Thursday, April 07, 2005

Thai Massage

I have my first Thai massage class tonight. Rowan, who introduced me to Thai massage, is teaching it. I'm shy, because I feel faintly ridiculous in this context -- a stout graybeard in a world of lithe young women. But Suzanne asked me to come up with one thing I really wanted to do that I wasn't doing, a while back, and I promptly answered "learn Thai Massage."

You're fully clothed, on a big mat on the floor. You don't lie there like a lump, as in Swedish massage. It's more like being taken through a stretching routine. Your limbs get pulled this way and that, you get lifted and twisted and doubled-up. You do get kneaded, but only when you're in the exact best position for it. It's marvellous. I'm a sucker for all kinds of massage, but this is the best. I don't know how Rowan does some of the moves she does. I suspect she sprouts extra hands and feet. One hand pulling my shoulder back, one hand moving my head to the side -- what body part is it, exactly, that is kneading my neck? Very mysterious. And pointy things appear to dig in and open places up, like a key opening a lock. Are they knees, elbows, chins? Maybe I'll find out tonight.

After a Swedish massage I'm usually slow and loopy and spacy -- to the extent that I wonder if I really ought to drive. But after a Thai massage, though I get the same endorphin rush, I'm clear and alert. I trit-trot down the stairs, a half inch taller than usual, and apparently half my usual weight, full of energy. I don't know how I would have gotten through the last few months without it.

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