I’m no stranger to massages. I’ve been getting them for at least 15 years – and relished in a good rub-down even when I was pregnant.
And yet, despite visiting Thailand, I’d never had a Thai massage until a few weeks ago. Which is odd, because it also uses some yoga postures, and I’m a big fan of yoga, too.
Needless to say, when the owner of Bahn Thai Spa in Toronto offered me a one-hour Thai massage with one of her skilled practitioners, “yes” came out awfully fast.
First of all, you get to wear these super-comfy, one-size-fits-most Thai fisherman pants that feel better than pyjamas. I nearly bought a pair, but realized that I favoured the silk patterns and Big B might divorce me if I came home with $90 glorified PJ bottoms.
Instead of a massage table, you’re instead taken to a dimly lit room cordoned off with curtains; there’s a massage mat on the floor and all kinds of cool pillows. It’s all very Thai. But if you’ve never seen traditional Thai décor, think Moroccan. Or Turkish. And I know those may conjure different images for everyone, and since I’ve been to neither Morocco or Turkey, may be totally wrong, but it’s the best I’ve got. At the end of the day, the mat is comfortable and your eyes are closed anyway.
This is a massage like no other. Imagine being stretched and pulled in such a way that it feels like every ounce of tension in your body will just stretch into nothingness.
My masseuse was incredible, and aside from creating complete relaxation in every fibre of my being, she also took the I-don’t-want-to-chit-chat-during-my-hour-of-bliss cues really well. She spoke only to answer a couple of questions I had during our session; and that’s perfection. Because there is nothing worse than a chatty masseuse who just doesn’t get the hint.
I left feeling three inches taller, and completely zen. It was the same feeling I get after doing restorative yoga. Except someone else did the yoga for me.
You can book up to THREE HOUR-LONG massages at Bahn Thai Spa! I don’t know if I could devote that much time to a single massage, but I sure am interested in trying the two-hour version.
I started my Bahn Thai Massage experience with a glorious infra-red sauna. It was 15 minutes and it really helped set the scene. However, I noticed before I left that this is not included with your massage. It’s actually an extra $16 if memory serves me, and I really think that even just five minutes should be included with any hour-plus booking.
The rooms, while technically private because there are curtains all around you, are not actually private in the truest sense of the word. There could be up to five others in the same room, also sectioned off by curtains. This was not a problem for me at all, but if you landed beside a chatty duo, you’d probably hear their conversation pretty clearly.
This isn’t so much a gaffe as a heads up: not all of the Bahn Thai Spa practitioners are RMTs. You need to request an RMT specifically if you need a receipt for your insurance.