Thai massage is a traditional form of medical treatment, which is famous for both Thai people and foreigners. The massage not only helps decrease the pain and illnesses but also helps maintain physical as well as mental well-beings. It is believed that Thai massage has its origin from India over 2,500 years ago. The founder of this Indian Ayurvedic technique is Jivaka Komarbhacca, Buddha's physician. After its way to Thailand, the knowledge has been influenced by traditional Chinese treatment, yoga and other local wisdoms. It has been developed and practiced to suit Thai cultures and society and become Thai massage today.
In Thai history, the oldest evidence found regarding the massage are stone inscriptions from Sukhothai Period in the 12th century. The stones depict the massage used to heal the ailments. Later on, in King Rama I and Rama III Periods, the kings asked to sculpt the hermit statues in many different postures to demonstrate self-stretching and self-adjusting exercises and carve the fundamentals and diagrams of Thai medicine and massage on to the marble stones. They are located at Wat Pho temple (Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangklaram Ratchaworamahawihan) in Bangkok.
Thai massage normally starts from the feet then gradually moves upwards to the head. The massage is performed using the feet, knees, elbows, palms, forearms and thumbs with the techniques of compressing, stretching, acupressure and reflexology. In traditional thai massage, no oil is applied because it focuses on the movements and pressure. During the treatment, the recipient lies down on the padded mat on the floor wearing loose clothes or work-out clothes that are lightweight and stretchy to allow for flexible movements of the body.
- Relaxation and reduction of stress as well as anxiety
- Improve blood circulation and decrease blood pressure level
- Help with detoxification of the body and boost the immune system
- Decrease muscle tension and increase flexibility as well as a range of motion
- Improve body posture, balance and alignment
- Slow down the aging process
- Relieve the pain from chronic joint ailments
- Prevent illnesses and alleviate degenerative diseases
- Build better concentration and focus
- Provide an emotional balance
- Clear and calm the individual's mind
- Develop discipline and self-control
- Boost the inner energy levels and increase the stamina
Recommendations and Precautions
- No massage performed on people with infectious skin diseases, rashes or open wounds and for people with osteoporosis, a serious heart condition and uncontrolled high blood pressure.
- No massage performed on people who have recently undergone chemotherapy, any kind of radiation based treatment or surgery.
- No massage performed on people who are prone to blood clots. There is a risk of blood clots being dislodged.
- For pregnant women, the massage should be done by the therapists certified in pregnancy massage.
- No massage performed directly on the areas of bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia or recent fractures.
- Rest and relax before starting the massage.
- Do not have a heavy meal or eat right before having a massage session.
- Be sure to mention any changes in health and medications to the therapists.
- Any kind of discomfort or pain during the massage should be reported to therapists immediately.
Recommended places for Thai massage
1) Wat Pho (The Temple of the Reclining Buddha), located on Maharach Road, Prabarommaharajawang, Pranakorn, Bangkok, is the center of Thai Arts and Knowledge where the wisdom of Thai Medicine and Massage is gathered, improved and passed on today. Therefore, it offers Thai massage in its most traditional and original form. Wat Pho also runs a school for people who are interested in learning about Thai massage under the name of WatPo Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School. Many massage courses from basic to advanced levels are available for both Thais and foreigners. Due to its popularity, many new branches are opened all over Thailand. The massage services are varied on each branch. For more information, please visit http://www.watpomassage.com.
Opening Hours : 08.00 – 18.00
2) Massage by the Blind. Because of their lack of sight, the blind therapists are more in tune with their techniques and can provide better treatment. This also supports the blind people to earn money because it is always difficult for them to get employed in Bangkok. The Foundation for the Employment of the Blind in Bangkok has set up a massage shop on Chan Kao Road. The shop locates at 2218/86 Chan Road, Chongnontri Yannawa, Bangkok. This is one of the good and interesting experiences to get Thai massage. Enjoy and relax.
Opening Hours : 09.00 – 20.00