Krongrak Jøkladal, the mindful owner of Sabai-Thai massage in downtown Tórshavn, lives in the present moment, so to speak.
She has committed her professional life to the protection of the ancient tradition of traditional Thai massage and when asked about her future ambitions with regards to Sabai, she gives a very clear answer:
– No, I do not think that much about ambitions. I am just enjoying life at the time being and am very happy to protect the tradition of Thai massage. I am also happy to give the Faroese people the opportunity to try a Thai massage. This is a very good workplace for two people. Sabai is doing fine at the moment and I am pleased about that, says Krongrak in an interview with Local.fo.
Krongrak and her employee, Pornthip , put much emphasis on the core principles of Thai massage.
– Often, people just know one side of the case and I want people to know both sides of the story, says Krongrak with regards to Thai massage which works on the belief that Sen or energy lines run through the body. A trained therapist works on these lines to release any blockages and allow the muscles and joints to return to their optimal position and movement.
Krongrak, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting General Management, first moved to the Faroe Islands from Thailand in 2009 and took over Sabai-Thai massage from Walei West, the previous owner of the place, in 2015.
Sabai originally opened in 2008 and these days it is well visited by Faroese locals as it offers not just the original Thai massage, but also sports massage, oil massage as well as foot massage.
Krongrak went to a Thai-massage school in Thailand and has great knowledge of the history of Thai massage. This becomes soon apparent when we asked her to explain more about the history of the massage.
Thai massage – or Thai yoga massage – is an ancient healing system combining acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principles, and assisted yoga postures. The founder of Thai massage and medicine is said to have been Shivago Komarpaj, who is said in the Pāli Buddhist canon to have been the Buddha’s physician over 2,500 years ago. He is noted in ancient documents for his extraordinary medical skills, his knowledge of herbal medicine, and for having treated important people of his day, including the Buddha himself.
Krongrak is very well aware of these facts and takes great pride in emphasizing that her work is part of something much bigger than herself.
– In Thailand it has been normal for many, many years that family members massage each other. Thai massage is the soul of the Thai nation. It is the soul of our culture, and I want to continue this tradition here in the Faroe Islands, says Krongrak who last year went back to Thailand to honor and pay tribute to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. On this occastion she also paid a visit to Wat Pho.
Wat Pho, the center of Thai medicine and massage for centuries, opened the Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School in 1955 on the temple grounds, the first such school approved by the Thai Ministry of Education. Wat Pho offers four basic courses of Thai medicine: Thai massage, Thai midwife-nurse, Thai pharmacy, and Thai medical practice.
Krongrak is very happy with the existence of this school as she points out that it takes time to truly learn and appreciate the traditional Thai massage way.
According to Curejoy.com, “Thai massage therapy increases energy flow in the body, boosts circulation, and improves flexibility and your range of motion. The invigorating treatment helps wash away anxiety and sluggishness and boosts your mood. It can also tackle back pain to osteoarthritis as a supplemental therapy. Even migraines and chronic headaches are eased with Thai massage”, writes Curejoy.com.
Krongrak nods approvingly. The Thai massage way is here to stay in Tórshavn.