The theoretical foundation of Thai massage is based on the concept of invisible energy lines running through the body. Ten of these lines are especially important in Thai massage: 'The 10 Sen' or SIP SEN. The Indian origin and influence becomes obvious here since the background of this theory clearly lies
in Yoga philosophy.
Yoga philosophy states that life energy (called Prana) is
absorbed with the air we breathe and with the food we eat. Along a network of
energy lines, the Prana Nadis, the human being is then supplied with this vital
energy. These energy lines are invisible and cannot be verified anatomically.
They form a sort of 'second skin', a second body in addition to the physical
body. Called Pranamaya Koshaor 'energy body', this second body is comprised
of a multitude of energy lines, said to be 72,000. However that may be, there
are many lines and out of this multitude Thai massage has selected 10 mainlines
on which there are especially important acupressure points. Massaging these
points makes it possible to treat certain diseases or to relieve pain.
The 10 Sen are sufficient to conduct practical treatment for the whole body and
its internal organs. Western scientists are still puzzled by the fact that these lines and points do seem to have validity. Their existence can be validated
practically by the curing of various diseases or, at the very least, by providing
relief. These points can be thought of as 'windows' into the body. These
'windows' enable an exchange of cosmic energy through which the human
body is maintained in an energy balance with the energy of the universe.
Disturbances in the flow of energy result in an insufficient supply of Prana
which will in turn lead to sickness. Working on the energy lines with massage
can break the blockades, stimulate the free flow of Prana, and help to restore
Thai massage differs radically from 'Swedish Massage' (often called 'Classical
Massage') which is the most widespread technique of massage in the West.
That kind of massage is very much restricted to working with muscles and soft
tissue. Your doctor sends you to a masseur who will knead your muscles for
15 to 30 minutes in an attempt to induce physical and emotional relaxation.
There is no doubt but that such relaxing massage plays an important role in a
world dominated by haste and stress. However in Thai massage the aspect of
muscular relaxation is only a secondary goal.
Contrary to Swedish massage,
traditional Thai massage does not primarily work with the physical body but
rather with the energy body of man. The kneading of muscles which dominates
in Swedish massage is absent from Thai massage: energy points are pressed
or general pressure is used instead. There is a lot of stretching involved and
many exercises might well be described as 'applied Hatha Yoga' or 'applied
physical Yoga'. Rather than using the term 'Thai massage', it wouldn't be a bad
idea to actually call it' Yoga massage' since that's what this art essentially is.
The tradition is more or less lost in India nowadays, as Ayurvedic massage and
Indian Yoga massage have evolved in different directions. But the Yoga
background of Thai massage is obvious from all of the beautiful postures used.
Physiotherapy and chiropractics in the West are closer to Thai massage than
Swedish massage is, but these techniques also ignore manipulating the energy points and the energy flow of the body: their theoretical foundations are
based on the anatomical structure of the body.
A search for massage theories
and techniques in the West which are more closely parallel to Thai massage
brings to mind reflexology , where a workout on energy points is done as well.
This could explain why in the last four or five years there has been a massive increase in
the number of Foot Massage Shops (Reflexology Clinics) in Thailand.
Benefits of Massage
Depending on the type of work you receive, you may experience some of the following benefits from your massage session:
. Reduced pain from acute or chronic inuries & illnesses
. Decreased stress and anxiety
. Deep relaxation
. Improved body awareness
. Renewed sense of joy and well-being
. Increased motivation to practice self-care & stress management
. Improved circulation
. Increased range of motion
. Faster recovery time from exercise related soreness
Most masseurs and masseuses in Thailand have taken a simple two or three month training course in 'Thai Traditional
massage'. Some train only two or three weeks. The better training centers are in Bangkok and Chiangmai.
Massage Shops in Pattaya
There are many Thai Traditional Massage centers in Pattaya. One very popular center is the 'Thai Blind Massage Institute' in the Jomtien Complex Shopping Center, Telephone: 038 251851.
The Thai massage in most shops will cost you 200 baht per hour. Some of the shops have very young girls (around 19-20) who are less experienced. You have a greater chance of getting a good massage from an older masseuse around 27 to 35 years old.
Our business directory lists telephone numbers and addresses of massage shops in Pattaya.
If you are looking for a massage which includes sexual favours then go to our Massage Parlor page.