My brain might just explode. We started class today, and thank goodness I have massage experience, not just Thai, but also some Swedish and Ayurvedic. It helps!
I did very well in the first half today, because it wasn’t very complicated and I took copious notes while our teacher, Coockie, who is also the boss lady at Loi Kroh school, explained. But in the afternoon, I was the model, so when it came time to practice, I had almost no idea! I had been busy hoping, “ahhh…” the whole time.
My classmates are 4 Japanese women, two very young, a third my age, and the last in her 60’s, a monk. I’m now confused about Japanese women monks. Keiko has had 3 children. Perhaps before she became a monk? Her English is almost non-existent, and it’s very difficult for the other 3 to translate. Theirs is at varying levels.
We went to lunch together, at the Japanese-run guesthouse across their street. I had Japanese food and my classmates all had western food. 🙂 They were impressed by how well I handled my chopsticks, and thought it was funny when I made a mess because the rolls fell apart. It was funny.
Matt wants to understand this massage better. He wants to know, other than constipation, what it helps with. So I will begin to explain (and I will continue to learn).
It is a massage of the internal organs. Today, we worked on the small and large intestines, the liver, the pancreas, the gall bladder, the gall duct, the pericardium (never heard of this before), reflex points for the heart and lungs, as well as the psoas muscles, the lumbar sacral plexus, the pelvic tendon, and the iliacus muscle.
In practice we are stimulating circulation in these areas. We are also stimulating the growth of good bacteria. We are seeking blockages (poop, energy, trigger points, what-have-you) and encouraging them out.
From a philosophical perspective, all Sen lines originate in the navel and extend to all the natural holes in the body. So working on the navel and abdominal cavity addresses the source of problems in the rest of the line.
This massage is quite different from others I do (and yes, there is oiled stomach massage in Swedish, but it is very different). It uses oils on the belly, and as a result the client must be exposed from lower rib cage to pelvic bone, not just the hip bones, but the full round hollow. Or not hollow, as the case may be. When Pare performed it on me last weekend, she gave me a loose tank top to wear, no bra, and used the elastic of my panties to hold a sheet over my lower body, which she positioned quite low. During some parts, pressure is given on the upper chest, or on the sternum, and having salon-supplied clothing protects the client’s clothing from oil stains.
This picture does not show the hips as exposed as they should be. Let me put it this way: the Japanese girls don’t wax. It also doesn’t show just how deep we are pushing. No eating before!!
I think I will need to feel this on many people (like with anything) to really get it right. But that’s true of everything. It’s not very protocol-based, though. You need to know what techniques can be used and where, but you have to be able to feel the things there that need to be loosened.
Anyway, after class I went back home, picked up my clean laundry, and took a shower. Then I took a tuk tuk back to Tha Pae gate. I wanted to try a Nerve Touch massage from Mama Lek’s protégés.
Unfortunately, Lek Chaiya massage closes at 17:00, and it was 18:30, so I went next door and had a one-hour massage.
My masseuse was Daan (or it could have been Taan, hard to tell), and she has been massaging for 2 years. She is recently out of prison, which is where she learned. She was very curious about me. I was the first farang she had massaged who liked hard pressure. Actually, she couldn’t massage me as hard as I would have liked. She needs to work on her body mechanics a bit more. She is using too much muscle strength and not enough body weight, but she did very well. It will come. I have had many far worse massages than what she did, and it was the first textbook massage I’ve had this trip. Really, it was straight out of the ITM level 1 text, with maybe 3 moves from level 2 and 1 from level 3. I was familiar with every thing she did to me, and could feel which ones she got a little wrong (always body mechanics). I didn’t tell her. We had a fun chat.
She was a dealer and addict before she went to prison. Maybe because of the addiction, she was first in a treatment program for a few months, meditating silently with the monks. Then later, 3 days a week massage courses then work, 2 days English, 2 days helping with cooking and cafe. The money they earn they keep for their release, and they have a new career possibility, in massage or restaurant.
Since leaving prison, she is also learning about cosmetics and herbal facial remedies. She very earnestly told me several tricks I tell my own skincare clients. She is very excited about her new life. It was nice to meet her. I wish her success and happiness.
After that, I had a yummy dinner at 3 Sis, on the way home and unchallenging. And now I’m lying in bed. Goodnight! Sorry no pics today!