Having gone for a Thai massage before, I can attest to one thing:
That shit hurts like hell.
Indeed, it took every ounce of bravado to stifle out any impending screams… because it hurt that badly. At one point I even wondered whether I was being massaged, or simply on the receiving end of a badly-concealed assassination attempt.
Thankfully, however, it proved to be the former, but one thing remains clear:
Thai massages are borderline traumatic and should be administered only to eligible personnel. And I’m not saying that because I’m a pussy.
Should you persist in doubting my words, however, perhaps you should take a look at the case of this 25-year-old woman.
Having been six-months pregnant, she went for a Thai massage, only to lose two things:
Her foetus… and her consciousness.
On 11 Jan, 25-year-old Wirawan Ketkesi had visited a massage parlour in the Chiang Mai province. Having been six months pregnant at the time, her massage therapist discouraged a full body massage and instead proposed a foot and shoulder massage, to which Wirawan agreed. After one hour, the massage therapist left for the toilet, and came back to realise something horrifying:
Wirawan was suffering from a seizure that caused her heart to stop.
Frantic, the therapist tried resuscitating her, before she was ultimately rushed to the Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital.
But it was too late…
After Wirawan was admitted into the hospital, doctors confirmed that she had miscarried, and proceeded to surgically remove her dead foetus.
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But if you thought that was the horrible part, think again, for it turns out that following the miscarriage, Wirawan remained in a comatose state and has been stuck in the same condition ever since.
Severe as it is, the incident soon engulfed the world of social media, and prompted the deputy spokesman of the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, Dr Khwanchai Visithanon, to launch a public response.
“Women who are less than three months into their pregnancy should avoid massage because it may lead to miscarriage.”
He also added that pregnant women should be wary of getting massages at different stages of pregnancy, and advised them to avoid it.
“Pregnant women should also only go for a massage at a place where the masseurs are qualified practitioners of traditional Thai medicine and have undergone at least 800 hours of training,” he said.
Chiang Mai’s deputy public health chief Waranyu Jamnongprasartporn has also responded, stating that massage therapists are responsible for verifying whether their customers are pregnant or have any chronic diseases before massage procedures ensue.
A sad reality
Wirawan has a five-year-old son and is a single mother whose husband is currently serving time in prison. Doctors have told the family to prepare for the worst for Wirawan, as her condition is critical and she requires respiratory aid all the time.
Currently, the family’s engaged in negotiations with the massage shop to churn out a satisfactory outcome. An officer has also been tasked to serve as a mediator, and Chiang Mai police deputy chief Pol Colonel Piyapan Pattarapongsin will keep the media posted if there’s any development.
In the meantime, all we can do is keep our fingers crossed, in the hopes that the doctors’ worst fears will not be realised.
Get well soon, Wirawan. You can do it!
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