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Thai Massage

A good massage can feel like a long, relaxing stretch. The Thai massage actually combines deep tissue massage with yoga-like stretching.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: October 29, 2014

A good massage can feel like a long, relaxing stretch. The Thai massage actually combines these two sensations, melding deep tissue massaging with relaxing stretches that take the form of yogic poses.

Thai massages are performed on the floor, so the massage therapist can easily climb around your body and manipulate your (clothed) limbs as you are moved from one pose to the next.

The origins of Thai Massage: Thai Yoga was invented by Jivaka Komarabhacca, the Buddha's personal doctor. The practice was considered so important that, after many ancient scriptures were lost during a Burmese invasion of 1832, King Rama III ordered that the remaining knowledge of Thai Massaged be carved into the walls at Wat Po, a major temple in the heart of Bangkok.

Wat Po is still a center for the teaching of Thai Massage.

Benefits Of Thai Massage

Acupressure is commonly integrated into a Thai massage too, the benefits which include intense relaxation, reduced stress, increased energy, and improved circulation, flexibility and range of motion.

What To Expect

An example of a Thai massage pose might require the massage therapist to lean on your back with firm hands and locked elbows, pressing against your body vigorously. Another method requires that they use their feet to apply rhythmic pressure to the body.

Expect your limbs to be stretched, your muscles compressed, and your fingers, toes, ears, knuckles, and back to be cracked. Thai massages tend to last longer than the average massage—up to three hours.

Specialized equipment: Thai Massage typically takes place on the floor, so practitioners will have specialized floor mats.

Recommended sessions: Many clients receive benefits from their very first Thai Masage session.

Preparation: You do not remove clothing for a Thai massage, so wear loose, comfortable clothing. Let the massage therapist know if you are pregnant or have any injuries.


People with artificial joints or replacements should be careful, as the stretching involved in a Thai massage can dislodge them.

Who wouldn't benefit: People with broken bones or a history of blood clots should consult a doctor before undergoing Thai massage. Pregnant woman can enjoy Thai massage as long as their massage therapist has prenatal training.

Celebrity Devotees

Halle Berry has received a Thai massage.

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