My Thai Massage Experience, and more…
Traditional Thai Massage is an ancient practice, which was discovered more than 2500 years ago. This massage combines yoga, acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principles, and reflexology. No Thailand Trip is complete without experiencing a good Thai Massage, and it seems like Indians are obsessed with it. A few days into my trip, I decided to go for a nice massage in the streets of Pattaya.
Generally, the rates for getting a Thai Massage vary from 100 to 300 THB. I came across massage parlors offering massages starting from 120 THB for a 1-hour massage. I chose a parlor that was priced at 200 baht for 1 hour. The massage is supposed to be a fully clothed massage, and so I was handed their own massage attire. It generally includes fisherman pants or shorts and loose shirts, and is very comfortable. Then I was asked to lie down on a futon mat for the massage. The massage started with gentle stretching of my toes and took its course.
The special thing about this massage is that it involves absolutely no use of any oils or lotions, or rubbing, but compression and pressing of the muscles and stretches of the whole body. The masseuse uses her thumbs, palms, feet, elbows and knees for compression and stretching, as and when required. There is a constant body contact involved because the masseuses use their body weight to stretch your body into yoga like positions while massaging.
It also involves things like climbing on the top and stretching your body, standing on your back, etc. Many people also call Thai Massage “a lazy man’s yoga” as you are not required to do anything at all. The stretching and pressing is so rhythmic in a proper Thai massage that it deeply relaxes the body. It focuses on the energy points in the body.
Even though they do not use any lotions or oil in the massage, I told my masseuse that I am on a backpacking trip and would really appreciate if she could stress more on my back. She then used the Tiger Balm to remove the soreness and I felt a sudden relief. There were certain moments while she was stretching my body when it felt like my whole body would crack into two halves, but thankfully, it did not. You might feel a little pain in a traditional massage, but it is very beneficial for the body.
Afterwards, they gave me a herbal tea in the waiting room for the therapeutic benefits. The whole thing was very relaxing and helped in removing all the soreness of the past few days of my trip.
Here are some other interesting experiences from my Thailand trip –
Here are some tips in case you decide to take a Thai Massage:
- Eat very less or not at all before the massage, as it involves many stretches.
- If you need them to focus on a particular area, let them know as I did for my back.
- Although most massage parlors provide their own attires, wear loose fitting clothes just in case.
- If you want, you can tip your masseuse as a good gesture.
I didn’t get a Thai massage on my last visit to Thailand. This time, I just wanted to establish that there’s much more to Thai Massages than just the “happy endings” that people associate them with. However, occasional happy endings don’t hurt. As Charlie Harper said about Thai Massages in Two and a Half Men, “If you don’t know there’s a happy ending, there’s no point in lying down.” Oh well.