Thai Massage

As Pim dug into my hip joint, I held back laughter. It tickled immensely. A grin spread on my face. I couldn’t help it.  “I’m so ticklish there,” I said to the Thai Massage expert who owns Body & Soul spa in Farmington Hills, Mich.  “Most people cry when I massage there,” she said in her soft, soothing voice. “It’s the part of the body that holds our main relationships — spouse, lover, friend.”  “Well that’s interesting,” I said. “My main relationships are my kids.”  Pim’s smile matched my own. “That makes sense. Children are fun and loving, filled with joy.”

This was one of many revelations that arose in the two hours of intense massage on a padded futon mattress in a darkened room at Body & Soul. Before the massage began, I’d sat with Pimpisa Klinchan to hear her story. As a child in Thailand, the articulate, soft-spoken beauty learned to massage the sore shoulders and aching limbs of her elders.

“In Thailand, massage is part of our everyday lives,” she says. “My grandmother taught me to do it — when I was a girl, I’d walk on her body as she lay down. Everywhere in Thailand, you’ll find Thai Massage — in shopping centers, on main streets. It’s just part of what we do.”  In the past two decades, though, Westerners are catching on to this ancient tradition.  Thai massage, or nuat phaen boran, is a combination of stretching and deep massage which is performed while the recipient is fully clothed and relaxing on a mattress low to the ground. In Thailand, it’s part of the traditional holistic approach to medicine but here in the West, Thai massage ups the ante from the mere relaxation of most massages to something that jump-starts the mind, body and soul all at once.  Indeed, holistic practitioners have long believed that the mind and the body, and in fact the spirit as well, are inseparable. Thus, an affliction to one can have impact on another part altogether.

In Thai massage, emotional stressors are worked out through the muscles. After my massage, Pim said softly, “There’s a lot of sadness there.” I nodded silently. How she could learn that from working over my muscles — and she did so vigorously and constantly! — I did not know.  And yet when I left her spa and the soothing earth tones of its stone floor and soft rooms, I felt lighter. Free. Relief. It was as much emotional as it was physical.  Thai massage as it is practiced in spas and medical offices today combines healing practices from China, India, Thailand and other Southeast Asian cultures. Therapists use their hands, knees, legs and feet to move the recipient into stretches and bends similar to yoga poses — which makes Thai massage more energizing and rigorous than more commonly known forms of massage.  Practitioners also perform muscle compression, joint mobilization and acupressure during Thai massage. The result is alignment of the body’s energies, making the experience both relaxing and energizing at the same time.

A career woman by training, when Pim came to this country several years ago, she fulfilled her lifelong dream of opening a spa that teaches Americans the healing ways of her homeland. “Our energy needs to flow freely in order for the body to be balanced and healthy,” says Pim. “There are points in the body that help to stimulate that flow. That leads to a feeling of general well-being and eventual healing.”

Body & Soul is providing a special discount to readers — please avail yourself of this unique experience and see what Thai massage is all about.  Mention this article when you call to schedule your appointment.  Enjoy!

Body & Soul   Thai Massage & Wellness

32732 Northwestern Highway

Farmington Hills, Michigan

(248) 932-2299

Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Services include the following:

Body & Soul Signature Massage

60 minutes $75

90 minutes $105

Therapeutic Massage

60 minutes $75

90 minutes $105


30 minutes $40

60 minutes $75

Chair Massage

15 minutes $20

30 minutes $35

60 minutes $70

Hot Stone Massage

60 minutes $95

90 minutes $135

Herbal Bags

Add to any massage for $30

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