Body & Mind: It's a Stretch!

Thai massage is getting more patients off the table

Ananda Apfelbaum is giving a massage, but there's no table in sight. Her client, fully clothed, lies on a mat on the floor as Apfelbaum pulls, prods and stretches using not only her hands but also her elbows, forearms, knees and feet. Instead of coming out of the treatment as limp as a dishrag, the recipient feels invigorated as well as relaxed. It's a combination many first-timers find irresistible. "What people have said is, once they've had a Thai massage, they can't go back to traditional table massage," says Apfelbaum, 48, author of Thai Massage: Sacred Bodywork (Avery/Penguin).

Among her converts...

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