There's nothing worse than paying an arm and a leg for a massage and you leave feeling the exact same way as when you arrived — tight, stiff, and stressed. That's why I'm a big fan of Thai massages because I feel amazing after every session and the positive effects last for days, if not weeks. For those who are new to Thai massage, Thai massage is basically an assisted relaxing yoga session where a masseuse manipulates your body and applies gentle pressure to your muscles. Thai massages usually take place on a big cozy floor mat and you are required to wear loose pants and a t-shirt so your body can easily move around (some places provide the clothing, so just check before you go). Each session usually lasts around one to two hours and just like yoga, your breathing is very important since it will aid you through each pose.
Keep reading to learn more about Thai massages and why they are so good for you.
If you are worried about pressure pain (I'm one of those freaks of nature who likes it to hurt), Thai masseuses are trained to use both soft to hard pressure. The masseuse will guide you through various poses working the ten different energy lines that are said to treat different organs on these energy meridians. Because of this, Thai massages helps to balance your qi (energy), which in turn can promote healing. Unlike Swedish massage where you lie in one position, the different poses in Thai massage force fresh circulation to specific areas of your body, helping with lymphatic drainage and the return of blood to the heart and digestion. In some Thai massages, the masseuse will hold onto ropes for balance while pressing his or her feet into your back or legs. The ropes provide additional balance and support for the masseuse while releasing deep tissue during your massage.
Although you'll be moving around, Thai massages are really quite relaxing since they return your body to a Zen-like state. At the end of my session, I always feel extremely calm and relaxed and ready to conquer the world. You may even notice on day two or three how loose your once tight muscles and stiff joints still feel.
Here's a video to give you a feel for what Thai massage is all about:
Source: Flickr User thomaswanhoff