How I Learned to Tolerate Thai Massage

I enjoy the effects of Thai massage because it’s like a combination of stretching and physical therapy. Never enjoyed the process, too much pain. To put that in perspective one needs to know I’m a pain wimp. Also never enjoyed it because too many masseuses seem to have been hastily trained. At times I wondered if they know basic anatomy. They’d work one side of the body then work the same muscles differently on the other side, they didn’t know how to plan their time, so the last 10 minutes of the hour is obviously hurried or portions of the massage eliminated, and when using a technique to apply pressure they did it the same way regardless of the size or tightness of the muscle being worked. Who knows, some of that may be the proper way, but it doesn’t seem so.

A longtime resident of Hua Hin, and the owner of the Swedish bakery here, likes to chat with her customers when business is slow. We got around to talking about my former frozen shoulder and she asked me about Thai massage. After hearing my complaints she told me where to go for quality work. I did. I’m glad. I have returned.

It still hurts when done well, but the pain rarely gets to the point where I complain. Instead, I react as I was instructed to when I was Rolfed many years ago: relax into the pain. That’s easier said than done. But I can feel the muscles opening and stretching despite the pain, so that’s what I do until I involuntarily say ouch. When that happens, bad masseuses either switch to a new area or lighten up substantially on the same area. These gals stay on the same area and lighted up a tad, slow down a bit and hit the same point in the same way. Must be the way to go as I can then handle it.

I also apply the two most important preparation steps I figured out during my days of physical therapy. Before the session take an Alleve (OTC pain reliever, generic name Naproxin) and stretch my tightest muscles.

The name is Phusita Massage. It’s on the inland side of Petchkasem Rd, just north of Soi 90. One hour Thai massage is 200 B (~$6).

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