Guide to Thai Massage 2.0: Mommy-Daughter Version

Last year I wrote a review of my experience with Thai yoga massage in Thailand. It was.. awesome? Definitely awesome. Like having your muscles kneaded by a giant cat, except that cat is a masseuse. So yeah, that was fun.

THIS year though, my mom came to visit me in Thailand. I’d been dying to get my mom over here (here = Asia) for a massage because she and my dad are both ~wimps~ when it comes to releasing muscle tension.



Pretty early on in her trip we went to the spa together for a mommy-daughter day–and she lived to tell of it! Here’s my mom’s first-person account of the God’s gift to earth that is Thai massage:


The first thing that comes to mind is Thai wrestling.

That is how I would describe my first experience having a traditional Thai massage.

In the end, however, my body and mind were relaxed and rejuvenated.

To begin with, I do not speak Thai, and my masseuse did not speak English. I was motioned to undress and handed a baggy pair of trousers that would fit four of my friends inside. As I began to put them on, an amused laugh met me, as I was donning them backwards! My masseuse “fixed” me, and my daughter suggested I take my bra off as well. Then I lay down on my stomach. More laughter! I guess I’m just a massage virgin. I flipped over and the massage began.

She began with my feet and ankles, rubbing not so gently. I’m glad I was forewarned or I may have yelled out. Oh, but it felt so good! My feet were bent this way and that, pushed, prodded, knuckled, and thumbed. Then she worked her way up my legs, one at a time. Her whole body weight at times was used to push and release each and every muscle of my body. Then a hardy series of thumps as she finished up each area let me know she was on to the next one.

The legs were then stretched, sometimes in ways I thought not possible, until she moved on to my arms. One particular arm stretch I will remember as the WWE move that let me know she was boss.

She and my daughter’s masseuse kept up a soft steady stream of patter and laughter, no doubt talking about the fat Americans. Occasionally she would tell me something in “Thai speak” for me to learn, but I was zoned out, nearly unconscious, in a zen state.

The curtained off room was cool and relaxing, soft music played, and we had nowhere to be but right here for an hour.

My back was next, and she zeroed in on a particularly tight muscle on the right side, without neglecting the rest. Up and down, beat, thump. She literally was on the table with me, using all her body weight to force my travel weary muscles into submission.

When she had thumped her way down my back, it was time for the skull massage. Although I think I could enjoy this, it felt too fast, and I was picturing my hair ending up in a giant furball at the end. No matter — I had a scooter helmet to hide it in. It probably could use a little fluffing.

The neck massage that accompanied this could have lasted the entire hour. I tend to hold my tension in my neck and shoulders.



All too soon, we were done, and left to dress ourselves, if we could. When we walked back to the front, two tiny cups of sweet hot tea were the finishing touch. I pulled out my camera to document the occasion.

If this seems critical, believe me, there is no complaint here. This sweet hour came to the grand total of 200 baht; $6!!!

I’ll have one every day, thank you.


Next time, China. There will only be tears, but you’ll feel good the next day. Love you, mom!

Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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