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  • Writer's pictureLaura Peters

The Blind Masseuse

When I arrived in Bangkok in 2017, I had a painful stiffening in my shoulder called, ”frozen shoulder.” I literally could not raise my left arm more than a few inches from my side. I didn’t think that frozen shoulder could lead to an adventure until my daughter suggested we go for massages at a massage school where all the masseuses were blind. We like doing things off the well-trod path of most tourists. A trip to a blind masseuse surely filled that bill. We found our way through the confusing, busy streets of Bangkok where the cars drive fast and honk a lot. After a few wrong turns we located the right alley and, with a sense of wonder, headed up some stairs to the Massage School.

The blind young Thai man who was assigned to me started in with what I imagine was his usual approach to an upper body back massage. Then he found my shoulder. He didn’t speak English, nor I Thai, but he communicated to me that he could fix this. He was so gentle, I figured he couldn’t make it worse. To my utter amazement he was incredibly strong. He applied his elbow and a number of contortions along with deeply kneading my back to the problem for an hour. Yes, there was some pain, but quickly I could tell that something was shifting in my whole body. Finally, he sat back with a huge smile on his face. I shrugged both shoulders - something I couldn’t do when I walked in. Then I raised both hands above my head, arms straight. He had fixed my shoulder and aligned my whole body. I wanted to hug him, but shook his hand instead, and thanked him profusely. I found someone who spoke Thai and could tell him what he had just done for me.

That small hour adventure changed my whole trip in 2017. I went on to China, Malaysia and Bali, thrilled every day with my returned mobility. The best thing was being able to swim in Bali using both my arms.


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