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Since the boom in Thai tourism in the 1980’s Thai massage has come to the fore and its reputation has grown internationally. It is now popular around the world and is one of the main massage techniques practiced globally. Traditional Thai massage is one of the 5 branches of traditional Thai medicine. It has a lot in common with Indian and Chinese massage techniques, all three utilize the concept of energy lines in the body – Sen lines – and opening them up to energy flows. This differs from other massage techniques which focus more on the musculature of the body.
The history of traditional Thai massage goes back several centuries. Its inception along with Thai medicine is credited to the legendary physician Shivago Komarpaj who lived more than 2500 years ago. Unfortunately, the continuous written record of the history of Thai massage was broken in 1767, when the writings where lost during the Burmese attack on the royal capital in Ayutthaya. Those records that did survive have been transcribed to stone tablets, and are now safely kept at Sala Moh Nuat (the massage pavilion) of the temple of the reclining Buddha (Wat Po) in Bangkok.
Historically, the Traditional Thai massage draws its influences from the ancient healing massages practiced in Asia. Today there are two main variants of the traditional healing massage, the modern Thai massage, and another more ancient form which is far more common today in northern India and Nepal. Although both forms look similar to the casual observer, the recipient of both techniques will experience different sensations. The ancient style has no breaks in its historical lineage, unlike its Thai counterpart.
Thai massage differs significantly in the way it is delivered from other massage techniques. Firstly, the recipient of the massage is not stripped down to the bare skin. The recipient will wear comfortable loose fitting clothes, and lays on a firm mattress or the floor. Due to the presence of garments, Thai massage does not use any oils or lotions since even though there is constant contact maintained between the masseuse and the recipient, there is little rubbing. Instead the masseuse will subject the recipient to various yoga-like poses, and many static and rhythmic pressures.
A Thai massage will follow a general rhythm and cadence, with the masseuse following the major Sen lines on the recipient’s body. Often the masseuse will use their legs and feet to help position the limbs of the recipient, in other cases the masseuse will use their arms to fix the body while the feet perform the massage. In the course of opening up the Sen lines the masseuse may opt to pull fingers, toes, and ears. They may even choose to crack knuckles and walk on the recipient’s back in order to stimulate the Sen lines. The process of a massage is relatively standardized and an experienced masseuse will change the rhythm and intensity of the massage to fit the ability and comfort of the recipient.
There are many benefits that have been ascribed to the traditional Thai massage over the years, and today there are many confirmed benefits to Thai massage. With regular massage the recipient will notice permanent increased flexibility and scope of movement. After one session this will improve, although it will taper off but with repeated sessions the gains will eventually become permanent.
Another benefit of Thai massage is that is helps improve posture and redress imbalances in the body, additionally it helps reduce if not eliminate muscle pain and spasms. In addition, the massage gives relief from fatigue, pain in the joints, and even headaches. These can be partly attributed to the fact that the massage helps improve overall circulation of the blood, and stimulates the drainage of the lymphatic system.
Thai massages also help establish a deep sense of relaxation, with an overall calming effect on the central nervous system. Both relief from deep emotional distress and a noticeable increase in overall energy levels are also attributed benefits of the traditional Thai massage.
There is many great places for Thai Massage in Khao Lak area, prices range between 250 THB and 500 THB plus depending on the oil you choose and if you want full body massage or just neck and shoulder for example.
It’s very cheap compared to Europe, so enjoy Thai massages during your stay in Khao Lak.
When visiting Thailand on a vacation, you would skip out on a great opportunity to experience a massage from one of the world’s most famous styles. Consider relaxing, laying back and enjoying a massage, just a little extension of your holiday.