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Thai hospitality key to traditional massage

Date Posted: 2010-07-01

Thailand bills itself as the ‘Land of Smiles’ and here on Okinawa, Jasmine pampers customers and makes them feel like they’re there.

It’s more than a massage, says Jasmine owner Pranee, explaining it is an integral part of Thai culture thought to date back more than 2,500 years. Unlike western massages that use oils, Thai massage stimulates and enhances the flow of life energy in the body that taps into ten major lines known as Zen lines. They’re the principal elements of 72,000 channels or streams of invisible life energy lines that surge through the body.

Done properly, a Thai massage promotes increased blood and lymph circulation through pressure and gentle stretching of muscles. The massage therapist uses elbows, thumbs, palms, knees and feet to create an energizing, revitalizing massage.

Customers are warmly greeted by name, served herbal tea, and even get their feet washed in herbal scented water before slipping into loose fitting pajamas for the massage. A typical Thai massage takes two hours or more, although Jasmine does offer shorter sessions of 60 and 90 minutes. Each massage begins from the toes, working gradually up the legs, hips, back, shoulders, neck and head through the Zen lines.

Pranee, who owns Jasmine, is a graduate of the Wat Po Thai Traditional Medical School in Bangkok. She’s qualified not only in Thai traditional massage, but in oil massage and aromatherapy arts, as well. Pranee has created Jasmine as a uniquely Thai atmosphere, with ornate curtains forming private rooms for both Thai and oil massage. All Thai masseuses are graduates of the Royal Temple, Wat Po Traditional Medical School.

Thai massage “begins from the tips of your toes,” says Pranee, “and gradually moves upward to the top of your head by following the Zen Energy Lines of our bodies.” The massage focuses on circulation and pressure points, promoting health and muscular flexibility. Pranee works the body through face up, face down, side and sitting positions to enable the masseuse to perform a variety of exercises. Hot herbal compresses, herbal balls, are offered as an optional service to warm and sooth the customer’s body. In addition to traditional Thai massage, Jasmine offers foot massages.

Jasmine is located on the first floor of Ameku Apartments, adjacent to Lawson’s at Ojana in Ginowan City. Jasmine is about 1.7km south along the ‘Pipeline’ from the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station main gate. To get to Jasmine, take Route 58 toward Naha from the bases. After seeing Jimmy’s on the left, make a left turn at the fourth traffic signal (the one with the big Sharp sign on the corner). Then make a right at the single blinking red light, continue straight until the road curves to the left, and look for Jasmine on the corner adjacent to Lawson’s at Ojana in Ginowan City.

Jasmine offers original gift certificates ideal for birthday and anniversary presents. Appointments may be made at 090-2969-4744. Jasmine is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and closed on Wednesdays.

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