Traditional Thai Massage

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Thai Massage

Thai Massage is one of the world’s oldest healing modalities & originates from the time of the Buddha over 2500 years ago.

Introduced to Thailand by an Indian doctor, ‘ Nuad Phaen Boran’ as it is known in Thailand, correctly translates as Ancient Massage or Traditional Massage. Here it is more widely known as Thai Massage.

Thai Massage is considered an ancient art of body therapy for health, healing & transformation.

The History Of Thai Massage

Thai Massage has been performed for centuries by monks in Southeast Asia as one element of indigenous Thai medicine.

As with much of traditional oriental medicine, illness is seen as an imbalance of the mind, body & spirit or ‘Chi’.

Thai massage is based on the concept of invisible energy lines running through the body. These energy lines known as sen lines or ‘Prana Nadis’ supply us with vital energy.

‘Prana’ (life energy) is absorbed with the air we breathe & with the food we eat. Disturbances in the flow of energy results in an insufficient supply of Prana, which in turn lead to sickness.

Thai massage selects ten energy mainlines on which there are significantly important acupressure points. Working on these energy mainlines, Thai massage breaks the blockades, stimulates the free flow of Prana, & helps to restore general well-being.

Thai Massage – How Does It Work ?

Thai Massage focuses on interactive manipulation & uses two primary procedures.

These include the therapist applying gentle pressure with the hands & feet along the energy lines & a variety of passive stretching movements to manipulate your body into a series of postures.

These movements help to align the energies of the body.

Traditional Thai massage differs greatly from traditional massage where kneading of the muscles & strokes of varying lengths & pressure are used to stimulate, calm or relax.

It works more with the energy body rather than with the physical body & is based on gentle but vigorous pressure, the pressing of energy points & a lot of stretching.

What are the Benefits of Thai Massage ?

Although Thai massage is considered more vigorous than traditional massage, the effect is uniquely energizing as well as relaxing.

Sometimes referred to as ‘Thai Yoga’ because of the ‘assisted stretching’, Thai massage stimulates & energizes the body & releases tension & toxins from joints, muscles & connective tissue.

Thai massage has been used for many years to treat degenerative illness & promote wellness & can be beneficial for the young or old, healthy or not so healthy, the active or not so active.

The Key Benefits Include :

  • Stimulates internal organs.
  • Balances the body’s energy system.
  • Adjusts the skeletal structure.
  • Relieves muscular & joint tension.
  • Increases flexibility.

Thai Massage – Is it Safe for Everyone ?

Thai massage is relatively safe but is not appropriate for people with certain medical conditions such as serious back or knee injuries, or pregnant women.

If in doubt you should seek advice from your doctor.

What to Expect from a Thai Massage ?

Applied in a quiet meditative atmosphere, Thai massage creates space in the musculoskeletal structure, opening up the body & allowing it to regain flexibility & ease of movement.

When performed in Thailand, Thai massage is seen as a spiritual practice & in order to perform the massage in the meditative mood that is required, the session will start with a meditative prayer to fully centre the masseur on his or her work.

It is believed that only a masseur working in a meditative mood can have intuition for the lines of energy flow in the body.

Traditionally, Thai massage is performed on a padded floor mat instead of a table or couch, no oil is used & you stay fully dressed, so loose comfortable clothing is advised.

Thai Massage – Choosing a Therapist

To get the best from a traditional Thai massage, ensure you seek a therapist that is suitably qualified.

Thai massage is a great way to improve overall wellbeing & is more popular than ever. Try a Thai massage for yourself & you will be glad you did.


If you feel your body is loosing it’s flexibility, this is a great way of recovering lost movement. Yes you can ache a little bit afterwards, but that doesn’t last long & after a few sessions you can really feel the health benefits.

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Thanks for reading if you have anything to add. Please leave a comment below.



  1. This type of massage looks really interesting but would you recommend it to someone with pretty bad and regular back pain or something else? My lower back has muscle problems from time to time, like there is a weak point within the muscle and in-between the joints, I try to use my foam roller on a daily basis but I don’t think it’s helping as much as it use to.

    Do you think i should try something like this or go see a chiropractor?

    1. Any good therapist would be able to work around your problems and help as long as it’s not your spine ! then it’s osteopath, chiropractic or physiotherapy. I’ve had time at all of them !! When my lower back gets any pain. I go for aromatherapy with balms (tiger balm ) or some I bring back from Thailand.

  2. Very interesting, never really knew what was different about Thai massage. It sounds like something I need.
    I like how you say you go once a month as many traditional massage people saw once a week which gets very expensive.
    Thank you for this information
    One question how do you pick a good one?

    1. Hi Mark I couldn’t have Thai massage once a would be too much for me. But that’s my body. I google search the area and find the spas and little independent businesses. Then just check reviews on TripAdvisor & facebook (if they have facebook ?)
      But I’m wife owns here own business and was trained at Banyan Tree Academy in Thailand. I get spoilt !
      But my wife likes to have massages, so we find other places around the area. She never tells them that she also does massage until they have finished ! up to now the reviews on both TripAdvisor & facebook have been right.

      One more bit of advice. Always tell the therapist if the massage is too hard or soft ! A lot of bad reviews are because the customers haven’t said what they would like !
      Hope this helps ?
      If you would like anymore information please get in touch.
      Sawadee. goodbye

  3. It sounds like your body will experience a variety of stretching techniques that will probably be good for the skeleton. I probably would have all kinds of cracking noises coming from my body but will probably feel good afterward. Does the soreness cease after a few times of doing it?

    1. Hi Ronnie
      The only parts of my body that cracked are Fingers and Toes. But I do get cramp in my legs sometimes !
      The stretching is very much like yoga positions.(I will be putting more pictures of me having Thai massage soon)
      The longest I’ve been sore for was about 12 hours, but that was the first time I had Traditional Thai Massage. my body has become a lot more flexible from having massage.
      Last Year when I was in Thailand, was the first time someone else apart from the wife. walked on my thighs & back (it scares me to death !).with having lower back problems.
      But it was really good. they are so well trained. They never work on the spine just the muscles.
      Hope this has given you a bit more information ?
      If I can help in any other way please get in touch

  4. Great article…Just worries about the lenght of the massage. two hours? seriously? I’ve never has a massage before. Call me unlettered…lolz but its the truth, Though I have low back pain every now and then. I simply take analgesics. Not that I like pomping my body with chemicals, but it just seems easier.
    Thanks for the write up though. It was educating.

    1. Hi Collins sounds like you suffer the same as a me ? mine is lower back pain more to the right side. You can have shorter time, depending on where you want the therapist to work. I sometimes just have 1 hour only on my back & shoulders. The 2 hours are usually for full body massage, Taking tablets was the reason I looked for something different. Massage came up several times. But I never booked, Then I met my wife, not knowing she was a massage therapist, told her about my back and she started doing massage on it. I have never looked back, I like swimming & kayaking, both sports need flexibility. Let me know if you book in and have a massage ? I’m after feedback from people who are new to massage. how it was and what they felt like afterwards and that’s mind as well as body !


  5. Hi Paul, thanks for this article, I’d heard about a Thai massage before but didn’t really know much about it. You seem to describe a bit like yoga with a masseuse/masseur manipulating you and getting you into these yoga positions, is that correct? And are there any benefits to your mental health from Thai massages? Thanks Sean

    1. Hi Sean
      You are correct you body is placed in Yoga like positions.
      Now to health benefits, There are a lot from Increasing Concentration, reduce the risk of heart disease, boost energy (because of the increase in blood flow to the brain & body ) it is also meant to reduce arthritis symptoms.( with the movement’s made to the limbs) plus many more benefits.
      I will be covering more health benefits from massage and essential oils as I go through my website journey.
      Hope This helpful ?

  6. I honestly never have had a professional massage done. Kind of embarrassing actually. I didn’t really ever think about the different types of massages one could receive before stumbling over this site. Good to know there a plenty of them with different aspects in mind. I personally like the idea of the Traditional Thai massage. It seems really intense but must be a great muscle reliever with good stretching involved. I would love to have this done. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Rob.
      Traditional Thai is my personal choice. Been stretched around & bent feels really good. You should really try it sometime ? I don’t think you would be disappointed.
      Live Long & Healthy

    1. Thank You Emily
      Everyone I know who’s had Traditional Thai Massage all feel more flexible and full of energy afterwards.
      Let me know if you do take the plunge & have a massage. I would really like to hear your thoughts ?
      Keep Healthy & Strong

  7. I usually do yoga and this seems like it has similar effects for the body. wonder how much it would be for a session and where I can get a thai message in my area.

    1. Hi Max.
      Thai massage is Yoga with someone doing the work for you ! lol My body feels so good afterwards.
      UK prices vary so much depending on the area you live. Where I live in York, 1 hour massage price start at Around £40 going up to About £65. But a place only 35 miles away, the prices for the same massage are £20 to £45.
      Check on the internet, you’ll find something in your budget. But always check the reviews first. Tripadvisors been very reliable for me.
      Hope this helps ?

    1. Hi Matthew
      The advantage of Thai massage is the muscles and joints are stretched and manipulated. I have never been in pain from Thai massage, body’s ached a bit like been at the gym the next day. but that’s all.
      Give it a go you’ll be surprised how good it feels.

  8. Paul, loved the article on Thai Massage! A two hour massage……..that is impressive, I will have to look into this because I currently go to a chiropractor two times a week and am stuck with the same stiffness afterwards. I don’t feel like it is gaining any ground.
    All in all great info I will have to look for Thai Massage in my area


    1. Hi Matthew
      I also go to a chiropractor, but only once a month. I get more benefit from the Thai massage, with all the stretching and manipulation of the muscles & joints.
      I would recommend it to you. You will feel the difference straight away, the more times you go the more flexibility you will gain.
      Let me know how you get on ?

  9. Hi Paul, thanks for an interesting article.

    My one and only Thai massage happened about 7 years ago. Was told to strip down to my underpants and thought I was going to have a lovely sensual massage given by a cute little Thai lady. Instead, a man was allocated to administer my massage and at the end of the session I was fortunate to be able to stand up.

    Felt as though I’d been massaged by a burly rugby physio.

    1. Hi Roy

      I have had several male therapists over the years. Trust me when I tell you some of the little Thai ladies you refer to are actually  stronger then the men at massage ! I’m over 6 feet tall & have been bent & shaped by them. They are so skilled at Thai massage techniques & how to use them.

      You need to book yourself for a aromatherapy massage. Very relaxing & much easier on the body !

      Stay Fit & Healthy


  10. I just visited Thailand for the first time about month ago. Before going there I planned in my head that I definitely will go to thai massage. Long story short when I was there I was so tired because of these massage parlors everywhere trying to lure you in. So I didn`t have an experience. Reading your article helped me to get over my frustration and I will 100% go and look for well established massage shop next time I visit, and have my experience. Any suggestions in Phuket, maybe Patong or Rawai area?

    1. Hi Janek
      It is a bit of a shock when you first arrive & see all the massage parlours with the girls outside trying to entice you in. On my last trip to Patong Beach Phuket Thailand back in September we found a little place, if you read : This will help you. I would say they are better at Thai traditional than aromatherapy Massage. Buts that’s only my opinion.
      If you are planning on going again, you must have liked Thailand ? I have found that a lot of people I know have all returned again. It is such a big country, with so much to see, you can never fit it all in on one trip.
      Let me know when & where you plan to go again & I can maybe find some more information on the place for you.
      Stay Fit & Healthy.

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