Travellers strolling around the streets of Bangkok are rightfully astounded by the amount of shops spas offering massages of all types. There are so many types of massage in Bangkok that people visiting Thailand for the first time are confused by all the selections on offer.
But most of the therapeutic massages offered in the spas of Bangkok can be broken down into two different and distinct types of Thai massage. Let’s explore exactly what constitutes a traditional Thai massage for a start.
Traditional Thai Massage
What is considered to be a traditional Thai massage has been practised in Thailand for hundreds of years. It embraces principles and techniques that originated in both China and India. Spiritualism also plays a part in the history of Thai massage, as Buddha brought the practice with him from India on his travels.
As more and more Thais converted to Buddhism, the practice of massage began to evolve from the methods that were Indian in origin, to ones that combined the practices of Chinese traditional medicine as well.
The result was an amalgam of Indian, Chinese, and Thai techniques and methods that have proven to be effective in increasing circulation, easing tight muscles and limbering up the body to alleviate stiffness, increase mobility and restore the body’s balance.
For instance, the hand and foot massage techniques of Thai massage are derived from the reflexology studies of traditional Chinese medicine. The stretching of muscles, tendons and joints echoes the Indian practice of Hatha Yoga.
The gently persuasive manner in which these techniques are administered is purely the Thai influence at work. Gentle persuasion can be attributed to the teachings of Buddha, and the Thai’s have assimilated this into all parts of their lives.
A traditional Thai massage in Bangkok can be a potentially painful experience for the beginner. But if it’s done slowly by a skilled massage therapist, the experience is ultimately rewarding. After a good night’s sleep, you’ll feel rejuvenated and supple again.
In a traditional Thai massage, the stretching and pulling exercises are interspersed with a gentle kneading of the muscles and tendons, which serves to re-align them with the body as a whole. This kneading of the various muscles of the body has become popular as a relaxing massage in its own right.
This gentle type of massage, when combined with aromatherapy and other common spa treatments, is what a lot of visitors think of to be a Thai massage. These gentle massages, when done over the course of an hour or so, leave the body feeling rested and rejuvenated. They are therapeutic massages as well, without the stretching and potential pain of the traditional Thai massage.
Experience a Massage in Bangkok
The variety of massages in Bangkok can be broken down into these two different types of massage treatments. The traditional Thai massage is the ‘grandfather’ of most of the massage variations on offer at spas and massage shops around Bangkok.
Bangkok is also home to some of the massage schools in Thailand, so whatever you choose, you’ll be in good hands.
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