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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thai Massage

I strongly believe in the therapeutic benefits of both yoga and massage. So when I heard that Thai massage integrates components of both, I was intrigued. For years I have wanted to give it a try but just never seemed to get around to it.

Then a few weeks ago there was an offer from Dealicious (like Groupon) for a 75 minute Thai massage for $35 at a studio near us and I decided this was the perfect opportunity.

The verdict? A very pleasurable experience, although I DO NOT recommend this particular studio: http://ascensionarts.ca/(I'll explain all that below).

I was warned that some parts might be challenging for me, but it wasn't at all. I think it may be intense for someone who has very limited flexibility and/or mobility, but all the yoga I've been doing put me in good shape for it and the whole experience felt gentle, and not the least bit strenuous.

The therapist explained it as a type of massage that focuses on acupressure and uses assisted stretching based on yoga poses. Although when I go for a massage I generally want a good pummelling, the gentleness of this massage practice still felt effective. I left feeling calm, loose and relaxed. If, like me, you love it when you are doing a yoga class and the teacher comes over and gives you assists to help you go deeper into the posture, you will probably love Thai massage.

Unfortunately, I was not at all pleased with the teacher herself. Her massage skills are fine, I think (I have nothing to compare them too really, since this was my first time doing Thai massage), but I was not impressed with how I was treated.

When I first called to make an appointment, she seemed annoyed, like she was too busy to fit me in. She only seemed to have a few afternoons available, and it took us a while to find a time that mutually worked for us.

When I showed up at the studio at the agreed upon time and date, she was not there. I phoned her cell and she admitted she did not have the appointment in her book. She was not terribly apologetic, but eventually said she would email me to re-book and could perhaps offer me a free session.

After a few days I still had not heard from her so I phoned her back. Again, she acted like I was an annoyance, but we managed to book yesterday's session.

Yesterday she sent me an email to confirm and included instructions:

*Wear t-shirt and pants (no shorts)
*No perfumes or scented products (I'd already hopped out of the shower and spritzed on perfume and slathered on body lotion!)
*No make-up (ugh, hoped I wouldn't get caught on camera!)
*Bring $6 for tax and $10-15 for tip

Considering how annoyed I already was with her service, I planned to tip no more than $10. Yet when our session was over (and by the way, it was 60 minutes, not the promised 75!) and she asked for the $6 in tax, I gave her a $20 and waited for change. I was going to take the change and then give her back $10, but she pocketed the whole $20 and didn't ask if I wanted any back! There was also no apology for the first appointment mix-up, nor any mention of the free session she'd mentioned before.

Now, of course, I could have said something, but I am terribly un-assertive in these situations, so I just stormed off. While I may do Thai massage again, it won't be with HER!

Have you ever had a situation were dissapointed with a service provider, but didn't say anything?