Spirit of Thailand

Spirit of Thailand

Culture, Relationships,
Thai Massage, Traveling

The Magic of Touch in Chiang Mai Bus Station

A magical massage experience

 The main bus station in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Does this Thai bus station look like a place where magical events take place? In my case, this is exactly what happened. At least it felt magical to me.

There are some events in life that we never forget even though they happened a long time ago. It might have been a little thing, a kind word, a helping hand, a truly happy or beautiful or magical moment. In my case, it was a simple heartfelt touch.

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Thai Massage Career Pros and Cons Review

A Thai Massage career's pros and cons

Thai Massage is rapidly growing in popularity and can be a very rewarding career. However there are some important considerations which Thai Massage therapists need to be aware of.

There is lots of information and training available, but not much is written about the challenges that practitioners can encounter. Those issues can make the difference between a successful career and a failed one.

plus and minus scale

The positive side of a Thai Massage business

There are two sides to being a Thai Massage therapist. New practitioners might see mostly one side – the positive side – which is very real:

  • Meaningful work with decent income
  • Holistic, positive, and beneficial healing work
  • Interaction with many interesting and wonderful people (clients and fellow therapists)
  • The ability to have one’s own business
  • Setting one’s own working hours
  • Contributing something of value to the world

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Ten Tips For A Great Massage Experience In Thailand

thai massage session

Thailand is the land of massage. It’s everywhere. You don’t have to look for it. It will find you. The easy and very affordable access to massage in Thailand is one of the pleasures of living here.

Like everywhere in the world, the quality of massage varies greatly. I have received many wonderful Thai Massage sessions in Thailand, but I also had some rather bizarre experiences. The silver lining of those sub-standard massages was that they helped me to develop an approach to finding good therapists.

One story sticks out in my mind which in hindsight seems quite funny, but when it actually happened, I wasn’t laughing. That was the point when I decided that I needed a better method for finding good Thai Massage.

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Similarities Between Thai Massage and Yoga

Thai Massage and Yoga connection

Thai Massage and Yoga are family members

Thai Massage has its origins in India’s yoga system. According to legend, an Indian physician came to Thailand and introduced what is now called “Thai Massage”. His name is a tongue breaker – Shivaka Komarpaj -and nobody agrees on the spelling. I always called him “Dr. Shivago” for simplicity’s sake which is fairly close to how his first name is actually pronounced.

He is still revered as the founder of Thai Massage and many massage schools display his picture or statue. He was a contemporary of Buddha, which makes Thai Massage about 2500 years old.  Many Thai therapists begin their sessions with a prayer to him.

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Learning Thai Massage in Thailand

massage services in Ko Lanta Thailand
Listing of massage services on a shop window in Ko Lanta, Thailand

Thailand is famous as the land of smiles, the land of beautiful beaches, and the land of many exotic attractions. It is also famous as the home land of Thai Massage. If you have not been to Thailand yet, you might not even know what Thai Massage is, but as soon as you arrive, you will see it all around you.

It will find YOU, mostly in the form of massage therapists trying to entice you to enter their shop. Almost every hotel either offers Thai Massage or can arrange for therapists to provide this service in your room.

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Thailand Land of Massage

Thai-Massage is often done in public in very simple settings

Some time ago I went to a local stationery store here in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and there, in the middle of the floor, was a blanket spread out, and someone was doing a Thai massage session for one of the people who worked in the store. They must have needed it badly!

Nobody seemed to think that there was anything unusual about this picture, and customers simply walked around the impromptu massage setup. When I mentioned that I would like a massage also, everyone in the store erupted with appreciative laughter.

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How to Pick a Thai Massage Therapist in Thailand

Here in Thailand it is much easier to get a massage than in western countries. You just walk into one of countless massage shops and in most cases there is a therapist available right away. So that’s the easy part.

But how do you know who will work on you – is it just the luck of the draw? Most shops have several therapists on staff. They are automatically assigned to the customers depending on their turn in the queue. However you don’t have to accept just any therapist. You can ask for anyone who you feel comfortable with.

Here are some tips for improving your chance of getting a good Thai Massage.

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What Makes Thai Massage Authentic?

thai massage cobra stretch

Every year thousands of people go to Thailand to learn the real, authentic, traditional Thai Massage. But – how do you know what is really authentic? Is it authentic just because a Thai person is teaching it instead of an American?

Is “traditional Thai Massage” always better? And what exactly does “traditional” or “authentic” mean anyway?

Nowadays there are several hundred massage and healing arts styles, including several Thai Massage ones. Just 50 years ago massage was not so popular and widespread in the western world.

Compared to today, there were very few massage styles. In the last few decades many styles of massage, bodywork, physical therapy, yoga and energy healing were developed. What makes them authentic?

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Do Great Thai Massage Therapists Need to be Saints?

massage guru cartoon

New Thai Massage student is in for a surprise

Here comes our newly arrived Thai Massage student to study with a well known master in Thailand. To his shock and dismay, the teacher keeps on smoking one cigarette after the other while he is teaching.

He goes to another famous healer/teacher and finds out that he does not smoke, but his personal life is a mess, and he has lots of girlfriend trouble.

Again another well known Thai Massage teacher has an overgrown ego. These are not examples which I just made up, but fifteen years ago I was this newly arrived Thai massage student in Thailand, and I did study with those teachers.

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Health, Science, Thai Massage and Yoga

thai massage cobra
Thai Massage cobra stretch, the passive version of the yoga cobra stretch

Would you be interested in better health, more relaxation, better circulation, greater flexibility, higher levels of peace of mind, an improved feeling of well-being, better ability to deal with stress, and a feeling of being totally revitalized? Yes?

Then you are a candidate for a Thai Massage. You might get some of those benefits or all of them, but you will certainly benefit greatly.

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