Unfortunately, the words ‘Thai Massage’ conjure up all sorts of connotations – not all without some basis in fact. Samui does have its share of parlours whose services rendered may sometimes go beyond the therapeutic. However, these are in the minority and there are many reputable individuals and companies offering a ‘bona fide’ traditional Thai massage. To visit Thailand and not experience the benefits of this ancient art would be regrettable.
The Thais have been practicing their own particular brand of massage for centuries. In fact, it is understood by historians to have been introduced into Thailand from India, concurrently with Buddhism, between 300 – 200 BC.
“… these centres are understood to receive cosmic energy, which is then spread throughout the system.”
It isn’t just a muscle manipulation, like the popular Swedish massage. The basis of the Thai practice is a belief in an invisible grid system of energy lines linking 10 central points on the human body. These centres are understood to receive cosmic energy, which is then spread throughout the system. A good Thai massage will help remove any blockages in this system and also to maintain the free flow of energy in an already healthy body.
The best practitioners of the art will place themselves in a mental state akin to meditation before proceeding. This is similar to the Western approach to spiritual healing, and it produces similar results.
If the masseur/masseuse is a master of his/her craft, the experience should be an extremely pleasant one. It will also leave you with a feeling of well-being and rejuvenation.
The price of a Thai massage is incredibly low compared to Western rates, and it’s worth trying out several practitioners. A beach massage can be an enjoyable respite from sunbathing for an hour, as can the air-conditioned massage offered by the many parlours dotted around the island. But, without a doubt, the best way to savour the experience totally is to go to one of the specialist centres/spas. Here, sauna, shower and a whole host of other body pampering services are usually available to complement the massage.