Thai Massage may be new to North American and European spas but it has been around for many years. Thai Massage was developed by the Buddhist monks in Thailand and used as a healing process 2,500 years ago. In the Thai Language this form of massage is called nuat phaen thai. Thai massage has been influenced by the traditional medicine practices of India, China and Southeast Asia.
Thai Massage differs from other forms as it incorporates a system of massage and stretching. Many people refer to it as similar to yoga without you doing any of the movements. Thai massage is regarded as a deep relaxation and energizing process.
In Thailand this form of massage has been recognized by the government and is now considered to be a medical practice and is used for treating a wide variety of ailments. In both North America and Europe the number of practitioners and teachers is growing – especially in the last decade.
Performing a Thai Massage
A Thai massage is performed with the client lying on a firm futon type mat on the floor. This form of massage is done with the person wearing loose clothing – so is perfect for anyone who feels uncomfortable when having to remove their clothes.
During the course of the massage, the client is positioned into a variety of positions, comparable to yoga poses. The massage entails using deep static and rhythmic pressures which leaves your body feeling energized and rejuvenated.
No oils are used during a Thai massage. Instead the massage is done by stimulating pressure points on your body. The practitioner normally leans on the client’s body with their hands and with their forearms locked at the elbow. This allows them to apply a rhythmic pressure.
It is not unheard of for the practitioner to use their legs and feet to apply pressure during the massage. A full traditional Thai massage can easily last two hours or longer and includes the practitioner walking on the persons back.
A Thai massage session can be customized to suit the client’s needs. Today – in Thailand – there are many spas set up to cater for the high number of tourists visiting the country. In Phuket alone there are many places to get a Thai massage and offer other beauty treatments along with the traditional Thai massage. This includes massages using scented oils and foot massages that uses pressure points which correspond to your eyes, neck, glands and your liver. All of these various massages are totally relaxing and enjoyable.
Most practitioners tend to be women and the better massage comes from those with more experience. If too much pressure is applied it can actually hurt so don’t be afraid to ask the practitioner to ease up a little.
While a Thai massage is often used to treat health related issues, it is also being used as a way to relax and as an effective stress reliever.