There are a number of massage options available to meet your personal needs. A relaxing and rejuvenating massage can be both therapeutic and affordable in South East Asia. Let’s take a look at some of the choices available so you can get an idea of which ones might be best for you.
1. Shiatsu Massage
A Chinese bodywork system, with Japanese origin, Shiatsu is one form of massage you might have seen advertised around Asia. The technique uses fingers, thumbs, and palms to apply pressure to the body. Stretching and holding limbs and joints, as well as a focus on pressure points and meridians are also key features.
Shiatsu massage was born from Eastern philosophy and the belief that the body needs to be in balance in order to help itself heal.
2. Thai Massage
Developed by Buddhist monks in Thailand, this form of massage uses assisted stretching, pulling and yoga techniques. It’s likely that your body will be stretched into many different positions during this treatment. You could find the therapist cracking your knuckles, pulling your ears, and walking along your back.
It is done fully clothed without oils or lotions and can be a good option to help improve flexibility and relieve muscle tension. Make sure you wear clothes that will enable you to stretch and move without restriction.
3. Thai Herbal Ball Massage
Thai herbal ball massage uses a heated muslin cloth, which contains a therapeutic mix of herbs. Ideally, the herbs and oils in the ball will be specific to your personal health issues. The skin is the largest organ in the body and readily absorbs what is rubbed into it. The heat of the ball also helps the herbs and oils to be absorbed into the body more easily.
A Thai herbal ball massage therapist should be able to adjust the technique and pressure they use, to suit your needs.
4. Swedish Massage
Swedish massage is probably the most widely known form of massage in the west. It is based on the western philosophies of anatomy and physiology, rather than the eastern philosophy of meridians. Also available in South East Asia, this type of massage uses oils and various massage techniques to promote relaxation.
5. Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage aims to break down muscle knots and scar tissue in the deep muscles of the body. For this reason, it is often chosen for chronic muscle pain. The firm, deep and slow strokes are used to target problem areas. The experience will likely feel more ‘intense’ than a Swedish massage. However, it’s important that the therapist can adjust the pressure to suit you so that you are still able to relax.
6. Hot Stone Massage
This type of massage uses smooth, flat stones that have been heated. They are placed on various parts of your body, such as along your spine, or on your palms, feet, or toes. The massage therapist uses them in conjunction with their own massage techniques, as an extension of their own hands. The heat from the stones will help promote muscle relaxation and blood circulation.
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