I first met Thin Thin in a crowded room of people celebrating Canada Day in Yangon – though it was her height that initially turned my head (being a fellow ‘tall girl’ envoi) it was her laughter and energy that reached out and filled the room – this girl GLOWED with happiness. People were drawn magnetically toward her and I found myself being introduced by a fellow Canuck who was part of the entourage. “This is Thin Thin” he said, “she is fabulous”.
Born and raised in Yangon, Thin Thin left Myanmar in 1987 for the friendly but chilly shores of Canada to pursue her education at the University of British Columbia (UBC) where she obtained a BA and then an MA in Economics. After working in the corporate world of finance for a while she ventured forth to the sunny shores of California to do a summer Econ program and UC Berkeley. It was there that she first tried something a bit off the beaten path:
“I decided to take a course at the Acupressure Training Institute on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, which I discovered when I was going to the University”, Thin Thin explained, “it was there that I noticed I had a touch for healing. It turned out to be the tip of the iceburg for what I was about to discover was possible for me to do.”
Since then she has trained in an astonishing array of holistic healing programs that took her on a geographical journey from California to Canada to Peru, Columbia, Brazil and back to Yangon and Chaing Mai and on an internal spiritual journey from the powers of physical healing deep into the transformational work of TCM/ACM, indigenous spiritual practices and energetic healing. Initially – like all good practitioners must – she consolidated her learnings by applying them for a few years on the rich and famous patrons of the Hilton and Ritz Carlton. Then, she ventured into a start-up operations of her own to integrate the various healing practices and take it to the next level of service – total holistic healing.
When, in 2014, she had to return to Myanmar to look after her aging mother she found a natural synergy with the emerging spa market happening in the country. “I wanted to be able to work in an environment where ‘spa’ was more than just “aneit-the” and making money”, said Thin Thin (aneit-the is a Burmese word that loosely translates into a neighbourhood masseuse with no formal training – an “unprofessional” massage which was more or less what has been available here in the past). She served as Spa Director for a modern hotel chain that included the beach resort area of Ngapoli in western Rakhine State.
Earlier this year, she was approached to open a new concept for Myanmar’s first vineyard Aythaya, in their boutique Monte De Vino Lodge in Shan State. This fit perfectly for her future vision within Myanmar: to have spaces for people to immerse in an experience of Myanmar’s natural wonders as well as places for people to learn the power of healing. “It immediately brought to mind my old trips to Napa Valley in California and how people were entirely ‘immersed’ in the Napa wine experience”, she explains, “then when you can add the dimension of healing and nurturing the inner soul to a space of natural beauty like that it adds a depth to the experience that is ultimately sublime.”
The formal launch of the Spa is aimed for September – coinciding perfectly with the end of the monsoons and plenty of reason to celebrate. Interesting product innovation is also expected – after all, those grapes aren’t just for drinking! For those who are interested to coincide a visit with the various seasons relevant to the vineyard, generally pruning is in October, the blooming is mid-November, and the harvest happens in end February to mid-March. The wet season begins at the end of April. However, as there is no real winter there so the plants never go into a dormant stage and continue to grow throughout both seasons.
Good luck, Thin Thin – we will definitely be up to see you soon! You can find Thin Thin’s good healing at the following:
Monte diVino Lodge: a luxury lodge nested in the foothills of southern Shan State in an idyllic setting surrounded by the natural beauty of the Aythaya Vineyard, Myanmar’s first. The lodge is a complex of bungalows with exquisite teak interior that offers a spectacular sweeping panoramic view of the vineyard. There are 10 rooms (at present only 3 for rent) and you can book at the below contacts:
Southern Shan State
Phone: (+951) 651141, 664756
Mobile: (+959) 25399 0960, 25866 1699
Thin Thin’s Alternative & Complementary Medicine Training: Acupuncture, Professional Swedish & Deep Tissue Massage, Eastern & Western styles Reflexology, Thai Massage, Hawaiian Massage, Guided Imagery, Spa treatments (Hot stone therapy, Body scrub & wraps, Manicure & Pedicure, facials ), Acupressure, Emotional Balance, Acu-Yoga, Taichi, Qi Gong, Traditional Chinese Medicine