Thailand is known all over the world for its famous Thai massage and spa treatments. But what can you expect from it and what are the health benefits of Thai massage? Here is everything you need to know at a glance.
First, it’s important to mention that massage is an ancient therapy, dating back around 2,500 years. It is said it was created by Shivago Komarpai, the personal physician of the Buddha, in India. With the spreading of Buddhism to Thailand, the massage technique came with it and Thai massage as we know it until today was born.
Compared to Western style massages, it’s clear to see that it is like a combination between yoga and massage, with a lot of stretching and slow, rhythmic compression along the body’s ten energy lines.
What To Expect From Thai Massage
If you have never had a Thai massage before, your first visit at a spa can be quite overwhelming. Do you have to take off your clothes? And what to do if it is too intense?
In general, you are fully dressed during a Thai massage. After entering a spa and choosing your treatment, you will be handed a shirt and loose fitting pants. You don’t have to change into them, however it is highly recommended, as they are very comfortable and perfect for all the stretching that is about to happen.
Since it is performed fully dressed, you might have already guessed it: Unlike for example Swedish massage, oil isn’t used for a Thai massage. Typically, your muscles also aren’t kneaded. Instead, the masseuse uses their thumbs, elbows, knees and feet to stretch and pull different body parts.
Since the therapists need full flexibility performing all the stretches on your body, Thai massage is usually performed on a floor mat instead of a massage table. It is also possible that they walk on you, so don’t be surprised if that happens.
Thai massage can be a quite painful experience. However, a skilled masseuse will usually ask you in the beginning, how intense you would like it to be and adjust it to your needs and physical constitution. If it is still too painful and unpleasant for you, you should always let them know