Thai Massage: Therapy and Culture
Thailand is one of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia, an ideal place for lovers of relaxation and natural beauty.
Holidays are a perfect time for relaxation and disconnection and Thailand is one of those destinations that offers a unique experience for relaxation of body and mind.
Within the wide offer of the Asian country, giving a massage in Thailand is something that can not miss and is that, these practices are part of their culture. However, not all massages are the same. In fact, Thai massage itself is more of a therapeutic tool than a relaxing exercise.
Knowing what it consists of, a little bit of its history and some practical recommendations when choosing the place to have one of these massages throughout your trip to Thailand, will help you enjoy the experience to the fullest.
However, the country is much more than just its relaxing offer. Its historical and natural heritage, the affordability of food or accommodation as well as the mobility around are other attractions offered by a route through Thailand.
Thailand: origin and history of Thai massage
Hands, feet, knees and even elbows can be used to give a Thai massage, a type of massage whose origin is related, according to experts, with the entry of Buddhism in Thailand. Its practice does not use oils and seeks to stretch the muscles so that, although the end result is muscle relaxation, at times it can be harder than relaxing.
As an ancient healing art technique, Thai massage draws on the influences of philosophies such as Hinduism, Ayurvedic medicine, yoga or traditional Chinese medicine. According to Thai legends, it was a Buddhist monk, Buddha’s personal physician, who developed the first Thai massage techniques, making the country’s temples and monks the first masters of this practice.
Today, however, it is possible to find a multitude of specialized centers in Thailand that not only give this type of massage but also offer training in this regard.
Tips for giving you a massage in Thailand
If you have decided to include in your trip to Thailand a relaxing experience in the form of Thai massage there are certain recommendations that will be most useful to you. Remember that there are other types of massage capable of providing you with a relaxing experience in Thailand although, if the decision is made, don’t forget to put these tips into practice:
- Choose the right place. Ask the residents or look at those places that are not only visited by tourists. It’s possible that your Thailand holiday package includes a spa where you can access these services, but the advice of a Thai will help you find a real expert. There are even monks who, for a small fee, can give you an incredible Thai massage.
- Best first thing in the morning: Given the physical effort involved in Thai massage, it’s always a good idea to take it first thing in the morning, before the fatigue takes its toll on your Thai masseur. If you also take it on an empty stomach and then drink hot tea, the effectiveness will be even greater.
- The right type. Thai massage is one of the essential experiences that you can live in Thailand although it is advisable not to risk it. It is possible that you only need to recompose yourself after a long day of walking or, simply, to relax wrapped up in the magic of the Asian country.
- If so, it may be sufficient to opt for a softer massage of the back, shoulders or feet, especially if you have a muscle injury and are not sure that the masseuse in question is an expert in the field.
What to do in Thailand
Not only Thai massages can contribute to your relaxation during your vacation in Thailand. The country offers countless attractions ranging from its historical and cultural heritage, to its natural wealth and paradisiacal beaches, temples, Buddhas and monks, Thai food or nightlife. Need some clues for your tour in Thailand? Here are some options beyond taking a Thai massage:
- Visit the Royal Palace in Bangkok, located in the architectural complex of the Wat Phra Kaeo temple which houses Thailand’s most sacred statue: the Emerald Buddha.
- A walk through Chiang Mai’s Elephant Rescue Park is another thing to do in Thailand, an experience that will allow you to see and care for elephants in a wonderful setting.
- Take a relaxing bath in the Gulf of Thailand, a place full of tropical beaches of unquestionable beauty such as those you will find in Koh Samet Island, Chang Island, Koh Tao…
- Organize a circuit in Thailand that includes hiking trails through Doi Inthanon National Park or Chiang Rai, ideal settings for disconnection and relaxation.
With which of all the proposals will you complete the attraction of your trip to Thailand and enjoy your Thai massage?