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.
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 😉