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Thai One On

What is good karma? I don't know for sure, but I must have done something good, because a few weeks ago, I was in the right place at the right time: a booth at Club Dada, sitting next to Dallas photographer Hal Samples. Known for his soul-searching stare both behind and in front of the camera, Hal's probably got more good karma than most anyone in town, not least due to his tireless work in helping the homeless.

Hal spread a little goodness to me in the form of a little beige card--a gift certificate to Sacred Art Thai Massage Studio in Uptown. I hung on to it for a few weeks before deciding I'd treat myself to a birthday rubdown. (Besides, ever since my favorite place closed earlier this year, I've had nowhere to go. Just. Kidding. Really.)

I've always thought Uptown sucked the good energy away from people, but I have been proven wrong. I was greeted at Sacred Thai by bearded former Dentonite and Thai massage practitioner Matt Chapman, who led me into a cozy little room with a big mat on the floor. I was about to get Thai'ed.

Thai massage isn't anything like regular old Swedish massage. It's more like a big, long stretch. And it feels fan-freaking-tastic. Matt and I chatted away about our jobs, traveling, religion and what exactly all this stretching was about as he bent me in ways most of my ex-boyfriends have only dreamed of. He leaned on me. He pushed on me. He did, at one point, sit on me. It was completely unlike anything I've ever experienced, and believe you me, I have been around the massage block.

I also got a little sampling of their All Love Healing Matrix in which Matt guided me through a kind of visualization-meditation exercise to help rid me of some of the superhot energy heat that had been emanating from me throughout the massage. I am, apparently, a spicy tamale. But I was less spicy after all was said and done, and rather calm for a girl who'd had far too many birthday drinks.

I was surprised to learn that fellow Thai massager Ty Hudnall (oh how appropriate) and Matt are something of Thai massage renegades, having studied under Thai teacher Pichet Boonthumme. Breaking away from traditional Thai massage methods, Pichet teaches different forms of pushing, pulling and stretching--practicioners use their feet, for example, something not found in other forms of Thai massage.

Ty also does astrology readings, something I intend to return for. As a Scorpio (and professional navelgazer) there's just nothing more appealing than talking about oneself and the stars for a good hour. After all, they are my superhot chakras. --Andrea Grimes

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