Enjoy being pampered & pummelled in this Thai sanctuary
Thai Bliss Massage is a Therapeutic Massage spa located on in Childers Street in the Civic. This traditional sanctuary is open 10am to 10pm seven days a week, which makes it convenient for time-strapped, busy people to fit in a rejuvinating massage. Offering traditional Thai, Remedial, Deep Tissue, Swedish, Hot Oil, Stone and Prenatal massages, this peaceful haven situated in the busy city centre has something to slow down even the busiest Canberran.
I was fortunate enough to receive a gift voucher for my birthday for a 30 minute Foot Reflexology Massage then a 1 hour Traditional Thai Massage worth $119 (what a gift!) - perfect for a busy Mum on my feet all day. So it was a hot day in February when I ventured to this part of the Civic that I had never been to before since moving to Canberra. Situated near the Australian National University (ANU), it is a bustling part of the city where students mingle with office workers at the many cafes, coffee houses and dumpling houses in the area.
Located on a main street, with plenty of parking in the multi-story carpark in the street behind, Thai Bliss Therapeutic Massage is easy to find. Step inside for the beginning of your massage experience and make a mental note of how you are feeling as you walk in. You will be feeling a lot better by the time you walk back out again.
It doesn't take long before you meet your masseuse, push open the ornate elephant-handled doors and are transported to another part of the world. With the smell of oils in the air, traditional bell music and tea light candles outside each room, I found my breathing begin to slow down as the calming, holistic benefits of the sanctuary began to work - before my massage had even begun.
For the 30 minute Reflexology Foot Massage, I was reclined back in a comfy chair, my feet were washed in warm water and was given a lavender eye mask to put over my eyes to block out the world. The next half an hour was spent enjoying a pressure point massage of my feet and calves in pure, completely decadent, bliss.
I must admit however, that with my eyes covered my sense of hearing became more acute and the sounds around me became more noticeable. Sounds of doors opening and closing, bodies being pummelled, masseuses checking in with their clients and the soft shuffle of padded feet. However, over all this, the melodic pace of the music kept the relaxation levels securely in a "zoned out" level as I tried to block out my internal dialogue and the sounds around me - which can be hard for most of us to do, leading busy lives.
Inside the sanctuary there are eight different rooms next to each other with, quite literally, paper thin walls so you are able to hear what is going on in other areas. Although distracting at first, this falls to the background once your massage begins.
The traditional Thai massage I was about to have "combines elements of yoga, Shiatsu and acupressure to work with the energy pathways of the body. The entire body benefits from a pressure point massage and stretching. Tension will disappear replaced by a feeling of energy and peace."
I had never had a Thai massage before, and didn't think to read the brochure beforehand, so the physical nature of the massage was a little surprising. The masseuse climbed over me, stood on my back at one point and also asked me to hold her wrists as she pulled me back after particular areas were massaged. It sounds agonising but it was simply amazing. The masseuse found all the pressure points in my body, worked out my kinks, stretched my muscles, cracked bones and left me loose, energised and aligned. The masseuse kindly checks along the way that the pressure isn't too hard. I did have to say at the beginning that it was a little too hard and she paired it back to a comfortable level. So if you like a strong massage, they can certainly do it here.
This looks familiar. Source: Thai Bliss website
There was also relaxing times during the massage (where I think I may have dosed off for a few minutes!) and muscles were looked after and softened to enable more freer movement. She started with my feet and worked her way up each pressure point and every sore muscle in my body to finish with a head massage. My masseuse then asked me to sit up and finish with one last crack and stretch, and my peaceful and therapeutic time had come to a close. I was offered a tea and given time to change, before going back out into the stark sights and sounds of the western world outside the sanctuary doors.
In my time at Thai Bliss I really did feel that I had entered a traditional Thai haven and time slowed down. The masseuse gave me all her expertise and strength in making sure that my experience left me feeling looser, energised and aligned. The masseuses are highly skilled and ancient Thai master-trained to ensure complete professionalism and know just how to work out the stresses from our bodies.
Although I have had massages in the past, this traditional Thai massage was different to anything that I had ever done. If you feel that you have been punishing your body and mind with bad posture, stress or physical labour, then give a Traditional Thai Masssage a try and I guarantee that you will be stretched, pummelled and twisted - but somehow leave relaxed and pain-free.