Thai massage is a form of therapeutic touch that differs from traditional massage in many ways. Instead of lying on a massage table, you lie on a mat on the floor while the provider manipulates your body in certain ways to stimulate the organs and improve flexibility. Thai massage is part of traditional Thai medicine and uses gentle pressure and stretching techniques to relax the entire body. This ancient healing practice originated in India around 2,500-7,000 years ago and requires more active participation than other types of massages.
It is sometimes referred to as “yoga for lazy people” due to its stretching elements similar to yoga. Guided by the massage therapist, you will manipulate your limbs in different positions similar to yoga to benefit from deep muscle compression, joint mobilization and acupressure. Traditional Thai massage (TTM) is known for being performed by blind people, who are not impeded from giving a high-quality massage. Before beginning the massage, make sure the therapist is relaxed and wearing loose-fitting clothing as required by traditional Thai massage.
Oil-free massages are offered and the traditional Thai massage process is mixed with yoga. A great tip is to get a massage before eating so you can enjoy your delicious sticky rice with phad thai, som tam or mango with total relaxation. The combination of stretching, movement and pressure is what sets Thai massage apart from other types of massage. Thai massage therapists will use their hands, knees, legs and even their feet to mobilize you in a series of poses similar to yoga.
You can become either a therapist specializing in this branch of traditional Thai medicine or a massage technician trained to provide relaxation massages. These Thai massage practices and techniques are mainly based on aromatherapy and are priced similarly to Thai oil massages. Traditional Thai massage focuses mainly on circulation and pressure points, helping to promote internal health and cure many of the symptoms caused by muscle cramps. After the massage, you will be given some time to recover before returning to the bustling streets.
Unlike the gentle kneading characteristic of a daily massage, Thai massage also tends to employ stretching, traction and rolling techniques to relieve tension and improve flexibility. It's best to wait for the heaviest part of digestion to finish so your body is ready for a massage again. In addition, they perform the massage while you are lying in a dimly lit room with soft, relaxing background music playing through the speakers.