When we think of Tulsa as a diverse city, we can practically pick a culture to immerse ourselves in. This week we decided to immerse ourselves into the Thai culture, primarily in the areas of food and relaxation.
The Thai people are very simple, yet mysterious to many foreigners. A majority of the Thai people take relaxation very seriously. Unlike many parts of the world where time is considered money, the Thai people believe that time is not something that should be chased. They believe in hard work but believe that it is not important enough to become a workaholic. Spending time out with friends or family (or enjoying a traditional Thai massage, which is indeed a very popular form of Thai relaxation) is a typical thing to do during the week and on the weekends.
Thai massage, one of the world’s oldest healing modalities, is a popular form of relaxation in the Thai culture. It is a blend of massage, acupressure, energy work, and gentle yoga stretches. Benefits from a session may include: releasing tight joints, stretching muscles, increasing range of motion, and reducing stress. Thai massage has its roots in a spiritual tradition, and its purpose is to heal a person physically, emotionally and spiritually. Spa Lux, a luxury day spa in Tulsa is one of the few spas that offer true authentic Thai massage. Specifically trained in Thai massage is Spa Lux’s newest team member, Phonthip “Tip” Moreno. Tip is a native of Thailand with previous experience at prestigious spa resorts in Thailand and Guam, making her a great addition to Spa Lux. Thai massage is both deeply relaxing, energizing and takes place on a futon mat on the floor while wear loose fitting clothing. Some spas, like Spa Lux, provide you with an outfit to wear. You start by lying on your back, and the therapist uses gentle compression and stretching techniques to open up your body, beginning with your legs. Some people say Thai massage is a little like doing yoga without any effort, because the therapist will push your body into various positions without any work on your part.
Food is also a huge part of any gathering in most cultures. Unlike western culture, where a normal meal in any restaurant consists of an appetizer, main entrée and dessert, in Thailand the custom is a little different. Instead of ordering a few dishes, most gatherings consist of sharing one main dish together. Most dishes in Thailand contain sweet, sour, salty and spicy. The food is considered satisfying when it contains all the four tastes. Thai dinners primarily include meat, fish, noodles, vegetables and soup followed by desserts including fresh fruits and colorful rice cakes.
A very popular Thai restaurant right here in Tulsa is Lanna Thai. Family owned and operated since 1998, this hot spot has been nationally recognized as one of the top 50 Thai restaurants in the country along with many local awards. Specializing in fresh ingredients, bold flavors and family recipes, Lanna Thai is an experience in itself. My personal favorite dish is the Ba-Mee Mhoo Dang(below) consisting of Egg noodles with Thai style BBQ pork, bean sprouts, green onions and cilantro. This dish can be made with or without chicken broth. Another local favorite are the summer rolls which are filled with jumbo shrimp, chicken, noodle, bean sprouts, carrots, sweet basil, Romaine lettuce, and cilantro served with sweet chili and peanut sauces.
The Thai culture is like I said, very simple. They are very grateful people that love the earth and care about family. Tulsa is full of Thailand culture; we just have to seek it out! Step out of the box today and enjoy a Thai Massage at Spa Lux or go to dinner at one of Tulsa’s many Thai restaurants. We are sure that you will be taken care of!
For more information about SPA LUX visit www.SpaLux.org or call (918) 615-3339.