Have you ever dreamt about stretching out on a cot while having a pleasant massage on your back, immersed in inebriating perfumes and cradled by a pleasing melody, so relaxed to fluctuate between sleep and wakefulness and something else which looks like a dream turning into reality? Well, it’s not a thai massage what you’re dreaming about! But let me add that if you want to rediscover every inch of your body, it is a can’t-miss experience!
My first time in Thailand I decided to have one of this popular massages during a rainy day, thinking that, as I couldn’t enjoy the beach, I would have relaxed and pampered myself with a good massage. I found myself being stretched in any way, and, at a certain point, I had the masseuse walking on my back. So, I realized that I had a completely different idea of what a thai massage was!
It’s true, I didn’t relax so much, neither in that occasion nor when I tried it again but, I assure you that
I’ve never felt my body so revitalised.
It’s like being waken up and staying that way for many days after, feeling mussels that you didn’t even know you had, apart from being in a mental condition that I would call of great presence.
The traditional thai massage has very ancient origins and its knowledge and practice has been transmitted by buddhist monks over the generations for 2500 years. It is said that it was invented by Jivaka Kumar Bhacca, Buddha’s friend and travel companion who, thanks to the traditions he learnt by visiting many people, was supposed to have blended the traditional Chinese medicine with Ayurveda and yoga, elaborating the thai massage.
This kind of massage is a mix of stretching, acupressures, compressions and lengthening aimed to reactivate the interrupted energetic circulation and to stimulate a self-healing process through the stimulation of “sen” or “meridians”, energetic channels which cover our body and where “prana” or “vital energy” circulates, entering through breathing (they are the same energetic channels used also in other disciplines such as acupuncture or shiatsu). As the most of the eastern healing disciplines, it focuses on the union between mind and body and works on the balance between the two.
Thai massage is useful in case of muscle pain, contracture, sciatica, cervical-lumbar and rheumatic pains, circulation problems and various emotional tensions such as insomnia and depression. It’s not recommended in case of pregnancy, hiatal hernia, fractures, hearth problems and hypertension.
In Thailand there are two school of thai massage: the southern school of Wat Po in Bangkok, where acupressures techniques are more used, and the northern school of the Massage Hospital in Chang Mai, which is more focused on mobilizations.
All over the country – but also abroad – there are many centres and shops where it’s possible to receive a treatment. The offer is so overabundant that I suggest you to observe carefully the centre before picking one up, especially caring about the masseuse professionalism or reading on the internet which are the places suggested. Personally I found the massage centre of Wat Po wonderful. There you have also a massage school and you can really feel the thousand-year old atmosphere accompanying this ancient healing technique.
So… discover your body, rebalance it and enjoy this divine stretching!
Cover photo from Flickr by Mad Plumerian