We're doubling up on guest authors this week! It's like it's Christmas or something! Which is convenient, because this book is a good idea for a holiday gift and next week you'll already have your shopping done, right?
Two friends, Brenda Goldstein and Gail Herndon, take us along on their journey to The Spa Less Traveled, published by Pasadena's own Prospect Park Media.
Our second trip was to Thai Town. The boundaries for Thai Town are much smaller than Chinatown, and as such one could actually “do the town” in one day. It was here that the idea for a massage appeared. It was at the end of our visit, and though we’re not ones to wear heels on a field trip, our feet were duly tired from all the walking. The only knowledge we had about Thai massage was that it was “different.” Hmmmm. Sure, why not try it?
We were first given a loose top and large pair of pants with a long, attached fabric tie. Later we learned these are called “Fisherman” pants, and there are specific instructions about getting them on correctly. I don’t know if either of us did it correctly that first time. One difference of Thai massage is that the massage is performed on the floor, on a padded mat. The massage starts with you face down. There is a cushion for your face and a bolster for your feet. Another difference is that the massage both starts and ends at your feet. Traditional Thai massage is also performed dry – that is, without oil. If there is an area, typically on your back or neck, that has more knots to be worked out, they may ask if they might use Tiger Balm, a salve made with a unique blend of essential oils. This helps facilitate the massage, and allows the therapist to more easily manipulate the sen lines, similar to meridians used in Chinese massage.
And so it began. We’d go to a new city and have another new massage experience. After a while, we realized we’d gathered some pretty good information – the parking tips alone are valuable, for those challenged to find parking in population-dense Los Angeles. We loved learning about Korean, Russian, Japanese, Thai and Chinese massage modalities. Chapters are dedicated to each in The Spa Less Traveled, and we provide a review for the over 200 places listed. It’s one of the great things about living in Pasadena – we’re close to so many interesting places worthy of exploration. And getting a massage is a great way to get to know a neighborhood!