Thai massage has been practiced in one form or another for over 2,500 years. Though the techniques have roots in traditional Indian medicine, the Thai massage practiced today has evolved over the years into something uniquely Thai. During a Thai massage, technicians employ deep tissue massage techniques and stretching to remove stress and tension, increase flexibility and improve circulation.
A typical Thai massage takes place on a mat or mattress on the floor, instead of on an elevated massage table. You’ll be given loose-fitting clothing to change into, similar to hospital scrubs or pajamas. Unlike in most other forms of massage, Thai massage technicians use their hands, feet, knees and elbows to push, pull and stretch your body into specific poses. Although Thai massage leaves most people feeling refreshed and de-stressed, the process isn’t entirely relaxing since your body is being manipulated into sometimes unfamiliar postures and there is a lot of deep-tissue kneading.
There are thousands of spas and massage parlors offering Thai massage in Thailand and you can even get one on most popular beaches! If you want a therapeutic Thai massage, look for spas that employ licensed, trained technicians or visit one of the many massage schools in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.