As well as making you feel relaxed and refreshed, massages also offer an array of health benefits. Different massage types work on different parts of your body to help re-establish balance and wellness , so combining a series of massage treatments during a holiday can be an excellent way to heal yourself of life's stresses and strains.
In todays fast-paced, competitive world, many of us choose holidays that offer peaceful escape from hectic demands and schedules. Yet even when you arrive at your destination it can take time to ease into ‘holiday relaxation’ mode.
One sure fire way to get 'into the zone' is by booking a massage and visitors to Thailand can choose from a vast array of first-rate spas and wellness centres, all of which offer a selection of treatments to help you relax and rejuvenate.
For guests staying at one of Thailand's private villas it is also possible to hire your own private masseuse, so you don't even have to leave the comfort of your perfect holiday home to enjoy your favourite spa treatments.
Below are five different massages to try out on your next Thai sojourn.
Thai massage is thought to have been originally developed by Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, physician to the Lord Buddha, over 2,500 years ago. This form of massage is more rigorous than many other forms of massage, as the therapist twists and bends different parts of your body into different yoga-like poses, whilst also using his or her hands and elbows to manipulate your muscles. The muscle compression, joint mobilization and acupressure applied by the therapist relieves muscle stress and tension. Also, as a particular pose is being held, blood flows to the targeted area of the body so fresh circulation can rush back to the area when the pose is released.
Release the Pressure
Shiatsu translates from Japanese into 'finger pressure' and is recognized as a form of acupressure that helps regulate the flow of energy within the body. During the treatment, the massage therapist uses his or her fingers, thumbs, palms and feet to apply pressure to certain parts of the body. The treatment helps stimulate circulation in the skin, including the secretion of sebaceous glands which keep skin smooth and soft. Shiatsu massages are also used to treat migraines, as they increase blood flow and circulation throughout the body to promote relaxation. A Shiatsu massage can also aid your body’s digestive system by applying gentle pressure that will allow your body to digest food more easily.
There are few things more relaxing than a foot massage. Not only are they extremely soothing; they are also proven to improve circulation in the lower part of the body, which is a great health bonus for people suffering from problems such as diabetes. Foot massage can also aid recovery after injury and even ease muscle soreness in areas well beyond the feet. There is also evidence to suggest that foot massages have a significant effect on relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Swedish massage is renowned for its effectiveness and is a good treatment for first-timers to try if they don’t fancy the rigorous stretches and twists of a Thai massage. The therapist uses long, relaxing strokes to ease muscle tension, which also helps relieve the symptoms of stress. Swedish massage therapy often uses a relaxing oil, and the stimulation of the skin also promotes good sleep. The firm pressure even influences the function of the body’s lymph system, as muscles are stimulated and relaxed in order to flush lactic acid and uric acid away and ease tension.
Hot Stone Happiness
This supremely relaxing massage technique employs the use of warm and also occasional cold stones to ease your muscles and allow for a more intense massage. The therapist applies the heated and cooled stones to key points of the body, working on the principle that heat expands the blood vessels whilst cold constricts them. The combination of hot and cold promotes detoxification and helps the lymph system flush out waste products like lactic acid. Hot stone massage can also improve circulation, release tension and boost energy levels.