Thai massage. A cultural calssic of Thailand and Cambodia. Thai massage to Asia is the nail salon of American. Everywhere you turn there is a massage parlor. There are the traditional businesses, then there is room service, then there is the street market. Anytime of day. Always, there is an opportunity for a massage.
Whether it may be a foot massage, foot reflexology, aromatherapy massage, oil massage, the four hands massage, or a Thai full body massage, all to cost between $5 and $20 at max (before getting ripped off). Price may vary based on massage. But for an hour, I would say that is damn good!
Keep in mind there are no happy endings, just happy muscles. Some parlors even have a sign stating “just massage no sex!” I have to confess . . . I have been traveling for four days and I have received a different massage three out of those four days . . . but when an hour foot massage costs $7 . . . why not?
Rob and I have received all of our massages together. I have noticed the pressure difference when they massage a woman versus a man. During our Thai massage, Rob’s back, legs, and arms were walked on for a good portion of that hour. I received very little foot-to-back attention. I like some pressure in my massages but these women were much softer than I had expected. Rob, however, was quite sore the next day. I also noticed the pressure difference in our foot massage as well. Men seem to receive more of a deep tissue massage.
At the end of a muscle group or area, I noticed the act of forming their hands in pray form and slapping the outside lines of their hands on to the area they just finished massaging. The contact makes a hollow sound and they usually hit twice, three, or five times. I asked a cab driver about this. Curious to know what it symbolizes. He informed me it was just to keep from falling asleep. I have a hard time believing this, but maybe it was a language barrier. I asked my leader of my tour later and she said it was just to help loosen the muscle fibers. This I find more believable.
They use a variety of techniques. For the feet, they use a slapping motion on the tops of your feet. Moving their hands rapidly in a circular motion. As if they were slapping something towards themselves. One more technique that was applied to your feet in a regular Thai massage was the rubbing of the sides of your feet in between their hands in a front and bank rolling motion. As if you were to kindle a fire in the woods with no resources. I also really enjoyed the light pounding on the sides of my shins and calves by using the edges of the outsides of their fists. There was also a slapping motion, like the one described before, on the back of your calf while your knee is bent up towards the ceiling. Other times they would just jiggle your relaxed calf with their fingertips. Once almost completed with your body massage, they would place theirs palms on your connecting joints of your hips and legs, leaning forward placing downward pressure on your hips.
After each massage they end with a little shoulder rub, neck stretching, pressure points on the outsides of my face along with some pressure to stretch my arms and shoulder blades out. Ending with some prayer hand slaps on the shoulders and back. Very very pleasant.
There may not be a happy ending to my massage, but I certainly leave happy every time.
The world is a book. Those who do not travel only read one page.