What Is Traditional Thai Massage Therapy and Its Benefits?

The word massage puts our mind at ease and makes us feel zen. Traditional Thai massages[1], which have been around for years is one of the most beneficial massages. Thai massage which finds its origin in Thailand is finally getting its dues. Many fancy spas now offer Thai massages. It is not only a great way to relax and unwind, but also has a significant number of benefits. It improves flexibility, cures many conditions ranging from reducing stress to chronic back pain. The traditional Thai massage benefits outnumber many other massages.

What is a traditional Thai massage?

Brief History

The modern world is now catching up to the benefits of Thai massages, by offering it in a significant number of spas. But it has been around for longer than we realize. The traditional Thai massage finds its genesis in Thailand, the modern day message central, over 2500 years ago. Buddhist monks initially developed it as a form of massage technique. They were very reputed and had an extensive understanding of the medical field. It is a very layered and it cannot be credited to a single founder. Many concepts from different countries, like “Ayurveda” which is native to India, has a substantial influence on Thai massages. It draws inspiration from multiple south-east Asian countries including China.

There is not one single way of performing it; we can see slight variations in different regions. To give massages, trainers have to undergo rigorous training. Since the role of the trainer is more significant than in other massages, they must train profusely and must prepare for at least 800 hours of training. The Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical and Massage school offer courses on Thai massage.

How is it performed?


Unlike other massages, the Thai massage forgoes the most critical components, massage oil or lotions. The masseuse, employs more than a hands-on approach, due the course of massage. This is not an apt choice for massage rookies, or first-timers, because it is not like traditional massages that we know. This massage might be a harrowing experience for them, while it may work wonders for the seasoned players looking for a much more potent method for relief.

The reason it differs from other massages is, the trainer typically works by compressing various muscle groups by stretching and moving multiple parts of the body. This isn’t traditionally about soothing or relaxing and does not consist of soothing aromatic oils and lotions. It gets down right to the business. It usually takes place on a mat or the floor, and the client can be dressed in loose fitting clothes. The trainer moves the client into various positions akin to yoga but under supervision.


Contrary to the relaxed feeling we get after a massage, a client will feel revitalized and energetic after the Thai massage. There is a constant body to body contact between the two parties involved. However, instead of the monotonous rubbing motion, there is compression, stretching, rocking and other multitudes of different movements which tax the various muscle groups involved. It involves using gentle pressure on the energy lines. Energy lines are imaginary lines which run throughout the bodies which help in maintaining good health.

The trainer uses their own body to contort the clients’ bodies into multiple positions. So it is safe to say that this massage technique is based on the lines of ‘assisted yoga’. The trainers are well versed in the art of the massaging and are aware of the consequences of each position. Different techniques are involved in the Thai massage, and each of them has a direct effect on the problem they treat. There is a rhythm in the way the body is compressed, a definitive way in which the limb is rolled. The ancient principles of Ayurveda act as guidelines for each of these actions. The trainers can use their elbows, feet, and knees to exert more pressure.

Where can you get a Thai massage?

As the name suggests, you can get an authentic traditional Thai massage in Thailand. Bangkok to be more precise. However, Thailand is famous for its notorious massage culture. So if you aren’t looking for that, then better avoid seedy joints. Thai massages can be availed at very cheap, throwaway rates at street joints. There are also sophisticated massage joints with above par privileges that offer Thai massages for an exorbitant amount of money.

You don’t stay in Thailand? No need to worry. The fad is catching up all over the world. Many spas now offer traditional Thai massages. They are scattered all over the globe.

How is Thai massage helpful?

Thai massages check all the boxes, concerning a massage. It relaxes a person, improves their moods and relieves minor aches. However, many people believe that Thai massages take it a step further. They claim that it can alleviate stress, reduces lower back pain, eases anxiety and so on. Some clinical although, disagree. It all depends on a persons preference. It works for some people and not for others.

Benefits of Thai massage:

Let’s take a look at some benefits of the Thai massage.

  1. Stress Reliever: This is the USP of every massage there is. So it’s no surprise that the Thai massage also acts as a dominant stress reliever. It decreases the stress-inducing hormone cortisol and establishes an overall relaxation.
  2. Reduces Pain in the Lower Back: Specific studies proved that the traditional Thai massage worked wonders in decreasing the lower back pain.                                                                                                      
  3. Muscle Relaxer and pain reliever: Some claim that it is more effective in relieving pain when compared to traditional pain-relieving medicines.
  4. Mood enhancer and Lower Anxiety levels: It has shown promise in easing anxiety and also treats a spectrum of mood disorders.
  5. A fluid range of Motion: It is a sort of a chain reaction. When stress decreases from the major muscle groups, this enhances the range of motion.
  6. Increases blood flow: Thai massages improve the circulatory system, which delivers more oxygen to the brain which in turn keeps the mind and body active.
  7. Relieves osteoarthritis: Thai massages also have effects on the musculoskeletal framework of our body. It relives osteoarthritis which mainly affects the joints.
  8. Physical Therapy: It is a valid form of physical therapy and helps in providing rehabilitation to people recovering from strokes.
  9. Fixes sleeping disorders.
  10. Improves immunity: the enhanced blood flow is an effective way to flush out toxins which in turn increases resistance.
  11. Lowers Blood sugar level and can even, in some cases reverse the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

In addition to this, there are many more benefits like feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, less fatigue. It treats migraines and reduces hypertension. It increases joint mobility and also aids in weight maintenance.

Thai massages are not for everyone…

The following is a comprehensive list of everyone who should avoid Thai massage. People:

  • who aren’t legally adults, i.e., people under 18,
  • with known orthopedic conditions and also the ones recovering from them,
  • who have undergone surgeries in the recent past and recovering from it,
  • Pregnant women,
  • past a certain age, where they are fragile,
  • suffering from illnesses,
  • with skin conditions, like rashes.

With a closer look at it, Thai massages are beneficial indeed. But they are more of an acquired taste.

Fitness, Lifestyle

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