So first a bit of background. Before coming to Thailand, I had two extremely intense months organizing a massive international conference in New York. It seemed like every day something went wrong, and I had to fix it. It was hard and stressful and intense.

On top of that, I had some passport / visa issues that I had to take care of before leaving the states, and due to delays, I thought I would have to miss my family member’s wedding in Europe. Somehow, it all worked out, and I made it to the wedding right on time (flew in the 3 hours b4 the wedding 😱). But as much as I enjoy spending time with my family, it is also super stressful and intense.

A few days later, I took the long flight to Thailand. At this point, I haven’t slept much for a week or so, had several time zone changes, was slightly sick, and had constant stress over me from multiple sources. Luckily, Thailand was my destination where I could relax slightly…

Exploring Chi Nei Tsang

So the day after I arrived, I went to the beautiful Tao Gardens Resort for a spa day. It was recommended by a friend (and for good reason - it is world-famous!). But the real reason I went was for their signature Chi Nei Tsang abdominal massage. Yes, it was as weird and awkward as it sounds, but also good. I read that there’s a lot of tension in our stomach muscles (our gut), and I could definitely feel what that meant! I also got a few other treatments, and the whole day was nice.

But I wanted to explore the stomach massage more. It was definitely something special. I read that it’s good to get it several times pretty often for full benefits. I also read that people end up laughing or crying during it - after all, we store a lot of feelings in our gut! The massage is meant to be an emotional as well as physical release.

Unfortunately, the Tao Gardens is too far from where I’m staying in Chiang Mai and super expensive (western prices!). So I looked up places where I can get this treatment in Chiang Mai and found a random place called Sirichan Clinic that is only a 10 minute walk from where I’m staying!

The Life-Changing Massage Experience

The Clinic itself is in a hut in an alley. There is only room for two people to get a massage at the same time. Sirichan (Dr Nooy) took me in and asked me to change into traditional Thai massage pajamas. She felt my pulse, touched a few points on my body, and immediately told me that I think too much and that my right shoulder is extra tense. I could tell right away that she had that special medicine woman magic.

Unlike at the Tao Gardens - where they just did what I paid for (gave me the 50-minute abdominal massage), she evaluated my body and gave me the treatment that I actually needed! My body was TIGHT! She walked on it, used a stick to massage my back, cracked my back, cracked my neck, fixed my leg cramps, and opened up my body in a way that released intense energy through my body. If you don’t believe in the Tao concept of Chi, you will after getting a massage from her!

It’s like I was completely cracked open! All the bad stuff was suddenly in my wrists. I thought there was a weight holding me down there - I couldn’t move my arm, but I looked and there was nothing there! All the bad energy was just concentrated there! It was intense.

She also did the abdominal massage, and told me things were not good there either. Everything was tight.

The whole experience was painful, intense, and terrifying. But also much more needed that I even realized. Sirichan did what needed to be done to release my Chi. It felt incredible! It was real healing!

Emotional Release

My friend was being treated next, so I had some time to wait. After the initial awe of feeling my energy released and flowing throughout my body, I just sat there and cried for 30 minutes. Remember how I read that this type of massage is an emotional as well as physical release? Well, this was the emotional release and I needed it! The stress over the past few months has been too much, it was amazing to acknowledge that it was hard, cry and let it go.

I then changed, and went across the street to a super cute coffee shop to get ginger tea while waiting for my friend. My Chi was so open and I was feeling so good, I made a friend! A woman from Chile who was playing one of those beautiful bowl instruments that are supposed to heal your chi. She was waiting to get the massage next. Her friend recommended Sirichan specifically!

Final Release

Before I left, Sirichan gave me some special medicine. I was to take the pills before going to sleep. They would interact with all my muscles (which could be uncomfortable and painful) to gather all the toxins to be eliminated in the morning.

Well, that night was not fun. I woke up in the middle of the night in pain and couldn’t sleep too well. I was tossing and turning, and wasn’t feeling that great the next day. But the toxins were finally released.

The next day, I woke up feeling the best I’ve felt in months! Like my normal self again. My mind is clear, I’m happy, I feel like I can take on the world again!

I’ll be going back to Sirichan a few more times during my stay in Chiang Mai. If you’re in town, don’t miss this opportunity!