I curse myself for having Thai Massage that time.
It’s not that I didn’t like, nor regret spending 200 Baht for the most painful massage I’ve ever had. Maybe it wasn’t the right time. Or maybe, God knows that I should have massage after four days struggling in a pretty fatigue journey.
It was almost dark in Chiang Mai. I spent the whole day strolling in Old City Quarter, visiting temples and trying all (halal) foods at the street stall. I had this kind of curiosity (well, a lot) to try everything that I haven’t taste or done before.
That’s why I didn’t think much when decided to have Thai Traditional Massage located in Tha Pae Road.
A middle-aged women smiled to me at the front door. Then she guided me upstairs, to the 4th floor. I was the only one ‘victim’ in that twelve-mat room. After a relaxing footbath, she gave me a loose-comfortable clothes to wore.
I laid in the mat. She sat towards me then made Wai: a typically Thai gesture, both hands in front of your chest. Then she took my foot and started to massage it, gently.
Gently and painful.
Beside hands, she also used her arm to apply firm rythmic pressure into my body. This kind of massage influenced by traditional medicine system in India and China. But the greatest difference is: Thai massage used yoga-like positions. She used herself to stretch my body. She pulled my fingers, toes, ears. Cracked my knuckles, squeezed my head. She even sat on my back and pulled my body to any direction.
No, she didn’t use any oil. And yes, she succesfully turned my body into a jelly.
In the local language, Thai massage called nuat phaen boran or simply nuat thai. That women practitioner said it can increase blood circulation and help strengthen joints, prevent backpain.
After one hour of pain and moan, surprisingly, I felt relaxed and energized. I slept comfortably at night. True it is, the Thai massage, hurts like heaven.
Few minutes before the massage finished, another tourist came in. Not even in 5 minutes, she yelled.