Healthy Living and Thai Massage

Published | Updated April 3, 2020

Silhouette of a man smoking IMAGE BY HELISSA GRUNDEMANN

I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time now and a recent conversation with a friend of mine triggered me to finally say something about it.

You see, when you practice Thai Massage, “living healthy” is a natural conversation topic with your clients, friends, and family.

And when people ask me what-and-how-to-do, my answer is always a “multivitamin” solution: change your food habits, try to change your posture and the way you move, maybe change your work, do some exercise, move to a healthier living environment, end stressful situations and relationships, and so on, and so on. Nothing new. We all know this by now.

But you see, I think basically we don’t know really.

Our opinions and our knowledge change continuously. For instance, first we say milk is healthy, then it’s not, sugar is bad for us and then it’s not so bad at all. Meat is not okay and then again we are advised to have some meat because of the protein. Or take at least some fish. But yeah, not all fish. This thing goes on and on. We seem to continuously change our ideas about what-is-supposed-to-be-good-for-us.

Yet, I think we’re overlooking a crucial aspect, that is, the fact that humans in particular and Nature in general are able to adapt. Isn’t the evolution-theory all about adaptation? And just take a look around — we’re marvelously adapted to a multitude of living environments. Environments with different climates, different food, different cultural, economic, social and political systems.

We adapt. No doubt about it. And maybe there’s no real point in healthy or not healthy on the long run. Maybe one day, smoking cigarettes is crucial for certain human beings in certain environments to live healthy. Maybe one needs milk and the other will die from it. Maybe for me, eating strictly vegetarian, not to smoke and not regularly inhaling car exhaust gases is just utterly destructive to my “perfectly well adapted” body-system.

Now, maybe healthy just means being able to adapt. To adapt to “unhealthy” things. And transform them into health accordingly. After all, isn’t health the ability to fight illnesses effectively?

I tend to like the concept. It’s funny really. It’s a little bit like a tough Thai Massage session: people scream, suffer and feel like being tortured. Their body probably feels awful, hurt, hit, and terrible for days, a week or even more. But after two, three sessions (and you wonder why they come back) they don’t want anything else. And there’s no more pain but just ease.

Yeah well, I suppose maybe they’ve adapted to an “unhealthy and horrible” thing. And moreover, they’ve transformed it into health.

Just maybe.

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