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Thai Massage


One of the best things about Thailand, according to everyone who has been there, is the super cheap massages.  One thing you might not know about the Thai spa industry is that, because of the dodgy reputation of many "Thai massage parlours", they have adopted tight self-regulation and have an association; the Thai Spa Association of which spas can become members to assure customers that they are professional spas with high standards of massage (and nothing else!)  Many Thai spas around the world are also members and you can use this membership to find good quality safe Thai spas everywhere.


As I have not been a huge fan of deep tissue massage I've steered away from Thai Massage, and I also wanted to make sure my first experience was a great one. So when I finally booked in for a much coveted spa break at Senspa in Brockenhurst I booked as many treatments as I could.  Since then I've also visited the beautiful Green Touch spa in Wimbledon and had a slightly different experience.  One of the big differences between the two is that when I walked into Senspa (supposedly a five star spa) I explained briefly that I had a back problem and needed to avoid deep tissue massage, which unfortunately I don't think they really listened to.  When I visited Green Touch I was taking no chances and told the receptionist and drilled it in to the masseuse about five times before we started, which meant that my massage was much more what I needed and I enjoyed it much more.


But, let's start from the beginning.


Some Thai massages differ a great deal from everyday massages in the UK.

One of the first things was that I was lain down under a cloth... and the masseuse jumped on top of my back.  It might surprise you to know that even though I had a very sore back and needed to stay away from deep tissue massage this was a great feeling.  The weight is distributed over a wide area so it's not painful and helps to loosen up areas of your back.  No, I have no problem with being walked all over!  But I was very glad that I hadn't had a big lunch as this could have been very uncomfortable with a full stomach.


Both of the massages that I had were Thai Swedish fusion or combination massages,

which is very common.  There was a lot of oil and firm movements, which for me was great in most parts of my body, but, as I've mentioned before, sometimes too much pressure on my shoulders causes them to seize up even more and the type of pressure used in this massage, with a lot of pressure from the heel of the palm and sometimes elbows can be too much for me.  I think it's very important for this type of massage to be ready to ask for less pressure if needed as you can sometimes feel a bit squashed!


Another interesting technique in some Thai Massage is the bit where they try to pull your head off!  I sat up and the masseuse literally pulled the bottom of my skull up.  It was on the verge of being painful but for some reason it had me in hysterics, I was laughing so hard that I really was lucky it was the end of the massage.


Thai Massage hasn't really won me over yet, as I like to surrender to a massage and not feel that I have to keep guard against over-enthusiastic actions.  My experience has been that this type of massage is a little more generic and less focused on the individual customer and hasn't really given me what I needed on the day.


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