On my healing journey, i was introduced to Kamalasom Traditional Thai massage (and other therapies) clinic in Phitsanulok, Thailand after the magical Athaya made arrangements.
Since Oct. 2016, so far i have spend 4 extended treatment sessions at this facility.
I’ll explain how the routine goes:
Usually,… first starts with a blood pressure and pulse rate check (keep in mind all this happens in Thai so i just play along with smiles and they are all so nice to me), and brief consult (again, in limited common language).
Then, after changing from street clothes to sorta pyjamas/shorts, i receive 1-1/2 hours of Thai “Royal Court” massage in which all my muscles, joints, ligaments etc are stretched and bent to the very outer limits with elbows, knees, feet as well as hands involved.
It’s almost always the same lady tending to me, so after probably 30 sessions, she knows me well.
This takes place in a rather hectic, non-private room on mats on a slightly raised dais.
All the practitioners are talking and joking and everyone teases me as i am the only foreign patient and know like 12 words of Thai.
They do enjoy that i am game for anything and realize i need and appreciate their help. Sometimes other patients are even getting phone calls while receiving treatment(!) while others wince and groan in pain.
When i arrived after having a “tourist massage” in Chiang Mai, i was covered in bruises and they laughed about this, a lot!
Anyhow, then i am beat down with various hot cloth pouches containing herbal poultice of some kind. These are frequently refreshed to be maximum hot (in a sorta slow cooker steamer type device), and are especially applied to pressure points and afflicted areas.
Then onto a herbal steam sauna – a small infrared sauna with the addition of an open top rice cooker steaming herbal mixture. Keep in mind, the outside temperature is already hot and humid and this :30 session is very heavy duty – even for a guy like me who loves hot hot heat.
Finally, hot tea and sometimes a little snack.
Sometimes i walk back to my guesthouse – cutting through various markets, past the train station and what not, or other times i get a tuk-tuk along the way or wait out front for a cheap-ish taxi.
Oh, i stay at Hip Inn and Coffee because they have typewriters and cappuccinos.
Plus this dog lives at Hip Inn and good for a pet after a tough day :(
As for payment… i pay when i check in and do the blood pressure check, then, while i am in-treatment, they bring my change and receipt and place by the dais. It is very reasonably priced for a high-quality professional service.
I have a stack of the green carbonless copies. The bills are stapled to the receipt which is kind of a pain but whatever.
I also buy a gift on my last day for the staff – usually a big fruit basket or other food as they all seem to basically “pot luck” for lunch each day. Someone is always perched having a bite. It’s a professional, but decidedly casual, environment.
Most importantly, the treatments loosen me up, flush out lactic acid or whatever to leg my limbs moving and feeling more limber and balanced.
Extra most important, they are all very sweet and kind me and know that i appreciate them.
Across the street from Hip Inn is a family run noodle shop – well at first, was a cart in front the guest house and they’d add a couple of chairs the sidewalk table and voila, now they’ve taken over a empty garage of some kind. I go there to eat most time.
Thank you Phitsanulok for providing safe haven.
Should you have a notion to visit, here is a vague map:
…and the sign out front: