Beware the Thai Massage; it comes in three stages which will make four hours in the dentist’s chair seem like heaven, starting with whimpering and crying, proceeding to excruciating – face all screwed up, and finishing with – I’m about to vomit – literally in my mouth. I said to the boy (yes boy!), “bit softer” he said, “I’m making you better”!!

That was my first expereince of Thai Massage – no oil, just on a bed, with a guy who appears to have 8 elbows. Plus you have to change attire to have this massage and it includes putting on Fishermans pants, (which I’m against on principle) and doing up a Chinese top with about ten toggles, in the dark, this is a challenge in itself. Gotta say I feel pretty loose now, (but not in the good way!)

After this initial massage though I had several other Thai Massages that I found much better, not so many elbows, still firm but also flowing and actually I think I’ve been converted. I just found the after effect amazing. I had a bursitis that just wouldn’t budge, I’d had several cortizone injections which provided temporary relief, but I had not been able to lift my arm above shoulder height for three years! Well, one Thai Massage fixed all of that, incredible!!

The other thing that attracts me to Thai Massage is that it’s like the lazy persons yoga, they push and pull and stretch you in all sorts of directions. I though it was just perfect for a place like Thailand which I find just too hot to do any exercise under my own steam.

My favourite massage was at the Thailife Homestay, home to our Tai Chi, Meditation and Yogalates Retreat. The staff start by washing your feet before taking you to an air-conditioned room where you are given the ubiquitous Pyjamas (at least these ones have buttons!) The staff are very experienced and check the pressure with you throughout to make sure you are comfortable. I love it when they get to the head massage, best scalp massage ever, I even enjoyed the hair pulling, trying to remove my ears from head, not so much.

Afterwards whilst sipping sweet ginger tea, on the balcony overlooking the garden, I felt deeply relaxed and at peace and was already planning when I could return again.