A brief look into the global Spa phenomenon 

Thai Massage

Thai massage may be a relatively new phenomenon for the global market but has been a staple spa treatment in Thailand and nearby islands for centuries now. This ancient massage staple arrived in Thailand more than 2500 years ago when Buddhist monk migrated here and change the course of meditation, medicine and relaxation through their passive stretching and gentle pressure technique to heal and rejuvenate the body physically and spiritually; making Thai massage one of the crowning features of Thai tradition and culture.

This massage style focuses on energy pathways of the body and channels them to increase flexibility, relieve muscle pain, and work for the overall wellness of the human body.

Unlike other massages, this style requires a highly skilled and very experienced Thai massage therapist; however, for the first time goers; this massage style may seem unusual and definitely unexpected but letting your body loose and let the therapist guide it through is the best way to get the maximum benefits from this.

So if you are looking for a more modest, highly beneficial, and relaxing spa day, then Thai massage is just the right massage type for you.

What is the history of Thai massage?

Shibago Komarpaj, the founder of this massage style and known as the Father Doctor, was the doctor and a friend of Buddha. He learned the technique and technicalities of this massage style from his parents, who were taught about it from their ancestors, hence making it one of the ancient massages in global history.

As a doctor, he started to incorporate the massage style in his practice and eventually shared it with people as he saw the potential and promising outcome of the massage style. And thus, this contribution became widely appreciated and was carved on stone in the ancient medical text to preserve as a Thai tradition and saved in the Wat Pho Temple in Bangkok. In fact, Thai massage is a part of the Thai cultural heritage list in UNESCO's.

As a part of Thai culture for years now, Thai massage has evolved as various regions added their own take to the technique, subtle but distinctive. And amongst them, Southern-style Thai massage and Northern-style Thai massage remain popular and promising.


Ancient Culture of Thai Massage


What is a typical Thai Massage?

This Thai massage is a very different and unusual concept for people who are unaware of it; a typical Thai massage requires the clients'' to wear flowy, comfortable clothes, and upon their preference and intended goal of the massage is requested to lie on the futon floor mat or sit on the chair.

The massage starts from the legs to warm the body and make it a bit flexible; then, a skilled Thai massage therapist starts pressing the body in rhythmic movements through fingers and palms to each the tissue tension. The massage style includes yoga-like positions, and the therapist usually stretches, compresses, and rocks all the body parts for the muscles to relax and the body to re-energize.

And unlike other commonly known massages, this style does use oils and lotions to help with the friction and stimulation of the blood circulation along with ease of hardened muscles.

Thai Massage in Thailand versus in America

Thai massage has been a part of the American spa industry since the 1990s, when few westerners learned the techniques and disciplines and started to implement them. However, despite the popularity of this style in America, it is not commonly accessible because firstly because the spa centers don't have a large room to accommodate a padded mat and secondly, the unavailability of experienced and skilled Thai massage therapist; learning the massage style is not an easy and accessible task anyway.

Whereas in Thailand, Thai massages can be found anywhere from 5-star hotels to narrow lanes of the street. Being an integral part of the Thai culture, Thai massage is learned by many people; there is a traditional massage school that accommodates local and international students too. Even many Thai temples teach this style of massage too. And the rigorous training and the opportunity of constant practices make the Thai massage therapist so skilled and experienced; most Thai masseuse is licensed to do so and provide massages at different price points.


Thai Massage


The many benefits of Thai massage

Thai massage is known for its simplicity and the many health benefits it possesses, looking at some of the most prominent ones; here the reasons people prefer this massage over others.


Stress negatively affects the physical and mental health of an individual; it can cause many chronic disorders, cardiovascular diseases and may cause depression; hence relieving stress is very important. It usually starts with the hardening of the muscles and tissues, and the Thai massage style is known for specifically treating and healing the body internally, externally, and spiritually. The stretching and pressure techniques ensure that the tension is being released, and at times, using hot stones further relaxes the body and mental state even more.


Through many researches and personal experiences, Thai massage has been reported that it not only revitalizes the body but energizes it too. It helps with fatigue, boosts energy, and helps with mental stimulation too. That is why it is considered to be the massage that caters to the body holistically. It is believed that the tight muscles cause blockage on the body, which reduces energy and blood flow, causing the body to become lethargic; therefore, focusing on that notion, Thai massage uses an energy pathway called Sen to ensure a seamless flow of blood and energy throughout the body with various traditional massage techniques. 


Thai massages, as mentioned, uses are pressure techniques to help the body heal and relax. As the pressure points are targeted in this massage style throughout the body, each and every one of them treats a specific issue, and people have mentioned that Thai massages have significantly helped individuals with chronic headaches and more.


One of the interesting things about this massage is that it helps with blood circulation and lymph throughout the body because of the stretches, pulls, and various movements that are involved. The yoga-like stretches help the tissues get more oxygen, which helps with the blood flow and promotes cell regeneration and the heart's overall well-being. According to research, Thai massage helps stimulation of somatosensory system, helps in neuropathy and controlling diabetes.


It might not be a common knowledge, but body flexibility is so essential for people for various reasons; it helps prevent sprains, helps athletics to perform well, help the body to heal quickly, and general improvement of blood flow. This Thai massage is great for people to improve their mobility and range of motions.


Thai Massage - Relieves Headaches


Things to know before having Thai massage

There is a common misconception that Thai massage hurts, though it is true to an extent because to tenderize the tissue, pressure is applied, but it is not hurt as much as discomfort due to stretching and pulling, which, by the way, is very bearable to the least and gets unnoticeable as the massage progresses. Moreover, many licensed Thai massage therapists are known to prevent pain altogether without compromising the benefits of the massage. However, if any unbearable discomfort, you are advised to tell the therapist so that they can change the course or pace of the massage.

Other than that, Thai massage is fully clothed as compared to other massage styles mainly because as being a traditional massage style; they give importance to privacy and modesty. And since this massage style doesn't require oils and lotions to be applied to the body, there feels no need to undress. However, it is suggested and usually provided by the masseuse, the attire for the massage is very comfortable flowy clothing.

Contra-indications such as bone/joint conditions, skeletal conditions, pregnancy, varicose veins, even high blood pressure, and others can negatively affect the massage; hence it is advised to the clients to share their medical history with their Thai massage therapist for a massage that suits the body, and it conditions well.

The massage takes place on the floor or the chair; unlike other massage styles furthermore, it is expected for the client to reach 10 minutes prior to their appointment to fill the form and get their consultation done.

It goes without saying but avoid having heavy meals before the massage as this massage requires a lot of movement and stretching; it can make the client feel nauseous.


Thai Massage


So who should get a Thai massage?

Thai massage is not just a massage that caters to the physical wellbeing of the body, such as releasing muscle tension, helping with energy-boosting; it goes deeper and hence is known for its holistic healing nature. Hence it is recommended to those who: Prefer more than just a relaxing experience.

  • Prefer more than just a relaxing experience
  • Want to improve the wellness of the body
  • Want to increase overall energy levels both physically and mentally
  • Want a more holistic approach
  • Wanting to be comfortable through the massage and avoid being undressed
  • Are not fans of oils and lotion massages
  • Who can endure vigorous movements and have some sort of flexibility
  • Wants to experience something new, something traditional
  • Happens to be in Thailand