Massage Therapy  with Dee Hiatt, 
Thai Experience
December, 1999
Most often when I give a massage, I use a mixture of techniques. But there is one technique that I like to use in its entire form: Thai massage.

I had introductions to Thai massage early in 1998 and was intrigued. I liked the idea that the form was likened to a dance. I liked receiving a massage made up of rhythmic acupressure and supportive yoga-like stretches. I especially liked that my stepsonís partner was Thai and that they were choosing to live in Thailand. How could I not be intrigued?

In the summer of 1998, my husband and I flew to Bangkok for the Buddhist wedding of my stepson and his love. I jumped at the chance to extend our stay for three more weeks so I could study at an excellent Thai massage school in Chiang Mai. I received as many Thai massages as possible.

Thai massage is over 2,400 years old. It is traditionally given on a mat to a client wearing loose clothing. A session in Thailand often lasts two hours while a three-hour session is considered the best. While I was receiving, I could scarcely believe 2 or 3 hours had gone by. By the end of each session, I was energized. I noticed I walked much more smoothly. The massages were incredibly affordable and excellent. No wonder I wanted to stay.

While I was in Chiang Mai, I went to a small business where massages were given by people who were blind. The large, single room was boisterously loud. Five massages were going on at the same time and interruptions were frequent. I was on my side as the owner was giving me a massage when his four-year-old son ran in from his day at school. The young boy joyfully jumped on his fatherís back as he worked. The boy politely asked me my name in careful English. Then he tried to massage my back just like his father was doing. He ended by cheerfully rolling over me twice before running off to play.

At the Wat Pho temple compound in Bangkok, massages were given in an even larger room with a high, yellow ceiling and four rows of five mats neatly and closely arranged. I was one of twenty people receiving at the same time. Only on the way out after my massage did I notice a sign by the front desk. It said that for an extra small charge, a clean sheet would be provided for the mat. Gulp.

Now Iím back home and giving Thai massages to others. Please know that I always use clean sheets.
© 2004, Dee Hiatt
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