I get a nûat Thai นวด ไทย at least once a week. It’s one of the perks of living in Chiang Mai even though the cost of living keeps rising here. BOOOOOO! A Thai massage around the moat or Old City costs 180 to 200 baht. While my friends have their favorites or go-to person, for me, this changes as I experience different masseurs, or as businesses close and new ones inevitably open.
So you won’t find me recommending one again. In fact, here are my thoughts on this:
Instead, I will attempt to categorize the different types of massages/masseurs you might get in Thailand.
1. The sadist. There are 2 types of sadists. The ones that actually laugh out loud in delight over the pain they are inflicting (true story), and the ones who just seemed to be hating life/just got into a fight with her boyfriend/is hungry/thinks being hard +hurtful = good. So you either have to endure or stay “jèp! jèp! jèp!”
2. The daydreamer. What I don’t like about these gals is they miss massaging my entire left arm or my right butt cheek. Even though my eyes are closed, relaxed, I can tell they are texting, looking around, or simply not focused on what they are doing. I deliberately do not fall asleep when I get my 1hour because I want to enjoy the experience so I notice these things. (Oh, and I snore.)
3. The newbie. They are following the other woman, going through the motions. Some things they do well, other things, they do not. It’s a little rough or clumsy but hey, at least they aren’t cutting your hair.
4. The softie. Some folks like gentle massages, I do not. I don’t knead (555) them to be forceful but I have my aches and pains and that’s why I go. I need my massages to be beneficial and while it’s nice to relax, a free nap can have the same effect if it’s just a newborn kitten pawing at me.
5. The okay. You know, it was “Eh”. For example, she did a nice job on your head and legs but the back and arms were lacking. So it was okay. Eh.
6. The sneezer. Yup. Here in Thailand, they don’t understand how germs and colds spread. I was pleased when I found a place that washed their hands with soap! before touching my face (but that place closed). Generally though, the masseuse will just turn away while they cough or they sniff, sniff while hovered over you.
If you are too nice to say something when they cough or sneeze and then touch your face, then you better take a hot shower afterwards. In fact, as a rule of opposable thumbs, I take a shower after every massage.
7. The expert. It’s not about strength. It’s about transitions, applying the perfect pressure, asking you questions to ensure you are happy or that they don’t do something you won’t want. Thai massages are supposed to feel therapeutic and relaxing too. I really appreciate when the masseuse pays attention!
Did I miss anyone?