Why I love Thai Massages

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Nuad Thai Massage
{Nuad Thai}

Are you feeling the Holiday stress already? I do, but I think it's positive stress: crafting Christmas presents, scheduling Christmas parties and drafting my travel itinerary for Europe (tips for Berlin, anyone?) - all while humming the "Driving home for Christmas" tune. But recently my body gave me subtle signs of exhaustion with a cough and runny nose here and there. So, it's time for a break. My body requests exclusive pampering and undivided attention. After all, the coming days will be even more stressful.
Luckily, I stocked up on massage oils, hot compresses and body scrubs on my Chiang Mai trip that are now ready to be tried and tested. Of course, a decent Thai Massage from one of the professional therapists in Thailand would be even better. If I had the choice between any other massage and a Thai Massage, I would always go for the over 2,500 year-old bodywork technique that combines yoga, acupressure, massage and stretching.

Traditionally passed on from teacher to teacher in Buddhist temples and deeply embedded in Thai families as a healing art, the Thai Massage or "Nuad Thai" therapist uses his whole body to treat the client's body with slow movements starting with the feet and ending with the head. Every single treatment leaves me refreshed, calm, relaxed yet energized and a feeling of walking on clouds.

Thai Herbal Ball Compress
{Thai Herbal Ball Compress}

Many first-timers are quite hesitant to give it a try as they always associate Thai Massage with cracking bones and dislocated shoulders. Like my dad in Chiang Mai. I have to admit the first massage salon we went to was a rather dodgy place, a recommendation rip-off by one of our Tuk Tuk drivers. So naturally my dad was a bit scared. The therapists turned out to be housewives who were obviously doing this as a side thingy. Well, their massage techniques were OK, but far from professional and the price for a 1-hour treatment was way too expensive for Thai standards.

But the massages that followed this disappointing experience were just divine. We discovered two hidden gems not far away from our hotel. The first one was frequently visited by Japanese expats, so we knew the treatments would be good (love the quality standards of the Japanese!). I've booked a Thai Massage for 90 minutes which is quite standard so the therapist has enough time to work through your aching body. Time went by so quickly and I felt like a new born baby afterwards! My therapist knew exactly which points to massage and where my flexibility limits were - a professional one would never stretch beyond your edge of flexibility but just try to improve it. And she did that wonderfully!

Green Bamboo Massage

The second salon would become my favorite. It's in the old city of Chiang Mai, hidden in a tiny side street, but already quite famous among travelers as it is featured on a number of travel sites. Ms. Mesa, the founder and owner of the lovely massage salon called Green Bamboo Massage, only uses organic and fair-trade oils, some blended by herself. It's a quite busy place so you have to book in advance. We pampered ourselves on our last day in Chiang Mai. I opted for a 60-minute Aloe Vera Body Scrub to soothe my sunburn followed by a 90-minute Coconut Oil Thai Massage. The treatment was beyond incredible. We were so fascinated by this little salon that we almost bought every oil that was displayed on the shelf. Ms. Mesa was kind enough to even give me the number of her organic oil supplier - bliss!

So, why do I love Thai Massages? It's simple: they combine herbal therapy, massage, yoga and acupressure to relief the body from stress and muscle tensions, improve circulation and lymphatic flow and work on your flexibility. A perfect treatment package.

Why not put a Thai Massage on your Christmas wish list?


  1. I love Thai massage too! Is it weird if I actually like the bone-cracking part? But I do agree with you that Thai massage is a complete spa treatment package and definitely a great experience each time.

    Stela Dimitrov

  2. Haha, my friends keep on telling me that's the best part of Thai Massages :)

  3. Hi,
    I also get this massage to increase whole body joints strength and get deep muscles relaxation. It’s actually very effective technique.
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