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Exploring The Benefits And Techniques Of Traditional Thai Massage

Benefits and Techniques of Traditional Thai Massage

Traditional Thai massage is an ancient massage style used in Thailand for thousands of years. The techniques and philosophies that comprise Thai massage are believed to have been passed to the Thai people at the same time that Buddhism reached the country and have subsequently been refined by generations of skilled practitioners.

Understanding Traditional Thai Massage

Traditional Thai massage is a therapeutic body massage performed by trained professionals who employ a variety of techniques to balance the energy system in our bodies and promote physical and mental well-being. Although it has some similarities to deep tissue massage, traditional Thai massage is a more holistic type of massage therapy that aims to treat the entire body, not just musculoskeletal issues such as strains and sprains. While it is very effective in treating many musculoskeletal issues, including strains and sprains, it has far wider alternative healing applications.

Traditional Thai massage is considered a spiritual practice in Thailand, not just another form of physical therapy. It is for this reason, that until quite recently, Thai massage techniques were taught exclusively in Buddhist temples scattered across the country.

Whilst this is no longer the case, many people believe the best traditional body massage schools in Thailand are still found in Buddhist temples. If you truly want to understand Thai massage from the perspective of the locals, it is essential to take on board the spiritual nature of the practice, as well as the physical and theoretical.

Health Benefits of Traditional Thai Massage

Among the health benefits that traditional Thai massage is said to offer are the following:

  • Improved Circulation – The yoga poses and stretches that form a part of Thai massage sessions promote better blood flow and oxygenation of the blood.
  • Relaxed Muscles – The manipulation of pressure points by traditional Thai massage practitioners helps relax tense muscles and encourages blood flow in targeted areas.
  • Headache Relief – The muscle relaxation and improved blood flow encouraged by this traditional body massage discipline can reduce the severity and frequency of tension headaches. Thai massage has also been shown to offer a degree of pain relief to migraine sufferers.
  • Greater Flexibility/Range of Motion – In addition to promoting circulation, the stretches and yoga poses of Thai massage can help to increase flexibility and range of motion in major joints.
  • More Energy – Some experts report increased energy levels for people undergoing regular Thai massage therapy, but more research is required before any definite conclusions can be reached.
  • Calmer State of Mind – By quieting both the mind and the body, traditional Thai massage is said to promote a calmer, more balanced and centred state of mind.
  • Better Quality Sleep – Some of the people who regularly have Thai massages report improved quality of sleep, waking with a feeling of being fully rested each morning. However, in common with claims of increased energy, the effect of Thai massage on sleep quality needs to be explored in greater depth before any firm conclusions regarding its efficacy in this area can be drawn.

It should be noted, that whilst there are several key health benefits associated with traditional Thai massage, it is not suitable for everybody. Pregnant women and diabetics are normally told to avoid this type of massage, and others are advised to consult a medical professional first, including those who have recently undergone surgery and anyone taking blood thinners.

Techniques of Traditional Thai Massage

Broadly speaking, traditional Thai massage techniques can be divided into two main categories:

  • Acupressure – Thai massage exponents apply pressure to specific areas of the body to promote muscle relaxation. They may do this with their thumbs, elbows, fingers or palms. Most often, they will use a combination uniquely suited to the needs of the client.
  • Stretching With Assisted Yoga Poses – By guiding clients into various yoga poses, Thai massage practitioners help people stretch their muscles and ligaments. Traditional body massage in Thailand is sometimes referred to as lazy man’s yoga because of this key element of the therapeutic practice.

A skilled practitioner will use a combination of the techniques that fall into these two categories to help you feel more relaxed, both mentally and physically, and to relieve any pain you may be experiencing before your session starts.

Experience of Traditional Thai Massage

If you are planning your first visit to a Thai massage specialist, you’ll be able to relax a little more easily once you know what’s in store. Not all sessions are identical, but they normally follow the steps below:

  • Manipulation/Pressure – You will most often start a session lying on your back, either on the floor or on a firm mat. The practitioner will then apply pressure to various parts of your body, starting at the feet and working upwards. The palms of the hands and thumbs are used to create pressure, together with the elbows, feet and knees.
  • Stretching – After the acupressure stage is completed, you will be guided into a series of yoga poses to stretch the muscles and ligaments in your musculoskeletal system. Many of these poses will predominantly target the hips, legs and lower back.

A traditional Thai massage session usually takes around 90 minutes to complete and follows the steps outlined above. However, a skilled practitioner will tailor the treatment to meet your specific needs and may include more stretching than acupressure, or vice versa. They may also vary the pressure applied during the first step in response to your requests and feedback.

Finding Authentic Traditional Thai Massage Services

As you might expect, there is no shortage of places to experience a traditional Thai massage in Thailand. These include:

  • Temples
  • Hotel Spas
  • Independent Spas and Massage Centres

If you are staying in the Mövenpick Myth in Phuket, you won’t have far to go to enjoy an authentic Thai massage. As one of the signature spa treatments available in the A VIDA Spa at the hotel, you can book a session whenever you wish, either as a standalone treatment or as part of one of the wellness packages we offer.


Movenpick Myth Hotel Patong Phuket ☆☆☆☆☆
27/9 Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Road Patong, 83150 Phuket
Tel: +66 76 372 899

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