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Intensely Thai

Janice Gagnon received Thai massage the first time 12 years ago from an acquaintance who learned the therapeutic form in Thailand.

“I had done yoga for many years, but after receiving the session, I felt I had done yoga for two hours,” Gagnon said. “I felt lightness and flexibility throughout my body, with a grounded centeredness.”

Gagnon was hooked.



She traveled to Thailand and spent seven months there attending the Institute of Thai Massage and The Old Medicine Hospital in Chiang Mai. She also trained with Lek Chaiya, a Thai massage master, who continues as her mentor.

Gagnon subsequently founded the Spirit Winds School of Thai Massage in Nevada City. The school relocated to Broad Street opposite Cirino’s last month, and it houses a therapeutic spa called “Jindana.”




“Thai massage is an energy-based therapy that unblocks blockages in energy flow throughout the body like other Eastern therapies do,” Gagnon said.

Energy blockages are created by everyday stress, physical injury, diet and lack of exercise, Gagnon said.

Thai massage therapists use thumb-pressure, stretching and rocking motions using their hands, feet, forearms, knees and elbows to enhance energy flow in the body.

“Thai massage can be called ‘yoga for lazy people,'” Gagnon said. “You don’t have to be flexible to get it, but it increases your flexibility, range of motion and the joints.”

Back pain, knee pain and carpal tunnel syndrome are some physical problems Thai massage helps to ameliorate, Gagnon said.

“It also reduces stress, boosts the immune system and is deeply relaxing,” she added.

Gagnon also offers monthly classes to people interested in learning Thai massage at Jindana. The school includes two massage rooms and a large central room with an ornate alter at one end.

Massage sessions typically last one and a half hours, Gagnon said. “We also do half-hour to three-hour sessions,” she added.

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail ssen@theunion.com or call 477-4229.

Jindana Thai Therapeutic Spa

n Located at 310-1/2 Broad St., Nevada City.

n Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

n Call 265-2404 for information. Walk-ins are welcome.

Spirit Winds School of Thai Massage, at the same address, is offering two upcoming courses:

n Level 1 and 2 northern-style massage, 85 hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 12-26 and Nov. 15-29.

n Master Lek Chaiya and Master Khun Jack, from Thailand, will offer courses in Thai foot massage, basic nerve touch and advanced techniques.

n Sept. 13-24.

n Call 265-2404 for details.


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