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September 2014

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TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

INDEX
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

02
Deep English, 2011-2014

www.deepenglish.com

03

ACTIVE LISTENING MAIN STORY

06

ACTIVE LISTENING VOCABULARY

07

ACTIVE SPEAKING - PART A

12

ACTIVE SPEAKING - PART B

17

ACTIVE SPEAKING - PART C

21

TAG QUESTIONS

24

FUTURE PERFECT

28

PAST PERFECT

32

UNREAL CONDITIONAL

35

CONVERSATION LESSON

46

CONVERSATIONAL VOCABULARY

ACTIVE
LISTENING

VOCABULARY

ACTIVE
SPEAKING

FOUR
TENSES

CONVERSATION
LESSON

ACTIVE LISTENING MAIN STORY


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
Theres no question that people are stressed out these days. This is especially true of people who
live in big cities, or who have a profession and are raising a family. And this constant stress can lead
to illnesses, both physical and mental. People handle this stress in different ways. Some deal with it
negatively, by eating or drinking too much, engaging in risky behaviors, or by taking strong drugs
prescribed by their doctors. Others deal with it more positively by exercising more, and finding
ways to relax and have fun.
But along with the stresses of modern life also comes a sense of isolation and disconnect for many
people, especially in Northern cultures. Many lead individualistic lives, and never really connect with
others in intimate ways. Weve all heard about the healing power of human touch, but I wonder how
closely weve considered its true importance in maintaining health and vitality? The evidence
supporting the power of touch is overwhelming.
For starters, people who have more physical contact with others on a daily basis benefit from better
sleep, lower blood pressure, and reduced irritability. More human touch also reduces anxiety,
while promoting a general sense of well-being. It can ease pain and lift depression in an instant.
Stimulation of the skin through touch lowers stress hormones and releases the cuddle hormone
oxytocin, which enhances a sense of trust and attachment toward others. In short, human touch
stimulates the reward center of the central nervous system, making us feel happiness, joy, and wellbeing. The more you receive touch, the happier youll be.

03
Deep English, 2011-2014

www.deepenglish.com

But thats not all. Increased human touch has also been shown to improve communication and
performance. If touch were a language, then we would all be naturally fluent. Theres no need for a
phrase book, as we can communicate complex emotions in just an instant no need for words. And
human touch has even been shown to increase performance amongst team members in sports. In
fact, touch is so important to the health and well being of people, that babies who are not held and
hugged enough will stop growing and, in some cases, die from lack of human touch. It truly is that
powerful.
For tens of thousands of years, people have been communicating through touch.

Its our first language. Hugging, stroking, and rubbing are the most common ways, but its massage
that represents human touch in its most powerful form. And while there are many different massage
styles and traditions in the world, one of the most unique and interesting is a form of massage that
comes from Thailand: Traditional Thai Massage.
Traditional Thai Massage is a powerful healing practice with a long history. It surprises many people
that the roots of Traditional Thai Massage lie not in Thailand, but rather in Northern India, dating
back thousands of years. The ancient Indians believed that each person is made up of 5 different
interconnected bodies. Theres a physical body, composed of muscle, skin, and bone. An energy
body, comprised of prana or life energy. And a mental body, made up of emotions and thoughts.
Theres also a wisdom body, where we find deep insight and intuition. And finally, we have a bliss
body, which is the deepest level of our existence - an unbounded state of peace, love, and joy. Some
believe that many of our physical and mental illnesses arise from an imbalance in the flow of life
energy. Thai massage focuses primarily on working with the energy body. And by putting the life
energy back into balance, it affects the other bodies in positive ways, particularly the physical and
the mental.
Receiving a Traditional Thai Massage from a true master is an unforgettable experience. You start
off by lying down on the floor, fully clothed. The masseur then begins with a prayer, which allows him
to sharpen his concentration and deepen his awareness of life energy. He then begins to apply slow,
deep pressure to the various energy channels running through your body. He coordinates his
movements with his breath, maintaining awareness of your energy and how it is interacting with his
own. At times hell lift your legs or arms into the air and hold your body in positions that resemble
those in the practice of yoga. He uses his fingers, his palms, his elbows, his knees and forearms. At
other times he stands, using his feet to apply pressure to your legs and back. Hell even cut off the
blood flow to your legs or arms, causing a tingling sensation to arise.

04
Deep English, 2011-2014

www.deepenglish.com

The slow, rhythmic movements resemble waves lapping at the shore of a solitary ocean. As the
minutes pass, images from your subconscious mind will arise. And youll experience a range of
emotions. One minute youll feel annoyed, and the next youll feel depressed, or you might even cry
or burst out laughing. Sometimes youll feel as heavy as a stone, while other times youll feel as
light as a feather.
Hes taking you and your mind and body on a healing journey, one that touches the depth of your
being. Youll both lose consciousness of self and other, becoming one with the endless flow of
universal energy. And finally youll hear another prayer, signaling the end of the session.

And when he thanks you and asks you to sit up, youll be amazed that two-and-a-half hours have
passed. For some it feels like an eternity; for others just a moment. And is there really a difference
between the two?
Clearly there are great benefits in Traditional Thai Massage for the receiver, but what about the
giver? This is what I love most about Thai massage: the giver can benefit just as much as the
receiver, but in a slightly different way. In order for Thai massage to be effective, the giver must put
himself in a meditative state. To do so requires concentration, for the giver must maintain a state of
awareness of life energy. The masseur cannot allow his thoughts and emotions to interfere with the
massage. He must continuously let go of them as they arise, and maintain focus on the massage.
Without a commitment to maintaining meditative awareness, the massage becomes mechanical,
losing its healing power.
Furthermore, the giver uses Thai massage to practice loving kindness toward the receiver. No matter
what feelings of disgust or attraction arise in the masseur, he must let go of them and continue to
focus on the well being of the receiver. In this way, the masseur strengthens his ability to generate
loving kindness for others, regardless of whether he likes them or not. Likewise, his ability to
maintain a meditative state strengthens his powers of awareness. After years of practice, the
masseur naturally carries over these states of mind into his interaction with other people in his daily
life. The result is that he cultivates relationships with others that contain these qualities of awareness
and kindness. In this way, not only does the masseur and all of his or her receivers benefit, but the
entire community benefits. Its a win-win situation for everyone.
As we spoke about before, life in the 21st century can be fast-paced and stressful. We suffer from all
sorts of stress-related illnesses, both physical and mental. Many of us also live a fairly individualistic
existence, devoid of intimate contact with others. We all know that the power of human touch is
wonderfully healing, but many of us just dont get enough of it. Wouldnt it be great if we could relieve
our stress with frequent massage amongst family members and friends?

05
Deep English, 2011-2014

www.deepenglish.com

Well, all it takes to get started is to learn the basics of a practice like Traditional Thai Massage, which
is possible to do in a 10-day period. Imagine if every man, woman, and child in your community were
capable of giving simple massage to their loved ones, while improving their faculties of self
awareness and loving kindness toward others. How would learning to give massage improve your
quality of life? And what sort of effect would it have on your family, friends, and community? The
results are just a touch and a breath away.

ACTIVE LISTENING VOCABULARY


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

stressed out: suffering from high levels of stress


prescribed: recommended or authorized
isolation: being alone
intimate: close, personal
vitality: a state of strength or energy
overwhelming: very strong, great in amount
irritability: a state of being irritable or grumpy
anxiety: a feeling of worry or unease
intuition: the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious
reasoning
burst out: suddenly release or express
commitment: a state of being dedicated to a cause or activity

06

devoid: lack or absence of something


faculties: inherent mental or physical powers

Deep English, 2011-2014

www.deepenglish.com

ACTIVE SPEAKING / PART A


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Theres no question that people are stressed out these days. This is especially true of people who
live in big cities, or who have a profession and are raising a family.
Are people busy these days? Yes, there is no question that people are busy these days. Is
this especially true of people who live in the countryside? No, this is especially true of people
who live in big cities, or who have a profession and are raising a family.
And this constant stress can lead to illnesses, both physical and mental.
What does this constant stress lead to? It leads to illnesses, both physical and mental. Do
you have constant stress?
People handle this stress in different ways. Some deal with it negatively, by eating or drinking too
much, engaging in risky behaviors, or by taking strong drugs prescribed by their doctors.
What are three ways people handle their stress in negative ways? They handle their stress in
negative ways by eating or drinking too much, engaging in risky behaviors, or by taking
strong drugs prescribed by their doctors. Do you ever handle your stress in negative ways?
Others deal with it more positively by exercising more, and finding ways to relax and have fun.
What are some ways that people deal with stress more positively? They exercise more, and
find ways to relax and have fun. How do you handle your stress in positive ways?

07
Deep English, 2011-2014

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But along with the stresses of modern life also comes a sense of isolation and disconnect for many
people, especially in Northern cultures.

ACTIVE SPEAKING / PART A


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
What else comes along with the stresses of modern life? A sense of isolation and disconnect
comes along with the stresses of modern life. Is this especially true for people living in
Southern cultures? No, it is especially true of people living in Northern cultures. Do you live
in a Northern or Southern culture?
Many lead individualistic lives, and never really connect with others in intimate ways.
Do many people lead collective lives? No, actually many lead individualistic lives. Do you
lead an individualistic life?
Weve all heard about the healing power of human touch, but I wonder how closely weve considered
its true importance in maintaining health and vitality? The evidence supporting the power of touch is
overwhelming.
Is the human touch important in maintaining health and vitality? Yes, human touch is very
important for maintaining health and vitality. Is the evidence supporting the power of human
touch underwhelming? No, in fact the evidence supporting the power of human touch is
overwhelming.
For starters, people who have more physical contact with others on a daily basis benefit from better
sleep, lower blood pressure, and reduced irritability.

08
Deep English, 2011-2014

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Do people who have more physical contact with others on a daily basis benefit from better
sleep? Yes, indeed they do. What else do they benefit from? They also benefit from lower
blood pressure and reduced irritability. How much physical contact do you have with others
on a daily basis?

ACTIVE SPEAKING / PART A


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

More human touch also reduces anxiety, while promoting a general sense of well-being. It can ease
pain and lift depression in an instant.
Does more human touch increase anxiety? No, more human touch reduces anxiety. Does it
promote a general sense of well being? Yes, indeed it does. What else can human touch do?
It can ease pain and lift depression in an instant. Do you ever feel depressed?
Stimulation of the skin through touch lowers stress hormones and releases the cuddle hormone
oxytocin, which enhances a sense of trust and attachment toward others.
What lowers stress hormones? Stimulation of the skin lowers stress hormones. What is the
nickname of the hormone oxytocin? Oxytocin is called the cuddle hormone. What does
oxytocin enhance? It enhances a sense of trust and attachment toward others.
In short, human touch stimulates the reward center of the central nervous system, making us feel
happiness, joy, and well being. The more you receive touch, the happier youll be.
Does human touch stimulate the reward center of the heart? Well, maybe, I dont know. But it
definitely stimulates the reward center of the central nervous system. How does it make us
feel? It makes us feel happiness, joy, and well being. The more you receive touch, what will
happen? The more you receive touch, the happier youll be.

09
Deep English, 2011-2014

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But thats not all. Increased human touch has also been shown to improve communication and
performance.
Sorry, but what has increased human touch been shown to improve? Human touch has been
shown to improve communication and performance.

ACTIVE SPEAKING / PART A


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

If touch were a language, then we would all be naturally fluent. Theres no need for a phrase book,
as we can communicate complex emotions in just an instant no need for words.
Do we need a phrase book to communicate via touch? No, we are naturally fluent in human
touch. Can we communicate simple emotions in just a minute? Yes, we can, and we can even
communicate complex emotions with touch. There is no need for words.
And human touch has even been shown to increase performance amongst team members in sports.
Does human touch decrease the performance amongst team members in sports? No, just the
opposite. Human touch increases performance.
In fact, touch is so important to the health and well being of people, that babies who are not held and
hugged enough will stop growing and, in some cases, die from lack of human touch. It truly is that
powerful.
What will happen to babies if they are not held and hugged enough? Babies who are not held
and hugged enough will stop growing. What might happen, in some cases, if babies lack
human touch? In some cases they might die. Were you hugged as a baby?
For tens of thousands of years, people have been communicating through touch. Its our first
language.

10
Deep English, 2011-2014

www.deepenglish.com

How long have people been communicating through touch? People have been
communicating through touch for tens of thousands of years. Is touch our second language?
No, human touch is our first language.

ACTIVE SPEAKING / PART A


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Hugging, stroking, and rubbing are the most common ways, but its massage that represents human
touch in its most powerful form.
What are the three most common ways humans touch? Hugging, stroking, and rubbing are
the most common ways. Does hitting represent human touch in its most powerful form? No,
its massage that represents human touch in its most powerful form.
And while there are many different massage styles and traditions in the world, one of the most
unique and interesting is a form of massage that comes from Thailand: Traditional Thai Massage.
Are there only a few different massage styles in the world? No, there are many different
massage styles and traditions in the world. What is one of the most unique and interesting
styles? Traditional Thai Massage is one of the most unique and interesting. Have you ever
received Traditional Thai Massage?

11
Deep English, 2011-2014

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ACTIVE SPEAKING / PART B


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Traditional Thai Massage is a powerful healing practice with a long history. It surprises many people
that the roots of Traditional Thai Massage lie not in Thailand, but rather in Northern India, dating
back thousands of years.
Is Traditional Thai Massage a pleasurable massage with a short history? No, its not.
Traditional Thai Massage is a powerful healing practice with a long history. How do people
feel when they learn that the roots of Traditional Thai Massage lie not in Thailand? People
feel surprised to learn that the roots of Traditional Thai Massage lie not in Thailand. Where do
the roots of Traditional Thai Massage lie? They lie in Northern India.
The ancient Indians believed that each person is made up of 5 different interconnected bodies.
Who believed that each person is made up of 5 different bodies? The ancient Indians
believed that each person is made up of 5 different bodies. Are those bodies separated? No,
actually they are thought to be interconnected. How many bodies do you think you have?
Theres a physical body, composed of muscle, skin, and bone. An energy body, comprised of prana
or life energy. And a mental body, made up of emotions and thoughts.
What is the physical body composed of? Its composed of muscle, skin, and bone. Whats the
energy body comprised of? Its comprised of prana or life energy. How about our mental
body? What is it made up of? Our mental body is made up of emotions and thoughts.

12

Theres also a wisdom body, where we find deep insight and intuition.
What do we find in the wisdom body? We find deep insight and intuition in the wisdom body.

Deep English, 2011-2014

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ACTIVE SPEAKING / PART B


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
And finally, we have a bliss body, which is the deepest level of our existence - an unbounded state of
peace, love, and joy.
Is our bliss body at the surface level of our existence? No, it is supposed to be the very
deepest level of our existence. Is the bliss body a well defined body? No, actually is said to
be unbounded. Is the bliss body a state of emptiness? No, it is a state of peace, love, and joy.
Would you like to get in touch with your bliss body?
Some believe that many of our physical and mental illnesses arise from an imbalance in the flow of
life energy. So Thai massage focuses primarily on working with the energy body.
What do some people believe that our illnesses arise from? They believe illnesses arise from
an imbalance in the flow of life energy. Which of the 5 bodies does Thai massage focus on
primarily? It focuses on the energy body, primarily.
And by putting the life energy back into balance, it affects the other bodies in positive ways,
particularly the physical and the mental.
What happens when life energy is put back into balance? When the life energy is put back
into balance, other bodies are affected in positive ways. After the energy body, which two
other bodies are most likely to be affected in Thai massage? The physical and mental bodies
are most likely to be affected in positive ways. What affects your body and mind in positive
ways?

13
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Receiving a Traditional Thai Massage from a true master is an unforgettable experience.


Is receiving Traditional Thai Massage from a true master easy to forget? No, on the contrary,
it is an unforgettable experience.

ACTIVE SPEAKING / PART B


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

You start off by lying down on the floor, fully clothed. The masseur then begins with a prayer, which
allows him to sharpen his concentration and deepen his awareness of life energy.
Do you lie on a massage table when receiving Thai massage? No, you lie on the floor. Do you
take off your clothes to receive a Thai massage? No, you experience it fully clothed. What
does the masseur do at the beginning of the massage? He says a prayer. What does the
prayer allow the masseur to do? It allows him to sharpen his concentration and deepen his
awareness of life energy.
He then begins to apply slow, deep pressure to the various energy channels running through your
body. He coordinates his movements with his breath, maintaining awareness of your energy and
how it is interacting with his own.
Does the masseur apply fast, surface pressure to the skin? No, the masseur uses slow, deep
pressure to the various energy channels running through your body. What does the masseur
try to coordinate his movements with? He tries to coordinate his movements with his breath.
And what does he maintain awareness of? He maintains awareness of your energy and how it
is interacting with his own. Do you ever coordinate your movements with your breath?
At times hell lift your legs or arms into the air and hold your body in positions that resemble those in
the practice of yoga. He uses his fingers, his palms, his elbows, his knees and forearms.

14
Deep English, 2011-2014

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Does the masseur ever lift your legs or arms into the air? Yes, he does. And he holds your
body in positions that resemble those in the practice of yoga. What parts of his body does
the masseur use during the massage? He uses many parts of his body, such as his fingers,
his palms, his elbows, his knees and forearms.

ACTIVE SPEAKING / PART B


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

At other times he stands, using his feet to apply pressure to your legs and back. Hell even cut off
the blood flow to your legs or arms, causing a tingling sensation to arise.
What part of the body does the masseur use when standing? He uses his feet when standing
to apply pressure to your legs and back. What happens when the masseur cuts off the flow of
blood to your legs or arms? A tingling sensation arises when he cuts of the flow of blood to
your legs or arms.
The slow, rhythmic movements resemble waves lapping at the shore of a solitary ocean.
What do the slow, rhythmic movements of the masseur resemble? They resemble waves
lapping at the shore of a solitary ocean. How does that image make you feel right now?
As the minutes pass, images from your subconscious mind will arise. And youll experience a range
of emotions.
As the minutes pass, do images from your unconscious mind arise? Well, maybe they do, but
definitely images from your subconscious mind arise. What else will you experience? You
will experience a range of emotions.
One minute youll feel annoyed, and the next youll feel depressed, or you might even cry or burst
out laughing. Sometimes youll feel as heavy as a stone, while other times youll feel as light as a
feather.

15
Deep English, 2011-2014

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What are some of the emotions you might feel while receiving Thai massage? You might feel
annoyed or depressed, or you might even cry or burst out laughing. Will you ever feel as
heavy as a feather? No, of course not. Feathers arent heavy. You might feel as heavy as a
stone or as light as a feather.

ACTIVE SPEAKING / PART B


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Hes taking you and your mind and body on a healing journey, one that touches the depth of your
being. Youll both lose consciousness of self and other, becoming one with the endless flow of
universal energy.
Is the masseur taking your mind and body on a vacation? Well, not exactly. Hes taking your
mind and body on a healing journey. If the masseur is good, what will you lose
consciousness of? Youll lose consciousness of self and other. Will you become one with the
floor? Well, maybe. But perhaps youll become one with the endless flow of universal energy.
And finally youll hear another prayer, signaling the end of the session. And when he thanks you and
asks you to sit up, youll be amazed that two-and-a-half hours have passed.
What signals the end of the massage? A prayer signals the end of the massage. After the
massage is finished, what will you be amazed by? Youll be amazed that two-and-a-half hours
have passed.
For some it feels like an eternity; for others just a moment. And is there really a difference between
the two?

16
Deep English, 2011-2014

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ACTIVE SPEAKING / PART C


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
Clearly there are great benefits in Traditional Thai Massage for the receiver, but what about the
giver? This is what I love most about Thai massage: the giver can benefit just as much as the
receiver, but in a slightly different way.
In addition to the receiver, are there any benefits for the giver of Traditional Thai Massage?
Yes, there are. The giver can benefit just as much as the receiver. Are the benefits the same
for both the giver and the receiver? No, the benefits are slightly different.
In order for Thai massage to be effective, the giver must put himself in a meditative state. To do so
requires concentration, for the giver must maintain a state of awareness of life energy.
What must the giver do in order for Thai massage to be effective? The giver must put himself
or herself in a meditative state for Thai massage to be effective. To do this, what does it
require? It requires concentration. And what must the giver maintain awareness of during the
massage? The giver must maintain awareness of life energy.
The masseur cannot allow his thoughts and emotions to interfere with the massage. He must
continuously let go of them as they arise, and maintain focus on the massage.
Can thoughts and emotions interfere with the givers ability to give an effective massage?
Yes, the givers thoughts and emotions can interfere with the massage. How must the giver
deal with his thoughts and emotions during the massage? He must continuously let go of
them as they arise and maintain focus on the massage. Do you ever let go of thoughts and
emotions in your daily life?

17
Deep English, 2011-2014

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Without a commitment to maintaining meditative awareness, the massage becomes mechanical,


losing its healing power.

ACTIVE SPEAKING / PART C


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
What will happen to the massage if the giver does not make a commitment to maintaining
meditative awareness? The massage will become mechanical and lose its healing power if
the giver does not maintain meditative awareness.
Furthermore, the giver uses Thai massage to practice loving kindness toward the receiver.
Does the giver practice forgiveness during a Thai massage? Well, not exactly. Instead, the
giver practices loving kindness toward the receiver.
No matter what feelings of disgust or attraction arise in the masseur, he must let go of them and
continue to focus on the well-being of the receiver. In this way, the masseur strengthens his ability to
generate loving kindness for others, regardless of whether he likes them or not.
Should the masseur focus on his feelings of disgust or attraction during the massage? No,
the giver should focus on the well-being of the receiver. In doing so, what will the masseur
strengthen? Hell strengthen his ability to generate loving kindness for others. Does it matter
if the masseur doesnt like the receiver? No, it does not matter how the masseur feels about
the receiver. Do you ever practice loving kindness toward people you dont like?
Likewise, his ability to maintain a meditative state strengthens his powers of awareness.
What strengthens the masseurs powers of awareness? His ability to maintain a meditative
state during the massage strengthens his powers of awareness.

18
Deep English, 2011-2014

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After years of practice, the masseur naturally carries over these states of mind into his interaction
with other people in his daily life. The result is that he cultivates relationships with others that contain
these qualities of awareness and kindness.

ACTIVE SPEAKING / PART C


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
Does the masseur have to make a great effort to carry over these states of mind into his
interaction with other people in his daily life? No, the masseur naturally carries over these
states of mind in his dealings with other people. What kind of relationships does the masseur
cultivate with others? He cultivates qualities of awareness and kindness in his relations with
others.
In this way, not only does the masseur and all of his receivers benefit, but the entire community
benefits. Its a win-win situation for everyone.
Aside from the giver and the receiver of a Thai massage, who else benefits? The entire
community benefits. Is it a win-lose situation? No, it is a win-win situation for everyone.
As we spoke about before, life in the 21st century can be fast-paced and stressful, especially if you
live in a big city. We suffer from all sorts of stress-related illnesses, both physical and mental.
Is life in the 21st century generally slow and relaxed for people living in a big city? Of course
not. Its generally fast-paced and stressful. What effect does living a fast-paced and stressful
life have? It causes us to suffer from all sorts of stress-related illnesses.
Many of us also live a fairly individualistic existence, devoid of intimate contact with others. We all
know that the power of human touch is wonderfully healing, but many of us just dont get enough of
it.

19
Deep English, 2011-2014

www.deepenglish.com

Do many of us live a fairly group-oriented existence? No, many of us live a fairly


individualistic existence. Do most of us experience the healing power of human touch on a
regular basis? No, many of us dont get enough of it. Do you get enough of human touch in
your life?

ACTIVE SPEAKING / PART C


TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
Wouldnt it be great if we could relieve our stress with frequent massage amongst family members
and friends?
Well, all it takes to get started is to learn the basics of a practice like Traditional Thai Massage, which
is possible to do in a 10-day period.
How much time is necessary to learn the basics of Traditional Thai Massage? It is possible to
learn the basics of Thai massage in a 10-day period.
Imagine if every man, woman, and child in your community were capable of giving simple massage
to their loved ones, while improving their faculties of self awareness and loving kindness toward
others. How would learning to give Thai massage improve your quality of life? And what sort of effect
would it have on your family, friends, and community? The results are just a touch and a breath
away.

20
Deep English, 2011-2014

www.deepenglish.com

TAG QUESTIONS
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
Instructions: listen and respond to the questions as quickly as you can. Try to explain as much as
you can. Pay attention to the spoken tone of the tag questions highlighted in blue, as the upward
rising tone indicates a feeling of uncertainty in the person asking the question.
Theres no question that people are stressed out these days. This is especially true of people who
live in big cities, or who have a profession and are raising a family.
Pretty are pretty stressed out these days, arent they? Yes, they are. People are stressed out.
And this is especially true of people who live in big cities isnt it? Yes, people in big cities are
stressed out. And people who have a profession and are raising a family are stressed out,
too, arent they? Yes, theyre stressed out, too. Youre a little stressed out, arent you?
And this constant stress can lead to illnesses, both physical and mental.
Constant stress can lead to illness, cant it? Yes, constant stress can definitely lead to
illness. And that illness can be both physical and mental, cant it? Yes, it can be both
physical and mental, for sure.
People handle this stress in different ways. Some deal with it negatively, by eating or drinking too
much, engaging in risky behaviors, or by taking strong drugs prescribed by their doctors.

21

People handle stress in similar ways, dont they? No, just the opposite. They handle stress in
different ways. Some people deal with stress negatively, dont they? Yes, they deal with it
negatively. And those people sometimes eat or drink too much, dont they? Yes, they do.
They eat and drink too much. You eat and drink too much, dont you?
Others deal with it more positively by exercising more, and finding ways to relax and have fun.

Deep English, 2011-2014

www.deepenglish.com

TAG QUESTIONS
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
People dont deal with stress positively, do they? No, thats not true. Some people deal with
stress positively. Oh, right. So those people exercise more and find ways to relax and have
fun, dont they? Yes, thats right. They exercise more and find ways to relax and have fun.
You have ways to relax and have fun, dont you?
But along with the stresses of modern life also comes a sense of isolation and disconnect for many
people, especially in Northern cultures.
Along with the stresses of modern life comes a sense of isolation and disconnect for many
people, doesnt it? Yes, it does. This is especially true for people in Southern cultures, isnt
it? No, thats not right. Its true for people in Northern cultures, not Southern cultures. Youre
from a Northern culture, arent you?
Many lead individualistic lives, and never really connect with others in intimate ways.
Many people never connect with others in intimate ways, do they? No, unfortunately they
dont. And many lead individualistic lives, dont they? Yes, indeed they do lead individualistic
lives. You lead a fairly individualistic life, dont you?
Weve all heard about the healing power of human touch, but I wonder how closely weve
considered its true importance in maintaining health and vitality? The evidence supporting the power
of touch is overwhelming.

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Human touch isnt so important in maintaining health and vitality, is it? No, on the contrary,
human touch is very important in maintaining health and vitality. But the evidence
supporting the power of touch is minimal, isnt it? No, its not. In fact, the evidence
supporting the power of human touch is overwhelming.
For starters, people who have more physical contact with others on a daily basis benefit from better
sleep, lower blood pressure, and reduced irritability.

TAG QUESTIONS
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
People who have more physical contact with others on a daily basis benefit from better
sleep, dont they? Yes, thats right. They sleep better. But they dont benefit from lower blood
pressure, do they? Yes, they do benefit from lower blood pressure. Ok, but they experience
increased irritability, dont they? No, just the opposite. They experience reduced irritability.
Youre a little irritable right now, arent you?
More human touch also reduces anxiety, while promoting a general sense of well being. It can ease
pain and lift depression in an instant.
Human touch reduces anxiety and promotes a sense of well being, doesnt it? Thats right, it
does. But it cant ease pain or lift depression, though, can it? Yes, it actually can ease pain
and lift depression in an instant.
Stimulation of the skin through touch lowers stress hormones and releases the cuddle hormone
oxytocin, which enhances a sense of trust and attachment toward others.
Stimulation of the skin through touch lowers cholesterol, doesnt it? No, I dont think so. I
think it lowers stress hormones. Oxytocin is a hormone, isnt it? Yes, oxytocin is a hormone.
And its called the loving hormone, isnt it? No, its called the cuddle hormone. It enhances
our sense of trust and attachment toward others doesnt it? Indeed it does. Indeed it does.
In short, human touch stimulates the reward center of the central nervous system, making us feel
happiness, joy, and well being. The more you receive touch, the happier youll be.

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Human touch stimulates your central nervous system, doesnt it? Yes, it stimulates the
reward center of your central nervous system. It makes you feel happiness, joy, and well
being, doesnt it? Yes, it makes us feel happiness, joy, and well being. And the more touch
you receive, the happier youll be, wont you? Thats right. The more touch we get, the
happier well be. Youre a pretty happy person, arent you?

FUTURE PERFECT
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
Tomorrow morning you are going to have received a Traditional Thai Massage from a true master.
By the afternoon, you will have had an unforgettable experience.
By this time tomorrow afternoon, what will you have received? I will have received a
Traditional Thai Massage. Who will have given you the massage? A true master will have
given it to me. What kind of experience will it have been? It will have been an unforgettable
experience.
You will have started off by lying down on the floor, fully clothed. The masseur then will have begun
with a prayer, which will have allowed him to focus his concentration and tune his consciousness in
to his intuition and awareness of life energy.
Will you have started off by sitting in a chair? No, I will have started off by lying on the floor.
Will you have been naked? No, I will not have been naked. I will have been fully clothed.
What will the masseur have begun the massage with? He will have begun with a prayer. And
what will the prayer have allowed him to do? The prayer will have allowed him to focus his
concentration.
The masseur will have applied slow, deep pressure to the various energy channels running through
your body. Hell have coordinated his movements with his breath. And hell have maintained
awareness of your energy and how it was interacting with his own.

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Will the masseur have applied fast, shallow pressure to your energy channels? No, he will
have applied slow, deep pressure to my energy channels. Will he have coordinated his
movements with your breath? I dont know. Maybe hell have done that, maybe he wont
have. Im not sure. Will he have coordinated his movements with his breath? Yes, he will
have done that. And what will he have maintained awareness of? He will have maintained
awareness of my energy and how it was interacting with his own (energy).

FUTURE PERFECT
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
At times the masseur will have lifted your legs or arms into the air. He will have held your body in
positions that resemble those in the practice of yoga.
During the massage, what will the masseur have lifted? He will have lifted my legs or arms
into the air. And what will he have done with your body? He will have held my body in
positions that resemble those in the practice of yoga.
He will have used his fingers, his palms, his elbows, his knees and forearms. At other times he will
have stood and used his feet to apply pressure to your legs and back.
Will the masseur have only used his hands? No, he will have used other body parts, such as
his fingers, his palms, his elbows, his knees and forearms.
He will have even cut off the blood flow to your legs or arms, causing a tingling sensation to arise.
Will he have cut off the blood flow to your head? No, of course not. He will have only cut off
the blood flow to my legs or arms. And what kind of sensation will this have caused? It will
have caused a tingling sensation to arise.
The slow, rhythmic movements of the massage will have resembled waves lapping at the shore of a
solitary ocean.

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Will the slow, rhythmic movements of the massage have resembled wind? Uh no, they will
not have resembled wind. They will have resembled waves. And what will the waves have
been lapping at? They will have been lapping at the shore of a solitary ocean.
During the massage, images from your subconscious mind will have arisen. And youll have
experienced a range of emotions.

FUTURE PERFECT
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
During the massage, what will have arisen in your mind? Images from my subconscious
mind will have arisen. And what will you have experienced? Ill have experienced a range of
emotions.
One minute youll have felt annoyed, and the next youll have felt depressed, or you might have
even cried or burst out laughing.
Will you have felt annoyed during the massage? Yes, I will have felt annoyed. Will you have
felt depressed? Yes, Id have also felt depressed. What else might you have done during the
massage? I might have cried or burst out laughing.
Sometimes youll have felt as heavy as a stone, while other times youll have felt as light as a
feather.
Will you have felt as heavy as a stone during the massage? Yes, I will have felt as heavy as a
stone. How else will you have felt? I will have felt as light as a feather.
By this time tomorrow afternoon, the masseur will have taken you and your mind and body on a
healing journey, one that will have touched the depth of your being.

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Will the masseur have taken your mind and body on an airplane flight? No, he wont have
done that. What will he have done then? Hell have taken my mind and body on a healing
journey. And what will that healing journey have touched? It will have touched the depth of
my being.
Youll have lost consciousness of both self and other, becoming one with the endless flow of
universal energy.

FUTURE PERFECT
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

What will you have lost consciousness of? Ill have lost consciousness of both self and
other. And will you have become one with the floor? No, I wont have become one with the
floor. I will have become one with the endless flow of universal energy.
And finally youll have heard another prayer, signaling the end of the session.
What will you have heard signaling the end of the session? I will have heard a prayer,
signaling the end of the session.
You will have been amazed that two-and-a-half hours passed during the massage. It may have felt
like an eternity; it may have felt like just a moment.
By this time tomorrow afternoon, what will have amazed you? The fact that two-and-a-half
hours passed during the massage will have amazed me. Will it have felt like an eternity or
just a moment? I have no idea which it will have felt like. I guess Ill find out tomorrow
morning. Im looking forward to it.
By this time tomorrow afternoon, what interesting things will you have done?

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PAST PERFECT
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Yesterday afternoon, you had a delicious lunch with your friends at a local caf. During lunch, you
told them about an unforgettable experience you had had earlier in the morning. You had received a
Traditional Thai Massage from a true master.
Before you ate lunch with your friends yesterday, what had you experienced? I had
experienced a Traditional Thai Massage from a true master.
You had started off by lying down on the floor, fully clothed. The masseur then had begun with a
prayer, which allowed him to sharpen his concentration and deepen his awareness of life energy.
How had you started off the massage yesterday morning? I had started off by lying down on
the floor, fully clothed. How had the masseur begun the massage? He had begun the
massage with a prayer. And what had the prayer allowed the masseur to do? It had allowed
him to sharpen his concentration and deepen his awareness of life energy.
The masseur had begun to apply slow, deep pressure to the various energy channels running
through your body. He had coordinated all his movements with his breath. And he had maintained
awareness of your energy and how it was interacting with his own.

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Had the masseur begun to apply fast, shallow pressure to the various energy channels
running through your body? No, he hadnt. He had begun to apply slow, deep pressure to my
energy channels. Had he coordinated his movements with the clock on the wall? No, he
hadnt. He had coordinated his movements with his breath. What had he maintained
awareness of? He had maintained awareness of my energy and how it was interacting with
his own.

PAST PERFECT
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

At times he had lifted your legs or arms into the air and had held your body in positions that
resembled those in the practice of yoga. He had used his fingers, his palms, his elbows, his knees
and forearms.
Had the masseur lifted your legs or arms into the air? Yes, he had. And what had those
positions resembled? The positions had resembled those in the practice of yoga. And what
body parts had the masseur used during the massage? He had used his fingers, his palms,
his elbows, his knees and forearms.
At other times he had stood, using his feet to apply pressure to your legs and back.
Had the masseur stayed kneeling on the floor? No, he hadnt done that. At times he had
stood and used his feet. Had he used his feet to apply pressure to your head? No, definitely
not. Hed used his feet to apply pressure to my legs and back.
He had even cut off the blood flow to your legs or arms, causing a tingling sensation to arise.
Had he cut off the blood flow to your neck? No, definitely not. That would have been
dangerous. Instead, he had cut off the blood flow to my legs and arms, causing a tingling
sensation to arise.
The slow, rhythmic movements had resembled waves lapping at the shore of a solitary ocean.

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What had the slow, rhythmic movements of the masseur resembled? They had resembled
waves lapping at the shore of a solitary ocean.
As the minutes had passed, images from your subconscious mind had arisen. And you had
experienced a range of emotions.

PAST PERFECT
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
During the massage earlier that morning, had images from your conscious mind arisen? No,
images from my subconscious mind had arisen. Had you experienced only a few emotions?
No, in fact, I had experienced a range of emotions that morning.
One minute you had felt annoyed, and the next you had felt depressed. And in another moment, you
had even cried. Later, you had burst out laughing.
During the massage, had you felt annoyed and depressed? Yes, I had. I had felt annoyed and
depressed. What else had you done? I had cried and I had burst out laughing that morning.
Sometimes you had felt as heavy as a stone, while other times you had felt as light as a feather.
Had you felt as light as a stone? No, of course not. I had felt as light as a feather. Stones
arent light; theyre heavy.
The master had taken you and your mind and body on a healing journey, one that had touched the
depth of your being.
Had the master taken your body and mind on a walk through the park? No, he hadnt. He had
taken me on a healing journey. How had the healing journey affected you? It had touched the
depth of my being.

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You had lost consciousness of both self and other. And you had become one with the endless flow
of universal energy.
What had you lost consciousness of? I had lost consciousness of self and other. And had
you become one with the floor? Well, no, not really. I had become one with the endless flow
of universal energy.

PAST PERFECT
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

And finally you had heard another prayer, signaling the end of the session. You had been amazed
that two-and-a-half hours had passed.
What had you heard at the end of the massage? I had heard a prayer. And what had that
prayer signaled? It had signaled the end of the massage. How had you felt about two-and-ahalf hours passing? I had been amazed that two-and-a-half hours had passed.
You couldnt decide if it had felt like an eternity or if it had felt like a moment that morning. Is there
any difference between the two?

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UNREAL CONDITIONAL
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Instructions: Pause the recording and answer the questions using the unreal conditional. Make up
your own answers first. Then listen to the answers of the native speaker. There is no correct
answer. Any answer is ok, but make sure you use the unreal conditional form in your answers.
The giver uses Thai massage to practice loving kindness toward the receiver. No matter what
feelings of disgust or attraction arise in the masseur, he must let go of them and continue to focus
on the well-being of the receiver. If you felt disgust toward someone, would you be able to give him
or her a massage?
If I felt disgust toward someone, I would be able to give him or her a massage, but it wouldnt
be easy. I would have to let go of my feelings of disgust, over and over again.
In this way, the masseur strengthens his ability to generate loving kindness for others, regardless of
whether he likes them or not. If you had the ability to generate loving kindness toward others, would
you use it frequently?
Yes, I would. If I had the ability to generate loving kindness toward others, I would use it
everyday, in all of my interactions. I would especially use it with people I did not like. Then I
would feel better and I would be much kinder toward others.
Likewise, his ability to maintain a meditative state strengthens his powers of awareness. If you had
strong powers of awareness, how would it change your life?

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If I had strong powers of awareness, I would understand myself and others much better. And
if I understood myself and others better, I could make wiser decisions and take more skillful
actions.

UNREAL CONDITIONAL
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

After years of practice, the masseur naturally carries over these states of mind into his interaction
with other people in his daily life. The result is that he cultivates relationships with others that
contain these qualities of awareness and kindness. If you could cultivate a more loving and kind
relationship with someone, who would it be?
If I could cultivate a more loving and kind relationship with someone, it would be with one of
my co-workers who I dont like very much. I see that person frequently, so if I could be more
loving and kind toward him, I would actually feel better myself. Then we would both benefit
from the loving kindness.
In this way, not only does the masseur and all of his receivers benefit, but the entire community
benefits. Its a win-win situation for everyone. If you carried over the qualities of awareness and
loving kindness into your interactions with people, how would it benefit the community?
If I carried over the qualities of awareness and loving kindness into my interactions with
people, I would speak and act in kinder ways. This would make them feel better and it would
make me feel better. Then we would spread our good feelings to other people, causing a
ripple effect. It would make everyone feel better, so the whole community would benefit.
As you know, life in the 21st century can be fast-paced and stressful, especially if you live in a big
city. If your life werent so fast-paced and stressful, how would it be different?

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If my life werent so fast-paced and stressful, I would have more time to relax. And if I had
more time to relax, my body and mind would be healthier and I would feel happier.
We suffer from all sorts of stress-related illnesses, both physical and mental. If you suffered from an
illness, what kind of illness would cause you to seek help from a Thai masseur?

UNREAL CONDITIONAL
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

If I suffered from depression, I would seek the help of a Thai masseur. I think receiving Thai
massage would help me to feel more balanced and happy, thus removing my depression.
Many of us also live a fairly individualistic existence, devoid of intimate contact with others. We all
know that the power of human touch is wonderfully healing, but many of us just dont get enough of
it. If you got more human touch each day, how would you feel?
If got more human touch each day, I would feel more connected to other people. And if I felt
more connected to others, I would feel happier and less fearful.
Wouldnt it be great if we could relieve our stress with frequent massage amongst family members
and friends? If you knew how to give Thai massage, who would you give it to?
If I knew how to give Thai massage, I would give it to my wife, who sometimes feels tired and
stressed from a long day of work. I would also give it to my mother and father, who suffer
from the aches and pains of ageing.
Well, all it takes to get started is to learn the basics of a practice like Traditional Thai Massage,
which is possible to do in a 10-day period.
If you had the chance to take a 10-day course in Thai massage, would you do it?
Yes, of course I would. I wouldnt hesitate to take a 10-day course if I knew that it would
benefit me and my loved ones. It would be a great investment!

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If every man, woman, and child in your community were capable of giving simple massage to their
loved ones, how would life in your community change?
If everyone in my community were capable of giving massage, everyone would be happier
and healthier. There would be no doubt about it.

CONVERSATION LESSON
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Dan: Okay, so this months topic is massage. Aaron, you studied massage for quite a while, right?
Aaron: Yeah, for a few years. I studied Traditional Thai Massage. I started back in 1997.
Dan: And you did that in Thailand, right?
Aaron: I did that in Thailand. I attended a massage school in Chiang Mai, in the North of Thailand. I
also have studied in Bangkok, at one of the main training centers there. Ive done maybe three
different 10-day courses.
Dan: And your wife did that too, with you? All three of those courses?
Aaron: Yeah. Well actually, before we were married. We were a couple. We spent some time in
Thailand, several months. Both she and I studied with the same teacher. Even to this day, we
continue giving each other Thai massage or various forms of it. That's been really beneficial in our
lives, just having a little bit of knowledge of how to help someone relax, how to relax their muscles,
how to release tension. That's really helpful in our busy lives. It's been good.
Dan: You've told me over the years about your experiences with massage a little bit. One of the
things that I thought was the most interesting was how you viewed it as spiritual practice.

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Aaron: Well, yeah. At the time in my life as a young man in my 20s, I was very interested in
spirituality, so I spent a lot of time doing things like meditation and yoga and Tai Chi. Anything that
would help center me on what's happening inside my mind and body and to get in touch with things
that I had not experienced as a younger man and as a child. That's kind of what led me to study
traditional Thai massage, particularly as opposed to other forms of massage because it is a
massage that grows out of a tradition that emphasizes awareness. Being very, very aware of your
breath, of what's happening in your body and mind, and applying that in the massage.

CONVERSATION LESSON
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
Aaron: It's very important in Thai massage to maintain that awareness of your breath, of your life
energy, and of what's happening in the receiver of your massage. In addition to that, to putting forth
some kind of feelings of well-being, which we call loving kindness to the other person. And that has
a benefit, not only on the receiver of the massage, but also on the giver. So that really interested me
at that time in my life. For that reason, I practiced Thai massage, wow, pretty intensely for two or
three years. Then when I came to Kyoto in the year 2000, actually that's what I was doing.
Dan: So you were practicing massage in other places?
Aaron: Well, not as a professional, but just with family, and friends in Thailand. I spent some time in
India where I practiced mostly with my partner at the time, other travelers that we met. I did a little in
the States when I would go home to visit friends and family. For a time in my life, it was a main
thing that I was doing.
Dan: So then when you returned to Japan, you started doing it as a job?
Aaron: Yeah, slightly in the sense that I did not have any work when I first came to Japan, and
that was what I was doing to earn some money. I received payments from people that I gave
massage to.
Dan: What did you charge?
Aaron: Originally that when I first started, I charged 999 for a massage.

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Dan: 999, that's nothing!


Aaron: Yeah, well for some people it's something, but for most people it's nothing. It's very low.

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CONVERSATION LESSON
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
Dan: So that's, by today's conversion and back then, it's about $10. And this is a massage that
lasts how long?
Aaron: Two hours.
Dan: Two hours. Okay, so that's not even the minimum wage in Japan.
Aaron: No, but I told people if they feel like giving more, they're welcome to.
Dan: And how did that work out? Were people generous?
Aaron: Yeah, some people were generous. Other people I think, it's not that they weren't generous,
but they just didn't have the money to afford what you would pay for an actual massage in Japan,
which was probably at least 5000 for one hour, which is five times, actually ten times the amount.
Dan: And you were doing a two-hour massage for $10?
Aaron: Yeah, that's true. So it didn't work out.
Dan: So you were trying to support your family? Did you have children?

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Aaron: No, I did not have children. My wife at the time also was working full time. But it didn't take
long for me to realize that this was not a sustainable venture. I would either have to charge much
more or I would have to start doing something else. Guess what I decided to do to supplement my
income?

CONVERSATION LESSON
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Dan: You decided to open up a Burrito truck.


Aaron: No, that was my second choice. Actually, I decided to start teaching English and that began
my English teaching journey.
Dan: So you were charging 990 or something...
Aaron: 999. Nine was a lucky number, so 999.
Dan: And you did that for how long?
Aaron: Not long, maybe 4 or 5 months or something like that. Then I continued doing massage for
several years. I taught a workshop, I taught a course at a university here in Thai massage. Then
gradually over time as I got busier and busier as a language teacher and I started a family, it just
became something that I did with my wife and occasionally close friends and family members.
Dan: But during that period when you were doing it as your job, back to what you're saying about
really trying to center yourself and putting out positive energy to the person you are massaging and
getting some of that back, that must have been a really interesting experience to be doing that on a
daily basis.

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Aaron: Yeah. And really was, because it's an intimate interaction between two different people. You
can really communicate a lot through touch. Even though you are supposed to be focused on what
you're doing, in terms of giving the massage and focused on the needs of the receiver, as the giver
you're also experiencing emotions and thoughts that come up that can be distracting. Sometimes
you might feel some negativity towards the person you are giving massage to in the form of disgust
or dislike. Or the opposite: you might feel attraction or some kind of positive feeling.

CONVERSATION LESSON
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
Aaron: The practice is really to recognize that those feelings are there, or whatever thoughts that
are associated with those feelings are there, but not feed them. They always give the analogy of a
wild bear coming to your house. If you start feeding the wild bear, then he'll keep coming back every
day. But if you stop feeding him, he'll still come around, but he won't come so frequently. And that's
the idea, is that you learn to recognize them and not feed them. Not give them any energy to exist
and stay focused on the task at hand. In doing so, you're able to overcome the distracting factor of
these emotions and thoughts that arise in your mind and body.
What I found was that, after repeated practice of this, that I started carrying that practice over into
my daily interaction with people. So that if I was talking to someone and I suddenly felt some kind of
dislike, I would recognize it. Oh, I'm having a feeling of dislike for this person, and not let that affect
me so much in terms of my interaction with them. I could maintain trying to be kind or trying to give
some positive feelings of loving kindness or something like that. That helped me as a teacher as
well, in the classroom or working with individual students, to not allow my emotions to color so much
of what the task is at hand. I think there are real benefits to giving this type of massage, of course
not only for the receiver but even the giver. The giver can benefit. The giver can use it as a practice
to grow as a human being.
Dan: You know the way that you talk about it, it sounds like a real meditation. I hear a lot of these
same themes with meditations, controlling your emotions, controlling your mind, not feeding your
ego. Do you think this approaching massage as a meditation as opposed to meditation that you do
alone, is more of a challenge or less of a challenge?

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Aaron: I don't know. I don't have enough experience to say that. I know just from what I've done
myself in terms of formal sitting meditation and this kind of more active meditation, that the sitting
part is slightly easier in the sense that there's not as much going on and there's a lot less that's
happening to distract you. But it depends, maybe for some people it's the opposite. Maybe their
minds are really wild and crazy but when they start focusing on something that involves movement
and breath, maybe those thoughts disappear for those people. I don't really know.

CONVERSATION LESSON
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Dan: What about your patience to people getting massages from you? What kind of experiences
did they have?
Aaron: Well, I think that they had a I saw so many different things take place in the massages.
For most people, it was a nice, relaxing experience. Some people would react by falling asleep, in a
very deep sleep. It was really hard to get them awake again. Other peopleDan: I've done that. I've fallen asleep.
Aaron: Sometimes with the release of tension, especially psychic tension, you can really go into a
deep sleep. Occasionally, I would have people get emotional, either crying or get really sad, that
they would tell me about later. I'm not really talking to them that much during the massage. Then
occasionally someone might react with a bit of anger, for no reason. Not that I did anything wrong. I
guess something got released in that moment.
Other times, I'd have people get really happy, experience a really strong sense of joy after the
massage. But other times people would leave kind of feeling low and depressed, and I don't know
why. I've read and talked with other masseurs, and some people believe that that's a good thing.
That can be a good thing. It's actually, you're getting rid, you're allowing the suppressed feeling of
sadness or depression to come out. So that's its way of getting rid of itself. I don't really know if
that's true or not.

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Dan: I think that's why exercise can have such a profound effect on our mental state. It's just
because we can carry so much emotional baggage in our physical bodies and when we release
that, it comes bubbling out. I can see how somebody might get angry or elated from being touched.
Aaron: Yeah, touch is really powerful. It's a very powerful thing.

CONVERSATION LESSON
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Dan: Yeah, I've been reading these studies about babies that aren't touched that are raised in
orphanages. They found that some of them, well a lot of them, that are adopted and they've had
maybe the first few years with very, very little touch. They have behavioral problems and emotional
problems that never really get worked out.
Aaron: Interesting.
Dan: Some of them that they found actually die because of the Apparently touch has a really very
clear effect on our hormones. One thing is human growth hormone, and the other thing is stress
hormones, cortisol. Of course without human growth hormone, we can't digest food naturally, we
can't get all the nutrients and it stuns physical growth. Cortisol, the stress hormones, can dampen
the effect of our immune system so that we're not able to fight off diseases and health problems.
Aaron: Wow. It's really interesting because we often think of, especially babies, as being constantly
held and constantly hugged, and constantly attached to the mother and the father and other family
members, but I wonder to what extent lack of touch in adults have. Especially nowadays, this day in
age, especially in big cities, people leading these very busy lives. They go to work and they stay in
the cubicle or in the office and they work all day. And what do they do after work? They go home to
yet another small apartment or cubicle and they watch TV. Day after day, week after week, month
after month, there's no human touch for some people of course, and I wonder.

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Dan: I think it's really culturally dependent, too. I've read about studies where waitresses get higher
tips when they lightly touch the customer on the arm, or salespeople who seem to do better selling
cars or whatever when they lightly touch the customer. Even doctors when they touch the patients,
they've done surveys with the patients and they rate their experience much higher. They feel much
more care or trust with the doctor.

CONVERSATION LESSON
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Dan: But I'm sure in some cultures where that's not the norm, a light touch on the arm could create
the opposite effect. Back to what we are saying about babies, what we think about babies being
touched all the time and being held and cuddled and given all this love, but that wasn't always true,
at least in the US in the early part of the 20th century. There was a big movement that you shouldn't
touch your baby too much. You shouldn't cuddle your baby.
Aaron: Oh really? I didn't know about that. Really?
Dan: I remember when my daughter was born, my wife was reading up on ideas from the 1950s in
the US saying, You better touch our baby! And I'm saying, that's really old, that doesn't apply
anymore.
Aaron: Oh my.
Dan: One interesting thing I was reading about recently was touch in sports and how athletes are
famous for patting each other and high-fiving, fist bumps.
Aaron: I just watched the volleyball game the other day and volleyball players are really, they have
a high frequency of touch. After every single point, whether they win the point or lose the point,
every single team member touches every single other team member on court. There's five other
people on court, you do five touches, every time, every time. It's amazing how often they touch.

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Dan: I was reading about one of the NBA stars and he said, after taking a shot within 600
milliseconds, almost less than a second, almost half a second, he has, on average, touches four
players. Four teammates in half a second.
Aaron: Oh, you mean after a shot is made?

CONVERSATION LESSON
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Dan: Yeah, he makes a shot and then before a second it finishes, he's touched four members. High
fives or whatever.
Aaron: I bet a lot of that touching is totally unconscious. People, they're not saying, "Okay, I have to
touch this person." It's just a natural thing. Youre playing as a team. You need to be connected. You
need to be communicating on a non-verbal level.
Dan: So there's this study that was tracking all these high fives and chest bumps. They found that
the two teams that at that time, I think this study was done in 2012, it was the LA Lakers or maybe
the Celtics who were at the top of the league at that time, that they had the most touches on
average between players, both as teams and in individual star players.
Aaron: Wow. Thats pretty interesting correlation.
Dan: I think it probably connects to those same kind of hormones that were talking before. Also,
touch stimulates oxytocin.
Aaron: Right, the cuddle hormone.
Dan: Yeah, the cuddle hormone or also known as the trust hormone. With the team, teamwork is so
dependent on your feeling of trust and your connection with the other players.
Aaron: Interesting.

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Dan: Thats what they think is behind the connection between hormones and sports, and touching. I
imagine its the same with what theyre finding between doctors and patients, salespeople and
customers, and waitresses and diners.

CONVERSATION LESSON
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Aaron: It begs the question, what can we do, or what can you do as an individual in your
livelihood or in your daily life to maybe consciously start thinking about or being aware of the kind of
touching that goes on in your life? To what extent are you being touched by others, or to what extent
are you touching people? And are there any situations that might arise where a touch might be the
right thing to do that you wouldnt otherwise have done? I think it might be interesting to start being
more aware, like keeping a touch journal. At the end of the day, Id be counting how many touches
have happened and what the nature of the touch was and what it meant. I think thatd be really
interesting.
Dan: Or just trying to push the envelope, just trying to push our comfort zones. Probably the best
way that would work on any culture is with your family. Just try to increase the amount of touch, the
amount of hugs that youre giving your family members.
Aaron: Or when you meet your friends, rather than just saying, Hey, how are you doing? Whats
going on? give them a hug or give them a good handshake or something.
Dan: But if thats not part of the culture
Aaron: No, of course its culturally dependent. Of course, yeah.
Dan: Even within you, theres subcultures within cultures. I have certain friends that I hug and then
other friends that I stay in that mode, when I see them and I give them a hug and I can see it makes
them uncomfortable. Im wondering maybe, thats just raising--

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CONVERSATION LESSON
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Aaron: Obviously its very contextual. Even the same person, touching them in one context is
totally okay and good, and in a completely different context could be totally inappropriate. So yeah,
obviously thats something. But I think, to end, going back to massage, just learning some very
basic massage techniques, very basic. You could probably even learn some stuff in YouTube. But
the best is to find a teacher, take a community course at the community college or something. If
everybody did that, if all husbands and wives, if all brothers and sisters, if all friends knew just some
real basic techniques and applied them in their daily lives, think at how or think of what kind of effect
that might have on our well-being.
Dan: I think it can really bring families together. If that brings the love and connection within your
family together, for sure that will ripple out into all your interactions.
Aaron: Yeah, totally. So when are you going to give me a massage, Dan?
Dan: Well, youre the pro. Anytime you want to rekindle your spiritual practice, Im here for you.
Aaron: Okay, Ill keep you in mind.
Dan: Alright.

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CONVERSATIONAL VOCABULARY
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Hi everyone. This is Aaron of Deep English. Im now going to give a commentary on some of the
language used that appears in the conversation Dan and I had about Thai massage.
1. led me to study
Im going to start with something that I said towards the beginning of the conversation. I was talking
about how my practice of meditation and yoga and Tai Chi helped me center on whats happening
inside my mind and my body and thats what led me to study traditional Thai massage. I want to
focus on led me to study. Led me plus an infinitive verb.
I noticed that in many of my students, this is not a common phrase that they use, although it is quite
common to use it amongst native speakers and very advanced speakers. This might be something
that you can try to incorporate into your speech patterns. We use it when there is a causal
relationship between a certain condition and then a subsequent action that is taken. Or maybe one
action that leads to another action, one situation that leads to a certain action being taken. In this
case, all those activities that I was practicing led me, it caused me to want to study traditional Thai
massage and therefore I took that action and started taking courses in it.
Another example might be from my childhood. I grew up in the United States. Living in the US, I was
surrounded by many Spanish speakers. There are many, many Spanish speakers in the United
States and thats kind of the second language of the United States so that led me to study Spanish.
I wanted to study Spanish so that I could understand those around me. I thought it would be very
useful and, indeed, I did benefit from studying Spanish.

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Another example from my own past might be when I spent about a year and a half in San Francisco
working in a laboratory and I was surrounded by Chinese post docs in the research laboratory and I
heard Chinese every day for a year and a half. That led me to buy a one way ticket to China so I
could experience first-hand what being in China was like. That led me to make that decision.

CONVERSATIONAL VOCABULARY
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
In terms of Dan and I, we as teachers so saw many students struggling with achieving with English
fluency and being confident in their ability to communicate so that situation led us to start Deep
English the website and the method and the materials. Thats how you can use this led me or led
us or led him or led her plus an infinitive verb. Try to incorporate that into your own language
patterns.
2. wow
Okay, were going to move on to the next one which is wow. Normally, this is an exclamation that
people make when theyre surprised. It almost always comes at the very beginning of a sentence or
a phrase. Wow, really? I didnt know that, or Wow, thats a really large airplane! I didnt know that
they made airplanes so large. Its amazing that it can fly in the sky.
However, a little bit later in the conversation, I used this in the middle of a sentence. Thats
something you can consider doing, too. Dan was asking me about my experience practicing Thai
massage and I said, Yeah, I practiced Thai massage, wow, pretty intensely for two or three years.
The reason I said wow is because as I was thinking about my experience, it surprised me how
intensely, I remembered how intensely I practiced it for two or three years. So I surprised myself in
the middle of my sentence. You can throw that in any time you feel that something surprises you or
amazes you or shocks you. Just place it in the middle of a sentence or a phrase.

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For example, someone might ask me, Hey Aaron, how long have you been in Japan now? And I
answer, Wow, lets see. Ive lived in Japan, wow, 14 years now! As soon as I think of it, I say wow.
Or maybe weve received lots and lots of rain in the past day and I look up on the internet and Im
saying, Lets see. How much rain did we get? It looks like we got, wow, 16 centimeters of rain in the
last 24 hours. No wonder its flooding in the area.
So wow can be used anytime you want. It doesnt always have to be at the very beginning of a
sentence.
.

CONVERSATIONAL VOCABULARY
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

3. The States
Okay, a little bit later. This is when I say The States and I want to talk just a little about that. I said I
did a little Thai massage in the States when I would go home to visit friends and family. Of course
Im referring to the United States of America, and the name of that country is said in many different
ways. Youll hear it as the United States of America, the United States, the US, the USA, the States.
Youll also hear it as America, but I want to draw your attention to this use of America to refer to the
United States of America. I think you should use it with a little bit of caution because some Latin
Americans may not like your use of the word America. The reason for this is that America is
actually a continent or a series of continents. We have North America, Central America and South
America. In that sense, anyone who lives in the continents of North, Central and South America are
Americans. So someone from Brazil or Argentina or Colombia or Panama, in some ways are also
Americans. Of course, we cant completely get rid of our use of the word America or the label
America or Americans because its such an integral part of our language patterns.
One thing I do try to do is, anytime I can, I try to use US citizens to refer to Americans for that
reason. Im especially sensitive if Im talking to a Spanish speaker from Latin America, as well,
because in a way were all Americans. Were all from that area. Okay, so thats The States.

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4. in the sense that


Lets move on. The next one is in the sense that. Dan was asking me if when I return to Japan, I
started doing Thai massage as a job. I said, Yeah, slightly, in the sense that I did not have any work
when I first came to Japan and thats what I was doing to earn some money. Basically, we use this
phrase in the sense that in order to further clarify the meaning of something or further justify a
meaning, to give more detailed information about it, to create extra context so that the listener can
fully understand the meaning of what is said. You could also say in the way that or in the manner
that or meaning that. Those are other possible phrases that have very similar meanings.

CONVERSATIONAL VOCABULARY
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Another example might be in 2008, there was an economic crisis in the United States and so many
US citizens struggled during that period. Someone might hear me say that they struggled and they
get a confused look on their face, and I say, Well yes, they struggled in the sense that some people
lost their homes and had to move in to apartments. Or Some people went bankrupt and lost their
money, but of course not in the way that people around the world suffer, such as from war or
famine, not having food, disease, sickness, poverty. People didnt struggle that way, but they
struggled in the sense that they lost their homes and they lost a lot of money. So Im giving extra
meaning by using that phrase.
5. Thats nothing.
Dan asked me when I started doing Thai massage, he said, What did you charge? I said, Well,
when I first started I charged 999. And Dan says, 999? Thats nothing! Of course, I responded,
Well its something to some people. But yeah, its pretty cheap.
Basically, hes using exaggeration here and a lot of speakers will use exaggeration to color their
speech or to add some life or vitality to what theyre saying. Youll hear a lot of exaggeration
amongst native speakers. In this case, of course it doesnt mean nothing. What Dans saying is
thats a very small amount, so hes exaggerating it. He could have also said, Thats so little, or
Thats not so much money. But when he says thats nothing, it gives, like I said, some extra spice
to what hes saying.

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We could use this if were talking about the temperature. I can say, Wow, man. Today is so hot, its
40 degrees centigrade. I am just sweating. I cant do anything outdoors. And someone might say to
me, Hey Aaron, thats nothing. You should see the temperature in Dubai today. Its over 50
degrees. It doesnt mean that its nothing. It just means thats actually small compared to the
temperature in Dubai.

CONVERSATIONAL VOCABULARY
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

6. work out
Okay, the next phrase is work out. Work out, a little phrasal verb. Dan mentions this when he
says Actually were talking about the massage and how little I charge people and the fact that I
allowed them to just donate more if they wanted to, if they felt generous. And Dan says, Well, how
did that work out? Were people generous? Work out in this sense means to result in a favorable
or successful way, to end up in a favorable manner.
Dan Actually uses this same phrasal verb later in the conversation, much later. Hes talking about
the studies done on babies that arent touch. Some of them die and then some of them have
behavioral problems and emotional problems that never really get worked out. In this sense, it
almost has the same meaning. It means that these problems never got solved in a favorable way.
They never got solved in a successful way.
Let me give you another example of this. We could talk about a man who started a business and he
invested lots and lots of money, and lots and lots of time, but unfortunately nobody was interested in
his product so it never worked out. And that means the business never succeeded.

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Another example might be, this year my daughter got a brand new teacher for her class. Shes in
elementary school. The only issue is the teacher was a brand new teacher, very young in his midtwenties, inexperienced. So all the parents were a little bit unsure of how it would go, especially
because some of the students in his class are challenging students. After time, we saw that it
worked out really well. The teacher got along with the students, ended up being a very successful
teacher who the students like very much. So its no problem, it worked out. It was successful. The
result was favorable.
Thats work out. Of course, that phrasal verb has other meanings, but were only focusing on this
meaning. See if you can use that in your own conversations.

CONVERSATIONAL VOCABULARY
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

7. sustainable venture
The next one is sustainable venture. A sustainable venture. Dan asked me when I was doing
massage when I first came to Kyoto, Japan, he says, Were you trying to support your family? Did
you have children? I said, Well no, I didnt have children. My wife was working full time but it didnt
take me long to realize that this was not a sustainable venture.
Lets take a quick look at both of those terms. A venture is usually some kind of major project or
business that has, not only specific goals in mind to achieve, but it also involves some level of risk,
in the sense that its complex and it requires a lot of effort and a little bit of luck and you really dont
know how its going to go. We usually dont use those with very small projects or small activities. Its
usually something bigger, where the stakes are higher.
Of course, the adjective sustainable, we use to describe things that can sustain themselves, that
can continue to thrive and exist and maybe to grow and its ongoing. Some things might be okay in
the short term, but in the long term theyre going to fail. Some businesses are designed in such a
way that they make money in the short term, but in the long term they fail because theyre not setup
to be sustainable.
You often hear this term used when talking about the environment. Is this sustainable? Is this plan
sustainable? Is it an environmentally sustainable type of project or type of action being taken?
Sustainability is something very important when talking about the environment. A sustainable
venture. If you start a business, try to plan for it to be sustainable.

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CONVERSATIONAL VOCABULARY
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE
8. Responding to a joke with another joke.
A little bit later, Dan makes a joke. He says I actually asked him a question, Guess what I
decided to do to supplement my income, meaning my massage income. His answer is, You
decided to open up a burrito truck. I immediately recognized that as a joke because of course,
theres no context, theres nothing that would suggest that I would open a burrito truck, a burrito
being a Mexican food from the Southwest region of the United States. No, of course not, why would
I open a burrito truck?
Dan was trying to be funny. But my response to that was, No, that was my second choice. Actually I
started teaching English. My answer to his joke was also a joke, meaning that I recognized the fact
that you made an outrageous statement and Im going to make an outrageous experience in
response.
If Dan and I hadnt laughed, some people may be would not have recognized this as a joke. They
might have thought that we were serious and this happens a lot in conversation especially amongst
native speakers. They will sometimes be very dry. We call it dry humor. They wont laugh at all.
Theyll just make a statement as if it were serious, but in fact its a joke and the only way you can
recognize it as a joke is to understand the full context of the conversation. This is responding to a
joke with another joke. Its understood between the speakers that both are jokes and theres no
need for further explanation.

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9. busier and busier


Okay, so the next is busier and busier. I was talking about my experience with massage in Japan
and I said, I did massage for four or five months and then I continued doing it for several years. I
taught a workshop, I taught a course at the university. But over time I got busier and busier as a
language teacher. In this case, Im repeating this comparative adjective twice to add emphasis to
the changing nature or the progressive nature of this state of affairs. That means when I say busier
and busier what Im saying is, I started out busy and then as the months went by, I became more
and more busy. So busier and busier. When you repeat these comparative adjectives, it
emphasizes the progressive nature of it.

CONVERSATIONAL VOCABULARY
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Let me give you a few other examples. My bestfriend, he has a son in elementary school. His son is
a fast runner; hes always been a fast sprinter. But with training, he got faster and faster, and now
hes the city champion in his age group. Over time, with coaching and training, he got faster and
faster. I could have equally have said progressively faster. He got progressively faster. Thats a
little bit more of a formal way to communicate the same idea.
Another example might be, several years ago the value of Yen here in Japan got lower and lower
over a six-month period. It became more and more difficult for foreigners to live here as it became
more and more expensive to travel abroad. In that example, I gave three examples of this repeating
the comparative adjective. Thats something to pay attention to if you want to emphasize the
progressive nature of a changing state of affairs.
10. the norm
Okay, just a couple more. One is the norm. Dan was talking about touching, the effects of touching
people and how people will rate their experience of communicating with someone much higher if
theyve been touched. Dan says, Im sure in some cultures where thats not the norm, a light touch
of the arm could create the opposite effect. The norm just means the normal way of doing things,
the common way, the average way. This is related to cultural norms. Sometimes youll hear the
noun norms in the plural sense, and that means normal way of doing things in a culture. Every
culture has different norms.

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I think Japans a really good example. One of the cultural norms of Japan is taking off your shoes
before entering your house. And then when you go to the toilet, you actually put on special slippers
that are only worn in the toilet. Those are norms. In other countries, this is not the case. In other
countries, its completely normal to walk in to a house with your shoes on, the same shoes you wore
outside in the dirt and in the street. Of course, Japanese people think thats really dirty and not
something that you should do. Thats a norm in Japan.

CONVERSATIONAL VOCABULARY
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Another norm in Latin America, for example, might be when greeting someone, hugs and kisses and
embraces are quite the norm. Theyre very normal. People do that all the time. But come to Japan
and try to kiss someone or give them a caress with your arms and youll get a reaction thats
somewhat negative because bowing is the norm in Japan, not physical contact. Thats the norm.
We can refer to cultural ways of doing things when we use this term, or just anything. Its the norm.
Its the normal thing, the average common thing.
11. it begs the question
Okay, finally. The very last thing I want to point your attention to is the phrase it begs the question.
Were talking about all these benefits of touch. Touch in sports and what it does to certain hormones
in your body and how it makes you feel happy and centered, then I say, It begs the question, What
can we do or what can you do as an individual in your livelihood or in your daily life to start
consciously thinking about or being aware of the kind of touching that goes on in your life?
When we say it begs the question, basically we mean something that comes from the verb to beg
which means to strongly wish or to plead or to ask or to year for something. A beggar is a person
who stands on the street and asks and pleads and yearns for people to give him or her money or
food because he or she doesnt have any. Thats a beggar. When we say beg the question we
mean this conversation topic strongly yearns, it strongly pleads or wishes for us to ask a certain
question. It cannot go ignored or unaddressed. In this case, were talking about all the benefits of
touch and I say, Hey, that begs the question, How much touching are we actually doing in our
lives? Can we measure that? Can we improve the quality of touch that goes on?

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Another way to say this is it makes me want to ask the question. It makes me think that the
following question is important to consider. This begs the question, how can you use this phrase in
your conversations?

PHOTO CREDITS
TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE

Photo Cover, Gabriel Rojas Hruska, The Moon Within Reach


(https://www.flickr.com/photos/26195068@N05/4418918505)

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