Massaging my thoughts

I am a new-found fan of massage. Before Thailand, I’d never experienced one, and now I love the rhythmic pressure and the stretching of muscles (like most folks tho, I can live without too many elbows to the small of my back and shoulders). I usually spend the time thinking about how to propose to the masseuse and/or bring her home in my suitcase. Just kidding.

And then I went to Cambodia. A Khmer massage seems essentially like a Thai massage (probably arose from Cambodians seeing how much of a tourist draw this was, and adapting it for their own profit). The latest masseuse I had was decent, not as good with the kneading pressure for the muscles, really just pushing on things a lot. But I had signed up for the Khmer massage and herbal rub, and things were about to get A. Maze. Ing.

In the midst of the rubbing and pressing, suddenly there was a hot bag of fragrant herbs being applied all up and down my arms, on my stomach and sternum, down my legs and over my shoulders. If I was a cat, I would be purring, and as a puppy I would pee on the floor at the jasmine, lemongrass, orchid, and lavender fragrance, and the heat.

Aromatic herbs and oils

Seriously, she’d go to reheat the herbal compress (hot bag of herbs is a better term!) and I’d be thinking, ‘Why is this other gal even bothering? Just bring back my hot herbs!’ I think I’m going to have to take up this practice at home, maybe have a herb window sill dedicated to Khmer hot herb bag creation? It will have to wait tho. Somehow I don’t think I can replicate it in a hotel room- brewing up a pot of tea and pressing the Lipton tea bags to myself just isn’t going to cut it 😉


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