Thai Massages, Bangkok
Thai massage is believed to have been developed by Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, physician to Buddha, more than 2,500 years ago in India. It made its way to Thailand, where the Ayurvedic techniques and principles gradually became influenced by traditional Chinese medicine. For centuries, Thai massage was performed by monks (especially at Wat Po) as one component of Thai medicine.
Thai massage is more energizing and rigorous than more classic forms of massage. Thai massage is also called Thai yoga massage, because the therapist uses his or her hands, knees, legs, and feet to move you into a series of yoga-like stretches. Many people say Thai massage is like doing yoga without any work. Muscle compression, joint mobilization, and acupressure are also used during treatment.
Thai massage is usually done on a padded mat on the floor. No oil is applied, so you are fully dressed. You are usually asked to bring or wear comfortable clothing to the massage. A typical Thai massage is 60 minutes to two hours long. and cost 300 Baht per hour (NOTE that what made BANGKOK INFAMOUS is the TURKISH BATH, not the THAI MASSAGE!) pls see my Bangkok off the beaten path tips!
thai massage service is available everywhere! (hotels, spa's, beauty parlors, malls, etc!)
There are two main types of massage you can get get in Bangkok (not counting the erotic type which I assume is available but didn't try).
The first is the traditional Thai massage which I think may be based on Thai boxing, the second is the foot massage. For anything from 200 to 300 baht you get an hour long session of bliss where the concentration is mainly on your feet and lower leg - great after a days sightseeing.
This seems to be a popular form of massage with Thais as the salons seemed to be doing a good trade with locals.
I tried a few different salons but my favourite was in the plaza outside the Ambassador Hotel, just of the Sukhumvit Road.
ABOUT THE RELIABLE THAI TRADITIONAL MASSAGE OF WAT PO
Every visitor knows about the temple of the Lying Buddha situated just behind the temple of the Emerald Buddha. Paying a visit is already worth the trip but if you have 2 free hours in your schedule, then do not miss one of the inner pavilions where you can have a medical massage by a well-trained therapist (man or woman).
The best of all is if you really can manage to free yourself for 30 hours (and willing to pay 6,000 Baht). Then you will be teached the know-how of a traditional Thai massage under the guidance of an experienced Ajarn (teacher) who can speak English.
During the first 30 hours, you will learn all the positions of the traditional massage, how to position yourself, how to press your thumb, where to press...
After these 30 hours, you will have to take an exam (your Ajarn being the patient himself and you will have to practice on him) and once you have got your official certificate, you will be able to give a good massage to others.
For those who would like to learn more, another 30-hour course is most recommended (cost : 6,000 Baht).
In Thailand, there are two schools for traditional massage : the one in Wat Po (Bangkok) and another in Chiang Mai. I myself followed the classes in Wat Po. By experience, I can say that I haven't wasted either my time or my money. I have just discovered the great pleasure to give a traditional massage.
Would you like to try ? Check it out !