Getting all thai’d up in the wild, wild west is getting more popular than ever. Steamboat’s favorite day spa brings the treasured Far Eastern art of Thai massage to a town more famous for skiing and rodeos than ying yang traditions.
Tom Rector was a Thai massage virgin. The ad executive from Los Angeles, CA came across a web site for Life Essentials Day Spa. The spa touted a “new” massage technique that combines deep tissue acupressure and yoga/stretching. He didn’t really know what he was getting himself into, but he did know that his body could use a therapeutic massage. After a two-hour treatment, he immediately re-booked a Thai massage for two days later.
“I’ve had my share of massages, but the Thai massage was by far the best I ever had,” Rector gushed. “I know I should stretch more, but my massage therapist got all the kinks out and made me feel better than I have in a couple of years. It was a pretty amazing transformation.”
Actually, the traditional art of Thai massage has been around for over two-thousand years, but is not that well known in smaller mountain towns. The proprietor of the spa, Pamela Peretz, added the Thai massage modality to her massage therapy in Steamboat Springs after spending 50 days in Thailand training at the world-renowned Wat Pho Temple in Bangkok. “It was an amazing experience being able to work with some incredible master teachers where Thai massage originated. I’m able to bring that authenticity back to Steamboat, in a series of over 100 deliberate steps in five major sequences.”
Rector goes on to sayn, “It was a completely different experience. For one, the body work was performed on a comfortable mat on the floor, not on a traditional massage table. And I felt like I got all the benefits of a deep tissue massage, but with more stretching and a better end result. I didn’t want the massage to end. Two hours just flew by.”
But, is Thai massage for everybody?
“It’s really designed for someone in reasonably good health, with a certain amount of body mobility. It’s ideal for an active person like a runner, skier, biker or hiker or anyone who has done ever done yoga,” Ms. Peretz explains. “People who are used to a softer Swedish style massage, or are completely inflexible should probably not get a Thai massage”.
“I have to admit, I was stretched in ways I never have been before during my massage,” commented Rob Newton of St. Petersburg, FL. “But after a week of biking, hiking and rafting, it was just what I needed. I just never knew this type of massage existed. I’ll definitely look around for a Thai massage the next time I need one.”
Thai massage can be offered in one-hour, 90-minute and two-hour increments, but for the best results, a two-hour massage is recommended, especially if it is the first time receiving this kind of massage. And for those just not quite ready to get Thai’d up in the Wild West, rest assured. Thai massage, although growing in popularity, still represents only about 25% of overall spa services. Deep tissue massage, Swedish massage and other classic massage and facial modalities still make up the majority of Ms. Peretz’s spa business.