February 23, 2015


I’m not a fan of relaxation massage.  I know, as a massage therapist myself, I should be open to all types of therapy, but in my own personal experience, getting a “relaxation” massage is akin to an eighth of a back scratch, or a bowl of a low-calorie ice cream: unsatisfying, incomplete.

To me, a massage is relaxing when it relieves you of your problems.  Tight shoulders? Check.  Trigger points giving you a headache? Check.  Sticky fascia around the hips? Check.  Get my kinks out and I’m a happy girl.

Melissa knows of my proclivity for the therapeutic, but she needed people to practice her Thai skills on.  And lo and behold, we both ended up with a free hour at the same time this week.

“Trust me,” she said, “this is not your typical relaxation massage.”

She was so, so right.

I got my comfy yoga clothes on and lay on a spongy, sheet-covered mat on the floor.  Not what I was expecting, but nice.  The room was dimly lit as always, and the normal zen music played in the background.  I was in familiar territory.  So far so good.

Ahhh. Bye-bye kinks!

Ahhh. Bye-bye kinks!

Melissa began at my feet and worked upward, rocking me, kneading my muscles, stretching and moving me gently but deliberately.  Some movements, like the hip-focused stretches, were intense and required me to concentrate, breathe (are my hamstrings really this tight?).  Others, like the rhythmic single-shoulder rolls where she had me lying on my side, were so surprisingly relaxing that even despite being in constant motion I found myself nodding off.

Wait, nodding off?

This was not familiar territory, but I was really enjoying myself.  I wasn’t just getting a fluffy rubdown with sweet-smelling oil.  This massage was more like a one-sided dance, a choreographed routine which she led and I had no choice but to follow.  But oddly, even though she was doing the moving, I had a strong sense that my own body was dictating the rhythm of things.  Almost unbeknownst to me, my body had chosen, and it had chosen to (ahem) relax.

Man. This girl is good.

I was almost comatose by this point.

I was almost comatose by this point.

I never once felt that she stretched me too deeply, moved me too fast or pressed me too hard.  I was able to fully let go and trust that she would take care of me. I’m normally not so great at that.

The hour passed so quickly, I couldn’t believe it.  Normally I’m fidgety by the end of an hour on the massage table, but not so on the Thai mat, apparently.  I was groggy and unwound and wanted to snuggle on the couch (Melissa told me she doesn’t provide that service, though). 🙂

Awesome.  24 hours later I could still feel the lack of tension in my shoulders and neck, and I could touch my toes without grunting.  Awesome again.

The verdict: My first try with Thai was a resounding success. I will find myself on that Thai mat again sometime in the very near future!

The blog Indelicate Flower: A collaborative blog between three fitness gals originally had it’s home here.  It is a blog about fitness and health, and three womens’ journey to the competition stage.  We decided to make IF’s new home here on the Whole Therapy site, where it would reach even more people.  We hope you like it!

Jen Wright is an RMT and the owner of Whole Therapy. She is an avid gym-goer and loves to lift heavy stuff.  She sees clients of all ages and stages, especially those who are engaged in bettering themselves.  She believes that pain-free is possible.  For more about Jen, click here.