Regardless of our lifestyle, or our financial or social status, we all need to relax. There are hundreds of different ways that people like to relax around the world. Some smoke or drink, others play games or watch TV, some people even exercise! There are healthy ways, neutral ways and unhealthy ways. One way of relaxing, that is usually healthy and effective, is to have a massage. There are many different kinds of massage, including oil, neck and shoulders, Thai, Swedish and Chinese, to name a few. One particular type massage that is popular is Thai massage.
Thai massage has plenty of advantages, including its value and its physical and psychological benefits. Like cuisine, it needs to be experienced in its native environment to get the 'real thing.' Thai massage in Thailand is rarely expensive. A full body massage for one hour can cost as little a $4 U.S. For that you get a good working over, starting at your feet and legs and then your arms and hands. The masseuse or masseur then asks you to roll over onto your front and massages your back an shoulders, then sits you up a little, resting your head on their lap to finish your shoulders and then sometimes your head. It really is a fantastic experience, but the most important thing to do is relax and give your body up to the masseuse or masseur.
The physical and psychological benefits are almost immediate and can last for hours or even days. There is an instant slow bounce to your step and a general aura of happiness and peace. Some people enjoy it and believe in it so much that they even learn Thai massage to take back to their home countries to earn a living from, or relax their family members.
There are also one or two potential disadvantages of Thai massage. Firstly, it hurts and secondly, it is very rarely performed by a qualified professional. Many people cannot relax properly, which causes some discomfort during the massage. In addition, even if you are able to relax entirely, the correct procedure involves the use of elbows and heels pushed into your flesh. It can be quite uncomfortable for anyone who is not a bit of a masochist. However, there is the opinion that the more pain during the massage is evident as more effective relaxation and physical benefit for the hours or days following it. Moreover, due to its origins and the low cost, a Thai massage is usually performed by a masseuse or masseur with little or no recognized qualifications. Years of experience, maybe, but walking on someone's back or digging your elbow into someone's stomach can be potentially dangerous. The ways these people learn Thai massage is often from their peers, and from experience with satisfied or dissatisfied clients.
The fact that Thai massage is so popular, both in Thailand and around the world, is probably proof in itself that it is beneficial, healthy and good value. It has become one of the top ways to relax and even become a good money-spinner for those who want to learn Thai massage for personal or financial reasons.