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A Blog about the Daily Life on the Tropical Island of Koh Samui

Relaxation - Traditional Thai Massage

Text and Photography by Nike - Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Nuat Phaen Thai, as it is called in Thai language, translates directly to "Ancient Massage", or "Traditional Massage". This type of massage has been practiced in Thailand for thousands of years as a method of healing. Here on the island, you will find massage parlors scattered almost everywhere. There are hundreds of places to choose from, some more expensive with highly qualified practitioners, others run as family businesses with skills (just as good) passed on from generation to generation.

The massage shop from outside

The Traditional Thai massage is based on the belief that all life force spirals around special pathways, or prana pathways, in the body. There are 72 000 invisible energy lines, which make up the energy body. Any blockage along these lines can cause disease (dis-ease) on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. Thai massage focuses on 10 important lines, called sen sip. By releasing any blocked energy along the sen lines, prana can flow freely, thereby restoring balance, health and harmony in the body.

I like to take a day off every now and then and treat myself to one of these. I usually go for a back and neck massage. This really helps tremendously to ease the stiffness of muscles, especially after a few days of intense exercise or Muay Thai training. Apart from a relaxing experience, you also feel great afterwards. I feel refreshed and energized after a Thai massage, rather than sleepy and lethargic.

The massage shop from inside

A complete massage (Royal Thai massage) can take up to two and a half hours, depending on the style of massage used by the therapist. However, a half hour foot – or head massage can be just as beneficial if you are pressed for time. The whole experience is done on a mat on the floor. Traditionally no oils are used, but oil massages are also on the menu, along with many other options. You can even go for an "after sun" massage with soothing Aloe if you had spent a day under the tropical sun, or even have a Thai massage on the beach! A great way to enhance the holiday feeling or to get rid of those tense muscles.

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." - Buddhist quote

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