The traditional art of taking the body through yogic postures into a state of relaxation and mental well-being may be termed as the traditional Thai massage.
Mention Bangkok and Thailand to tourists or on the Internet, the never-ending conversations about the traditional Thai massage will leave you baffled. It is as if the world in general has been captured by the inherent benefits of this unique and traditional massage.
So next time you are visiting Bangkok, or any other part of Thailand for this matter, make sure to have at least one traditional Thai massage appointment noted in your travel itinerary as Thailand is home to this wonderful and relaxing art of massage.
What exactly is traditional Thai massage?
Traditional Thai massage blends beautifully the elements of mental alertness, gentle relaxation, stretching, and deep breathing, all in a rhythmic composition and conducted as a harmonious whole. The affect is destined to give a person relaxation as well as inner mental strength and peace.
The traditional Thai Massage uses yogic asanas based on Indian yogic tradition along the lines of Chinese chi, which encapsulates a healing energy in order to remove negativity and bring about positive energy to the body.
The masseuse makes use of gentle rocking gestures as well as thumb pressure to rhythmically prepare the body for relaxation. You will be asked to change into loose fitting clothes, provided there itself and lie on a mattress on the floor.
The traditional Thai massage is a dry massage and does not involve oil. There are of course seven to ten variations of the Thai massage, all depending on what your demands are.
The northern styles of massages involve more of the stretching movements while the southern style bases its massages on acupressure. You might decide which style you want in consultation with advisors there.
Don’t get it mixed up
Traditional Thai massages does not have sexual connotations contrary to what is commonly believed. Sexual and erotic massages available in massage parlors are nowadays termed as the “young lady massage”, while the traditional method is called the “old lady massage”!
Thai massage has the following benefits:
- It reduces stress and relaxes the body
- It improves body circulation and energy levels
- It brings a cohesiveness to the body and mind
A full body massage in Thailand for about two hours would cost you around 300-500 Thai Baht. This largely varies with the location and style. Most massage places can be found along the Sukhumvit Road.
Wat Pho Thai massage
The Wat Pho temple performs daily Thai massage sessions and is known to be the best of all. The location of this temple is however relatively far away from the city.
The Wat Pho Massage School is one of many schools that train people in the art of Thai massage. This school is probably the best known around Thailand as well as outside the country, offering flexible class schedules.
There are three classes offered for massage: traditional Thai massage, foot massage, and therapeutic acupressure massage (advanced Thai medical massage therapy). The teachers at Wat Pho are conditioned to foreigners.
Visit Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical School for more information on courses, schedules, and prices.
History of the traditional Thai massage
The Thai massage as we know it today has developed since the times of Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, who was a physician to Buddha. The tradition which was started more than 2,500 years ago in India was introduced to Thailand where it has been adopted and redesigned along with Chinese principles too.
Initially, only the monks performed this massage as a component of Thai traditional form of medicine. The massage is energizing and rigorous in nature.
There are many regional variations of the Thai massage.
There are also internal wars for the supremacy of the tag of the traditional Thai massage. Some of these houses claim to be better and more traditional than others. In an effort to institutionalize this, the Royal Thai Government has brought about efforts to mediate a common standard applicable to all such massage houses.