My name is Cristina and I am a newly qualified Thai Massage Therapist based in Essex (UK).
I already work as Personal Trainer and Pole Fitness Instructor and I rediscovered Thai Massage last year when I had to have physiotherapy to try and heal a shoulder injury. The first time I experienced Thai Massage was probably 8 years ago when I went to China to improve my Kung Fu skills.
Thank you Shama for sharing so much information with us via your newsletter and blogs and videos, they are most enjoyable and especially useful for me to get a glimpse into the Thai perspective about the massage as I haven't been to Thailand yet.
Look forward to chatting to you all.
Hi Cristina, welcome to the forum. I did not know that Thai Massage was offered in China 8 years ago. Nowadays Chiang Mai is flooded with Chinese tourists after a movie was made in Chinese about Chiang Mai. It has become a hot destination, and nowadays when I go out to get a foot massage, chances are high that the person sitting next to me is Chinese. I am sure this will make Thai Massage quite popular in China.
I am glad you are enjoying all the content which I am sending out. I also have another website which is all about the various aspects of life in Thailand, in case you are interested. You can find it here: Spirit of Thailand. That site also has lots of information and stories about Thailand and Thai Massage.
It was a rather dubious parlour in Shenzhen and the girl was from mainland China. Scary at the time due to the language barrier, especially when she proceeded to twist my neck in the same way spies in the movies murder people! But nevertheless a most enjoyable experience and funny too when I pointed at the rails on the ceiling only for the girl to throw a towel over the rail and then jump up and down my back to make every vertebrae pop whilst she was dangling from the towel. I thought that was to take some of the weight off my back, turns out she used it to propel herself down on me with greater force. I nearly fainted but felt awesome afterwards.
The following time I went there I just paid for the treatment and shut up.
Sounds like a rather bizarre experience of Thai Massage to me, I have to say. But from my experience with Chinese massage I know that they can be rather strong, or even brutal. Thai Massage in Thailand is generally more gentle than what you described. And what I teach is definitely more gentle since techniques like what you described from your Chinese adventure can be potentially dangerous for some people.
For you as a fitness enthusiast and Kung Fu practitioner this so-called Thai Massage might have worked, but imagine such a session on a 55 year old out of shape overweight westerner - I am sure you can get the picture.
The fact is that Thai Massage has hundreds of techniques and all kinds of variations in style and intensity to accommodate anyone from 'Ms. Superfit' to an 80 year old frail person and everything in between.