Have you ever wanted to try a Thai massage, but been put off because you’re not sure what to expect? An effective Thai massage can be invigorating and energetic, and it’s true that this massage style is often very different to a traditional Swedish massage. Here are a few myths we’ve come across about Thai massage that just aren’t true at all.
Myth #1: You need to be flexible to have a Thai massage
Some people say that Thai massage is ‘yoga without the effort’ and yes, there is definitely a lot of stretching involved. But there’s no need to worry, because you really won’t have to contort yourself into vast numbers of unusual poses or have the flexibility of a Yogi to enjoy a great Thai massage.
Most authentic Thai massages use many techniques, including working on your muscles and putting pressure onto acupressure points along your body. The stretches that are incorporated into your massage will be gentle and your therapist will assess you before you start – you won’t be stretched any more than you feel comfortable with. If at any point you do feel any discomfort, just say so, and the therapist will simply change techniques.
Myth #2: Thai Massage is painful
You might have heard people exclaiming about how painful a Thai massage was, or how sore they are afterwards – it doesn’t have to be that way! A professional therapist will never leave you in pain. There may be an element of discomfort in a Thai massage, just like that feeling you get when a massage therapist hits a big knot...it’s uncomfortable but you just know you’ll feel wonderful when she’s ironed it out!
The same applies to a Thai massage session. Stretches don’t need to hurt – if you’re not very flexible make sure that you tell your therapist to go easy on the stretches. Thai massage therapists can sometimes use their knees, elbows and feet to put pressure on some areas of your body during a treatment. These moves can be uncomfortable if your therapist isn’t trained to read your responses and tone down the pressure if necessary; but as long as you use a reputable professional therapist you should be absolutely fine.
Just ask your therapist to change the pressure if you feel it’s getting too much; she’ll always be happy to accommodate you as a massage is supposed to be a positive experience. Don’t feel that you have to grit your teeth.
Myth #3: Thai Massage is seedy or erotic
This is the enduring myth, and for some reason, Thai massage is more likely than many other types of massage to be associated with the dreaded “Happy Ending.”
Although there are some massage places that gladly offer this type of extra, a traditional Thai massage is no more erotic than Swedish massage. Just make sure that you opt for a reputable massage center or spa and you’ll be just fine.