Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Massage...

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Since yesterday is now today, I can say that I am scheduled for a second massage this afternoon.

I had my first one last week and it was an amazing experience. Over here, it is called "nuad bo'rarn". It is an ancient healing method, often used with herbal medicine. S and I went together into a small massage room off an alley in Khon Kaen. The young man who was to do my massage asked me to lay down on a mat on the floor. He was intense and solemn about his work. The minute he touched my body, I knew he was a healer. I could feel it in his fingers. There was no frivolous chit chat or make-nice conversation. He didn't use any lotions or creams. He had a job to do and took it seriously. S. sat in a chair along the wall and watched.

While I had a vague idea of what would happen, I was far from certain. I know enough about Thai massage to know it is rough, I'd get flipped around a lot and kneaded like bread dough ~ but not a clue beyond that.

My instinct was to cringe from the touch but also found that I got into a meditative state rather quickly. It was important to remain mindful. My mind and body were actually connected. That's often unusual for me since I tend to be rather dissociative.

He pounded and kneaded very slowly. Each point of my body. Again and again. He stretched my body, put me in some positions that actually reminded me of yoga. He worked a lot on my abdominal area. According to Thai medicine, this is the most vulnerable part of us and is the area where all the major energy pathways are located. The health of all the rest of our senses depend on the health of our abdominal areas.

When he began working on that, I began reacting. Strongly. I alternately wailed, keened, howled and tried to curl up in a ball. Not because he was causing me physical pain, but because it was loosening all the pain I've been carrying around for so many years. It released so many toxins into my system that I felt a bit weird and sick for the rest of the day. By the end of the session, I was softly weeping. It was such an amazing experience. From the sound of it, it would make sense that I would have disliked the experience but I didn't.

It was a good indication that I need more treatments and I go for another one this afternoon.

One of the things I've come to realize while I've been here is how touch-deprived I am over there. While I've been here, I've been massaged, hugged, touched, petted and there has been the inevitable "skin rubbing" that strangers often do when they meet me. Thai people touch each other and they love to touch farangs.

That led me to think about how it's going to be when I come back there. I will not be touched anymore and I need that. Really. Just common human touch.

It really does matter.

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35 comments:

slouching mom said...

Oh, touch matters. Yes, it does. It's essential.

Mariposa said...

You are making me so green with envy! Yes, it's late and guess what, I'm working! We have the same time right now I think... Arggh!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I'm wishing I could have a treatment like that. Even though it sounds arduous. Russian culture is very physical, too, and it's one of the things I most missed when I came back to the States.

Sober Briquette said...

Would it stretch your budget too much to get massage when you're back here? Maybe there's a way...

Amy Y said...

Of course, you do!!
It sounds wonderful!

flutter said...

it's as important for the therapist as it is for the person getting the work.

I know, I was one.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Deep tissue massage releases all kinds of emotional pain which has been held in the body over time because without such a release, it never leaves.

It sounds as if you are being detoxified from the inside out and completely, which is the only way to do it.

I hope the next one is easier, though.

MsLittlePea said...

How nice. You're right, touch is very important. We are social beings after all who need each other. Sorry I've been so scarce lately.

(BTW count me in if you start a new blog, I was thinking of starting a new one myself for the very same reasons)

furiousBall said...

i need that. i'm totally unholy on the inside. i'll probably puke green stuff and twist my neck around the second someone touches me

jen said...

Touch matters so very much. Thai massage is so incredibly healing - I have had numerous Thai massages when in Asia, and i am astounded at the difference, the energy flow, the force behind it.

I am glad you are wrapped in love.

SUEB0B said...

Your post made me sad because I don't get touched enough, either. I think people always wonder why I give such big hugs at church.

wheelsonthebus said...

That sounds a lot like therapy -- releasing all the pent up pain and toxins.

Emily

niobe said...

I once had a massage like that -- it was an extraordinary experience.

But your last lines made me so sad.

Christine said...

touch really does matter. so much.

sounds like a great experience.



Running on empty

thailandchani said...

SM, I've always believed it's essential. Unfortunately, it's a voluntary activity so there is no guarantee of getting it.

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Mariposa, that's too late to be working! (wagging finger) :)

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Jen, yes.. it seems like every culture in the world recognizes the significance of touch. The US and Northern Europe are the only places I know of that discourages it.

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De, it would definitely stretch my budget. I'm not sure how I will deal with it when I have to come back there. Suck it up and deal with it probably.

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Amy, it was an amazing experience.. and I had my second one this afternoon. :)

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Flutter, I got that very strong sense from him that he took his job seriously and expected me to take it seriously, too. :) It was a good experience with him.. twice now.

I wish I could stay on here and get more treatments from him.

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Susan, that's exactly what it feels like. Detoxification. (I'm going to do that with the Rice Diet when I get back there... detoxifying my abdominal track.) I think when we're assaulted daily by things that harm or hurt us, it's bound to store up somewhere. Especially when there's no outlet for it.

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MsPea, let me know if you start another blog. Do you mean basically an ancillary blog.. or an entirely new and disconnected one?

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Furiousball, yes! LOL I'm laughing! That is how it felt for me the first treatment. At least I didn't throw the masseur out the window. :)

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Jen, yes.. so am I. I was more starved for it than I realized. It's all so easy here. They're just very loving people and happy to spread it around. I'm glad it's not guarded, measured, weighed and negotiated like it is over there.

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Suebob.. yeah.. I hear you. You know? I do. I've always been touch-deprived.. but won't be when I move back here for good.

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Emily, it's even better. I never saw much purpose in talk therapy, sitting around talking to someone about old stuff, new crap, etc. This goes right to the root of it.. where it lives.. and forces it out.

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Niobe.. yeah... I'm afraid that place over there simply doesn't work for me on any level.

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Christine, it was awesome. I recommend it to anyone. Thai massage.

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~Chani

blooming desertpea said...

Wow, this made me realise that this would be exactly the right therapy for me. I wish I could get it here.

Like you, I don't believe anybody can help me with just talking. I know myself too well for that to help ...

PeterAtLarge said...

What a treat! So glad to hear that you're being so well taken care of...

the psycho therapist said...

Finding that special mindful-in-the-moment moment when someone intentionally loving places their hands on you is magnificent, isn't it, no matter what the occasion. It's akin to a state of total abandon, bliss, reunion with all-that-isness. Touching the face of god while embodied. Best!

When I slow down and make room in my harried life to get a massage (or deeply connect with my body) I am always surprised and grateful both during and afterwards. It is at such times I realize how disconnected from the physical plane I must be, outside of my awareness, and how much I *need* this connection, like air, to exist in peace...wellness.

May we all be granted the gift of loving touch on a regular basis in this lifetime.

Reminds me of my days in long term and subacute care...folks in bed, day upon day, hour upon hour...little interaction..."touched" only when necessary, bathing, wound care, etc....so happy and brightened by a hug, the holding of my hands...beauty.

Take good care, Chani.

My Reflecting Pool said...

It sounds like you are in a wonderful place. Hopefully all the healing you are receiving will sustain you until you can return again.

Angela said...

Chani,

Yes, touch - important stuff, heh? Hey, I'd like to be invited to your private site when you get it set up. I'm interested in doing a silhouette site for Eclectic Recovery, too. Now, if I could just figure out how. :)

storyteller said...

A massage sounds good to me! I just did a marathon read of your last 12 posts catching up from being overly busy and then under the weather with a nasty flu bug, but I'm grateful to be well and hoping you enjoyed your follow-up massage. Whatever you decide to do about your blog ... making it private or creating a silhouette site ... I'd love to be able to read & respond when time permits. I have learned that I can't keep up the pace I started with ... have already cut back posting at Sacred Ruminations to whenever the spirit moves. I still plan to post daily at Small Reflections ... at least for the time being.
Hugs and blessings,

seventh sister said...

I haven't had a Thai massage partly becaue I am afraid it would become an addiction.

I'd also likek to comment on your previous post. Have you considered a second blog for the stuff you'd like to keep more private>

kikipotamus said...

How wonderful that you found that healer and began this process. Yes, touch is necessary for humans to thrive, for babies to survive. We need it. I am blessed when I have one or two close friends who are huggers.

I will be eager to learn how soon you can manage relocating to your beloved Thailand, where you can receive such treatments when you need them.

QT said...

Wow, Chani - I am just catching up with all your posts (I moved - yay!). That massage sounds RIGHT up my alley, and this reminded me that I need to make time for one, pronto!

Touch is important, and I think quite overlooked in our society where we tend to allow people so much "personal space" that they can disappear from the social fabric.

hele said...

I agree with Jen. I am glad you are surrounded with love.

Julie Pippert said...

Ummm...Chani?

This did not come up in my reader.

I am having all sorts of reader issues myself. And I saw your comment and wondered if you'd posted again so came by manually (came by manually...HA! This Internet thing is freaking/amusing me these days.)

Anywho, felt totally jealous about the massage, and LOVE that you are getting the contact---in all forms---you crave.

I am sorry, too, that you have to come back for a while.

Janet said...

Touch is absolutely important. I'm glad you're experiencing kind hands over there.

Ally said...

This kind of massage sounds amazing. And scary, too. You are smart to get it while you can; at least you can start fresh without all of those built-up toxins when you come back here.

gumdropsandbubblethoughts said...

Touch truly matters. It completes us and make us feel loved.

Molly said...

Chani, it's been so long since I've been here! I'm thrilled that you are over there [must go back and catch up with your other posts!]That massage sounds amazing. My sister took a course in healing massage and treated us all when she visited...sigh. It was wonderful, but not as rough and life changing as your's sounds. I'd love to dump all my old baggage...it weighs you down after a while.
I do think Americans have serious hang-ups about touch....they always want to read something sexual into it. But it is one of our most basic human needs.
Enjoy every minute of your time there!

Molly said...

Chani, it's been so long since I've been here! I'm thrilled that you are over there [must go back and catch up with your other posts!]That massage sounds amazing. My sister took a course in healing massage and treated us all when she visited...sigh. It was wonderful, but not as rough and life changing as your's sounds. I'd love to dump all my old baggage...it weighs you down after a while.
I do think Americans have serious hang-ups about touch....they always want to read something sexual into it. But it is one of our most basic human needs.
Enjoy every minute of your time there!

crazymumma said...

What an incredible experience for you. I think touch, just alight affirmation to another, is vital to happiness and health.

Dandelion seeds said...

that totally makes sense to me about the health of the body being dependant on the health of the abdomen.

I have a sensitive stomach and carry all my stress there. when something is off in me, I feel it in my stomach first.

I had a reiki session and the minute the practioner got the second chakra-the located just above the pelvic region, I started sobbing.

I am so glad you were able to get that cleansing and healing. It sounds very powerful

Carla said...

That massage sounds amazing. I've had a similar experience, so I know exactly what you mean. What an amazing experience. Enjoy the next one.

Ria said...

Wow, I have had general, treat yourself, release a little tension massages before. I knew that the real detoxifying massages existed, I just haven't been open to them before.

Now really starting to understand some things. Thanks for sharing your experience Chani.