By Erica Houck and Libby O’ Reilly
“A system of massage and assisted stretching developed in Thailand and influenced by the traditional medicine systems of India, China and Southeast Asia.”
Thai massage is referred to in Thai as: nuat phaen thai (Thai style massage), nuat phaen borane (ancient-style massage) or simply nuat Thai (Thai massage.)
The Thai massage originated in India under the direct guidance of Jivaka Khumar Bhacca, a yogi, physician and caretaker of Buddha more than 2,500 years ago. His teachings and methods migrated to Thailand with all of Buddhism. The core methods of Thai massage involves static and rhythmic pressures in yoga-like positions leaving the body energized and rejuvenated. A typical Thai massage lasts two hours at minimum, but we have been opting for anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour and a half; anytime we can find a break in our hectic schedule. No matter what the duration of the massage, the body is left feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.
Massage is one of the branches of Thai traditional medicine used throughout the country as well as in other Buddhist cultures. It relates to the medical and healing industries as well as the tourism industry as many tourists make Thai massages essential on their visits to the country. Thai massage is a deep muscle and full body treatment that typically starts at the feet and ends at the head. This type of massage is thought to restore and synced the energy of the human body through deep stretches, meditation and deep muscle pressure. There are three different forms:
Physical- detoxify, boosts the immune system, increases flexibility, improves posture and balance, increases blood flow, decreases blood pressure, tones body, strengthens joints and helps fight chronic disease.
Mental– builds emotional balance, motivates creativity, clears mind, and restores mental clarity.
Physiological- relieves stress, boosts inner energy levels, and increases stamina.
Getting Thai massages became an instant staple on this trip the minute we landed in Bangkok. Ever since then, we can often be spotted at outdoor massage parlors around Chiangmai’s Night Bazaar, interior massage parlors throughout Bangkok’s malls and even taking advantage of in room massages in Sukothai and Kamphaeng Phet.
Before our first Thai massages, many of us did not know what we were getting ourselves into. Unlike massages at home, Thai massages are not for the sole purpose of kneading knots out of tired shoulders, but more of an assisted stretch.
Libby and I both got Thai massages on multiple occasions. We found them to be be extremely relaxing and rejuvenating. I got my second Thai massage on the beach at the Saikaew Resort. My experience was even better on the beach than it was the first time. I wasnt the only one getting another massage on the beach. Peter made sure to get as many Thai massages in while at the resort, and I dont blame him for doing so. Overall, I would recommend getting a Thai massage in Thailand. They are definitely worth every baht!