Memories of a study trip to Thailand

I’m often asked why and how did I decide to do the Thai massage course and what was it like doing a course in Thailand so I thought I would address that in this blog.

Once you qualify as a therapist, you seem to get the training bug, courses acquire a magpie quality. It’s happened to me that’s for sure. I regularly browsed training school websites looking for something to add to my basket of tricks. Thai massage interested me in that it wasn’t something generally offered around the area though there are more people around the area nowadays.  I have always liked to have something different in my repertoire hence also going down the myofascial release and warm bamboo massage routes. Thai massage is a more active form of massage as you move into different positions on the futon so that the therapist can access the Sen (meridian) lines and I felt it could offer something different to my clients as there are many people who still do not like getting undressed for a massage but also people who like the stretches it provides. The irony being that I didn’t actually do a client treatment until last year. However I gained so much more than the massage knowledge from going to Thailand.

One day in 2011, I received an email from the course provider giving details of the trip, which sounded amazing, three days in London for insurance purposes  and ten days in Bangkok, six of which were training and then the rest for group sightseeing and relaxation. Knowing that I was to celebrate a big birthday the following year and hadn’t really had a chance to go abroad much due to the nature of my work and getting time off with friends as well as the above reasons, I plucked up the courage to book onto it. So with that as I was working as a chef I took on some extra hotel massage work to fund my big adventure, exhausting as it was at times doing two jobs I managed to save the complete amount for the trip by the departure date of May the 8th 2012.

I remember the excitement building around me as friends and family being excited for me and even myself doing all the necessary things such as injections in the weeks before but I felt it was a good thing to do on my own. Finally it was time to fly out to Bangkok and experience all that it offers including suvarnabhumi airport which you may have seen on the television or experienced yourself.

Being  ill, I didn’t make it to the information day before the flight out, so it was slightly more daunting, thankfully I have been on many flights of up to three hours and my experiences on the ferry home had given me an insight of how to occupy myself during the flight out, I can fall asleep anywhere which is a blessing  though I was lucky to have a very pleasant gentleman who had lived in Thailand for many years in my row and we passed a couple of hours chatting and I learnt a few tips about what to do and where to go in Bangkok. Which eased my anxiety, including always wear shoes or slippers if you go for a comfort break whilst in flight as you never know what liquids may be on the floor?   On arrival to suvarnabhumi airport, you find yourself in a very busy place with passport queues the same as on the documentary about it. Feeling a bit more at ease, luggage collected it was off to find my driver as a car had been arranged for me and off we went with a commentary of the sights as we passed. The heat and sun hits you straightaway combined with the technicolour sights and sounds including rush hour, most delightful and welcoming after the dreary spring we had. Luckily my course tutor was at reception when I arrived so the first introductions were made. Tiredness soon hit, so time to do that all important email home then a comfy bed called.  The next day was free and I got a taste of Breakfast by the river in the open air followed by a wander into a small park. It was about Nine o’clock; they were just finishing the daily jet wash of the seating area. A few minutes later it was all dry leaving me time to think in solitude before meeting my tutors for quiet sunbathing time by the rooftop pool and an occasional dip in there punctuated by the whistles of the boys on the river taxi guiding his skipper onto the berth below before jumping over and securing the rope. Lunch and dinner in local restaurants were my first tastes of Thai cuisine followed by a foot massage. Bliss!

I hope that this blog has been of interest to you and I will continue the story of what it is like to train in Wat Po in my next blog.