Friday, September 14, 2012

Rest, recovery & relax: Enjoying a Thai herbal massage

Happy Friday, beautiful people!

I hope you've had an awesome week. As always, I've been challenging myself as much as possible - my motto is "try something new every week". I want to keep my body guessing. This week I challenged myself with a lower body plyo circuit (tougher than ever before). I'll reveal my September workout schedule in my next post.

Last week's special treat was a Thai herbal massage at my friend Mikko's physical therapy office in Malmi. Mikko opened his own physical therapy facility last week and I was his guinea pig for one hour on Wednesday. I've never tried Thai massage - especially combined with herbal medicine or heat!

Mikko promised me that the treatment would sooth me to the core. The combination of heat, massage and herbal medicine is claimed to improve circulation, relax sore muscles and ease respiration.

Since I work out like a little maniac, my lower body is constantly sore (especially my hamstrings and calves, I love plyo!) and I find massage really painful. My massage therapist has told me to visit him more frequently on several occations. For some reason, I just can't pick up the phone and make an appointment - why would I want to torture myself and pay for it? You'd think that I would have an issue with flexibility, since my muscles are always sore. I'm hypermobile (over-flexible), a lovely remain from my time as a teeny-weeny ballerina, and I still have "knots" in my muscles. Traditional massage hurts like h*ll, so I usually visit a hot stone massage therapist. The heat, organic oils and massage works best for me. I heard that Thai massage would be something like that - of course I'd give it a try!

The Thai herbal compress balls are steamed, so they're pleasantly hot. I really loved the warm feeling of the fabric against my skin, it wasn't at all burning-hot (like hot stone massage can be). I experienced a deeper heat, it felt like the warmth went straight to my muscles. The combination of the compress balls and extra-virgin coconut oil on my skin was really pleasant, the slight friction of the fabric felt almost like soft exfoliation. The coconut oil left my skin feeling extra soft. What's not to love?

Compared to hot stone massage, my skin wasn't hot afterwards - in fact, it felt pleasantly cool. My skin wasn't at all pink either, even after massaging the muscles. Maybe it's because of the herbs? I don't know, but I liked it a lot more than traditional massage. I imagine that Thai herbal massage works really well during the summer season, because it doesn't leave you feeling hot. I could easily imagine myself getting this treatment on my lunch break and returning to the office as a happy, reborn woman!


I got the "Rejuvenating" treatment. The Thai herbal compress balls consist of the following herbs:
Curcuma Longa (turmeric)
Curcuma Zedoaria(turmeric)
Cymbopogon Citrates(lemongrass)
Citrus Hystrix (Kaffir lime)
tamarindus indica (tamarind leaves)
pandanus odorus (pandan leaves)
nibuhria siamensia

I got the treatment for my lower body, so I didn't actually smell the herbs during the treatment. I can imagine that a back or neck massage works as an aromatherapeutic experience as well. I got a whiff of the compress ball after the treatment. I love lemongrass and it's a shame I didn't get a neck (or facial) treatment. Well, maybe it could be my "something new" for next week..? ;)

Sorry international readers, I think Mikko only does these things in his new facility in Helsinki

Mikko's contact info:

Fysioterapia Mikko Utecht
UH & FIX Malmi
Pekanraitti 14
00700 Helsinki
puh 046 810 2070
Have a relaxing weekend!


  1. Hi Ulrika,

    I just had to post a message to say its great to read that you really enjoyed your first Thai massage. It really is so great for the body and soul riding the body of stress and also toxins. Its fabulous to know that people can enjoy this ancient Thai art in Helsinki and not just here in Bangkok. I hope you will be enjoying it again.

    Don :)