Many journalists will tell you that newspapering is the ultimate in micromanagement. But that’s not necessarily so at the Reno News & Review. Andrea Mesplet, the owner of Reno-Tahoe Thai Massage, 712 S. Center St., called at the right moment—trying to figure out how to get some coverage in the best publication in Northern Nevada—caught a staffer with idle hands and … voila! More information about her business and about Thai massage in general can be found on her Facebook site. For more information: (541) 207-6849.
Tell me a little about Thai massage.
Thai massage is done on a Thai mat on the floor. The client stays fully clothed, wearing loose, comfortable clothing to allow for movement. And then I move the client through a series of passive stretches and then work some acupressure points along with muscle compression, muscle kneading, things that you would find in a regular massage as well. It’s very dynamic, lots of movement, but the client stays passive the whole time so it’s not like they’re doing any of the work. I do all of the movements for them.
Is it hard or soft [pressure]?
It can actually be either. It depends on the needs of the client. The great thing about it is I have like five hours of material that I can draw from. So, depending what the client wants specifically, I can give a whole hour just on the lower body and working the hips and the legs. It is a full body massage every time, but I can definitely tailor it and focus it. If the person likes deep-tissue, then I use my hands and my elbows, but I also use my feet and my knees. I use my own body, like I’ll prop their leg up on mine or on my shoulder. Being able to use my feet, I can also get into the tissues a little bit deeper.
How long have you been doing massage?
I got my license in May, but I’ve been studying Thai massage for a little over a year and a half now. My business is only Thai massage. I don’t do table massage.
What made you open a business instead of getting on with an operation that’s already going?
I found that there isn’t anywhere in town—maybe one place in town—that offers Thai massage. But because I do all of my work on the floor, changing a room over between massages from the table to the mat can be really hectic. But I just wanted the ability to screen my own clients, to just really run the business in my own way. I thought I could develop more rapport and connection with my clients—as opposed to going by somebody else’s establishment [rules].
Right, no telling who you’re going to get in one of those assembly line massage places.
Exactly. And that’s the thing with Thai massage because it is so different. I really like to be able to engage with my clients over the phone first to make sure this is something they want, and to understand what they are coming to get. And then, once they’re there, even being able to spend 10-15 minutes with them when they first get there, to find out what they do every day and help incorporate Thai massage into their daily life, once a month or whatever. I just like being able to have more control over my contact with the clients.
And how does it compare to typical massage? Do you charge by the hour?
I do charge by the hour. I’m currently $55 an hour and $75 for an hour and a half. I think table massage is great, and there is absolutely a place for it, but in terms of what I like about Thai massage is the amount of movement that’s involved in it, because I think we are quite stagnant in our daily lives sitting at a desk or in the car all day. So being able to have someone do movement for you, it just feels really good, and I love being able to incorporate that into people’s lives.