaxed; once fully reclined again she started to massage my thighs. Her final attack on my legs was to brace herself against the wall, hold my bent leg up in the air, and by putting her foot onto my buttock and pushing she achieved a satisfying pop somewhere in my hip. Surely that was it ? Nope.
She continued by massaging my arms and shoulders, then sat me up with my legs straight out in front along the couch. With my hands interlinked on my head, and kneeling behind me with her arms intricately entwined with mine she twisted me round slowly, then sharply until my mid spine when crack. Her finale was to brace her elbows on my shoulders and by cupping my chin in both hands she attempted to prise my head off my body, giving my neck a scary but delicious crackling stretch.
And that was my first experience of Thai massage. What a woman ! Tomorrow I will either be as lithe as a mountain cat or unable to get out of bed. I’ll let you know. Another lesson in Thai culture, this place is amazing.