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. Read the rest of this story
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. Read the rest of this story
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. Read the rest of this story
All you need for Thai Massage is a mat and an open space somewhere
A few days 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. Read the rest of this story
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. Read the rest of this story
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? Read the rest of this story
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. Read the rest of this story
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. Read the rest of this story
After living in Thailand for many years and having received many Thai Massages I have come up with a listing of different styles of Thai Massage therapists you will encounter in Thailand.
1. The social type: This is the chatty type. She will immediately ask where you come from, if you speak Thai, if you are in a relationship etc. She will chat with you during the massage and she will have lively conversations with her fellow Thai Massage therapists who are working in the same room.
She keeps her mobile phone next to her and she will take any call. Either she will stop the massage until she is done talking or she will hold the phone with one hand and massage you with her free hand. She is not really focused on what she is doing and sees the massage scene as a perpetual social gathering. It might really annoy someone, but there are clients who actually enjoy this party atmosphere. Read the rest of this story
There are people out there who subscribe to the “no pain, no gain” theory in regards to Thai Massage. Interestingly enough a lot of the Thai people actually subscribe to that.
Many massage therapists in Thailand have told me that their fellow countrymen often prefer really strong massage even if it is painful, but in contrast the foreigners prefer a gentler and non-painful approach.
However I have also met a good number of Thais who will not get Thai massage because they have heard or experienced that it can be painful, and so they stay away from it. Read the rest of this story