Thai massage has its roots in a spiritual tradition, and its purpose is to heal a person physically, emotionally and spiritually.
It was originally developed by Buddhist monks in Thailand as a method of healing. The technique uses passive stretching and gentle pressure along the body's energy lines to increase flexibility, relieve muscle and joint tension and balance the body's energy systems.
It is both deeply relaxing and energizing.
Thai massage is called Nuad Phaen Boran in Thai - which translates to Ancient Massage or Traditional Massage.
Traditionally, the massage takes place on a futon mat on the floor, and you wear loose fitting clothing. You start by laying on your back, and the therapist uses gentle compression and stretching techniques on your body.
As it progresses, the therapist will literally use her whole body, including her feet, to move your body into various positions - it has been compared to yoga without any effort on your part.
A Thai massage works on the major meridians (energy lines or Nadis), which run throughout the human body. It aims to harmonize the body, to loosen blocks, and to recoup deficiencies along the energy lines. In contrast to traditional Chinese
medicine, which uses acupuncture to manipulate the pressure points, the massage stimulates these same points with a healing touch. Therefore, the points suffer less stress, and life energy (Prana) is allowed to freely circulate.
With regard to the physical aspects of the massage, it starts at the feet and progresses up to the head. The client's body will be moved, loosened and stretched. It combines techniques which include Trigger Point Treatments, Myofascial Techniques, Manual Therapy and others.
The combination of energetic and physical aspects is unique to Thai Massage, and so are its effects. It is regarded as a therapy for the body, speech (energy) and mind (heart).
A spa provides a time to relax, reflect, and revitalize. Although it is often regarded as a place for a bit of stress-relief pampering, or simply a temporary refuge from life's worries, perhaps the real test of a spa is the quality of the overall experience and the end results delivered
- a sense of well-being, the feeling of being revitalised, restoration of the delicate balance of mind, body and spirit, and even the feeling of a new lease of life.
Spas in Thailand go beyond the superficial pampering of look good beauty treatments along with feel good treatments. Holistic healing is central to the spa concept.
Although the spa concept may have been borrowed and imported to some extent, Thailand has done it better. The concept has been adopted, adapted, and refined with a distinctive Thai touch.
Thai spas really do have it all - in a perfect blend of Western leisure concepts and traditional Asian well-being therapies.
The quality of the Thai spa product offered is world-class and unsurpassed, particularly the level of service offered.
The centuries-old tradition of gracious hospitality and service, and the friendly and caring nature and gentle ways of the Thai people, contribute greatly to the service and hospitality of a Thai Spa.
But the experience goes beyond the excellence of service. There is also a time-honoured healing tradition - based on herbal and holistic remedies, generations of folk wisdom, and centuries-old healing
techniques (some of which reflect deep-rooted Buddhist influences). A key component in the ancient Thai tradition of natural healing is the healing power of indigenous herbs and plants, and many of the rejuvenating treatments offered in modern spas have evolved from these ancient recipes.
In Thailand, the majority of spa facilities are Hotel/Resort Spas, which provide professionally administered spa services, fitness and wellness components and spa cuisine menu choices.
There are also Destination Spas, whose sole purpose is to provide guests with lifestyle improvement and health enhancement through professionally administered spa services, physical fitness, educational programming, and on-site accommodations.
Medical Spas provide comprehensive medical and wellness care in an environment which integrates spa services, as well as conventional and complimentary therapies and treatments.
There are also Day Spas which offer a variety of professionally administered spa services to clients on a day-use basis.