My apologies for the lack of posts for the past week as I've been out on a trip in Bangkok for both business and pleasure. In my next posts, I'll be sharing with you blog-worthy Thai beauty finds. For now, I'd like to share one of the things you shouldn't miss out on if you're planning to a book a ticket to Bangkok -- the thai massage. 

What is a Thai massage?
It is a type of massage that involves stretching and deep-tissue pressing. This form of bodywork is usually performed on the floor, with the client wearing comfortable clothes. No oils are used in Thai massage. It is known in Thailand as "nuat phaen boran", literally, the ancient-manner massage.  

 

What is the theory behind the Thai massage?
Generally speaking, practitioners of modern Thai massage operate on the theory that the body is permeated with "lom," or air, which is inhaled into the lungs and which subsequently travels throughout the body along 72,000 pathways called "sen," or vessels. A significant part of the practice of Thai massage also includes yoga-like stretches which are intended to stimulate the sen and move lom through the body via a pumping action which is connected with breathing. 

What techniques are used in a Thai massage?
The therapist uses his or her hands, knees, legs, and feet to move you into a series of yoga-like stretches. A full Thai massage session typically lasts 60 minutes or more, and includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body; this may include pulling fingers, toes, ears, cracking the knuckles and walking on the client's back. I'd say Thai massage is like doing yoga without any work.

What I love about Thai massage:
I want my muscles stretched and pressed and don't like the feeling of just being rubbed and touched during a massage (Swedish style of massage is my least favorite). Usually, I get a massage not only to be relaxed, but also to reduce my body aches and pain so I like hard pressure. In my personal experience, only Shiatsu and Thai massage does that but Shiatsu doesn't give the benefit of improving circulation and flexibility, which are two of the most important benefits of Thai massage.
 
I recommend getting a Thai massage at...
Refresh @ 24 in Bangkok. I've tried a couple of spa houses in my previous visits in Bangkok and nothing compares to my experience last week.
First, my companion and I were given cups of pandan tea in their waiting hall to invigorate and warm up our system for the massage. We were also asked to fill in forms where we were asked to choose what pressure we prefer (soft, medium or hard) and which body parts we want the massage to be concentrated on (back, lower back, shoulders, thighs and/or calves).


 
Afterwards, we were directed to their foot bins to have our feet cleaned.
 

 
 Finally, we moved to their common room for our session proper. Our hour of bliss was finished off with cold pandan tea.
 
 

Both my companion and I had 60 minutes of Thai massage at 350 Baht (₱500) each and as expected, our bodies were restored after days of walking. We returned to Refresh @ 24 the night before our flight back to Manila.

Refresh @ 24 is located at 43 Soi Sukumvit 24, Klongton, Klongtauy, Bangkok. Call (662) 259 7235-7 or email refresh24spa@yahoo.com for reservations and inquiries.

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