What Happens During a Thai Massage

Thai massage usually works with compression — rhythmic pushing actions directed into muscle cells by either the hand or fingers. Thai massage generally takes place on a futon mat on the floor, with the client using loose or stretchy clothing like yoga gear. The therapist is also on the mat and moves your body into various stretches and positions, without any work on your part. This is why it is sometimes named “lazy man’s yoga”. Thai massage can be both relaxing and energizing, so it is a good choice if you want to be active after your massage.


The therapist uses a variety of various sequences of techniques on clients, who are both lying face up, laying face down, seated, or on their side. There is regular body contact between the therapist and the client, but rather than rubbing on muscles, the body is compressed, pulled, stretched, and rocked.

Thai Massage in America

Thai massage has been used in America since the 1990s when Westerners began practicing it.

Thai massage is more commonly identified than it used to be at American spas, but you can’t find it everywhere for two factors. First, the spa demands a room with a large, padded mat in order to offer Thai massage. It’s simplest if the room is always set up for Thai massage, and yet it is more of a specialty request.

It just makes more economic feeling to have the room set up with a table for a Swedish massage. (Some places do offer “table Thai” a modified form of Thai massage that can be performed on a regular massage table.)

The second reason it is not that generally found is that it requires special exercising. Many American massage therapists are serious students who have traveled to Asia for rigorous programs, but others might have to take a weekend workshop. You might want to ask about their training before you sign up. If you live in a major city, you might be able to get a high quality, no-frills Thai massage for a reasonable price.

Thai massage has its roots in a religious tradition, and its objective is to heal a person physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It should not be baffled with a sensual massage.

What About Thai Massage in Thailand?

In Thailand, it can be discovered just about anywhere, at stalls on the streets, and for a very low price. Wat Pho in Bangkok is both a 16th-century temple and home to Thailand’s oldest traditional massage schools. After touring the temple, travelers can get a student massage there for 30 minutes or for a full hour.

Wat Pho Temple in Bangkok is also an amazing place to learn how to actually perform Thai Massage. Courses are offered in English. You don’t have to be a licensed massage therapist to take the course, but you do have to be licensed to accomplish it when you come back to the U.S.