Only in Thailand… You can get a Thai massage for under $5

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In Thailand, Thai massage is one of the branches of Thai Traditional Medicine (TTM), now recognized and regulated by the government, and is widely considered to be a medical discipline used for the treatment of a wide variety of ailments. On the other hand, Thai massage is also practiced and taught by a number of non-medical massage technicians in the spa and tourism industries.

In North America and Europe, an increasing number of practitioners and teachers of Thai massage have emerged since the 1990s. In Europe and the United States, Thai massage is a growing modality among clients of massage clinics and massage therapists seeking continuing education.

Other translations would be “Nuat Boran”  is the Thai name for a type of body work native to Thailand (nuat = massage, boran = ancient). Thai massage is also known as northern-style Thai massage, “Nuad Paan Bulan” Now a day Thailand Massage is an activity that is very popular among travellers due to the charge was quite cheap compared with other countries with similar service. Service fees may varies depend on location if you have Thai massage in travel trap area it would be very expensive ,but in some area fees are very attracted price might be under $5 (or cheaper).



In Chiang Rai there are many places that offer Thai Massage service. From personal experience, I like to use the services which managed under control of Sub-district Organization (in Thai phrase “Or Bor Tor” or “อบต.”) which offer very low fees.

If you drive from the Chiang Rai city from Phaholyothin Road heading to Mae Sai, there is a very good Thai massage service called “Massage Association of Nang Lae Subdistrict” (ชมรมนวดแผนไทยบ้านนางแล). It is located in Baan Nang Lae, 14 kilometres away from Chiang Rai city. The place itself might not have good exterior design look,  but it has very good scenic just behind this place, wide and green rice field which will make you feel more relaxed. The price is only 100THB/hour of massaging! (that is just $3, how cheap!)

Preparations for your Thai massage:

1. Self evaluation of your heath
Almost all of massagers don’t have degree in medical science, but they do know some of contraindication which they learned from massage classes. However, don’t expect to rely on what they know.  You need to be aware yourself of any contraindications, any current or prior injuries, or your physical limitations. For example if you have serious medical condition like Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (localized dilatation or ballooning of the abdominal aorta), this aneurysm prone to be ruptured when has compression or vigorous massage some Thai massage the do abdominal massage this mean you will be death in a minutes! 

2.make you self clean and loose
This is probably not necessary but it would make you feel more comfortable if you loosen yourself up by have hot water shower (hot water can loosen up the muscle and prepares skin for massage)

3. Hydrated yourself
Drinking water before a massage is highly recommended. When you are hydrated, it is easier for the masseuse to manipulate your muscles. During your massage, the muscles are stimulated, blood is circulated throughout the body, and water, salt and other minerals are released. Drinking water will help your body dispose of any accumulated materials in the muscles.

4. Proper dressing up
Thai massage does not apply oils or creams so you don’t have to undress during a session. Thus, massage is performed in a common room with curtains serving as dividers. You will be asked to wear loose and light clothing allowing ease of movement and flexibility.

5. Clean your feet  
Treatment often begins with the feet and moves toward upper parts of body. Your body will be gently arranged into four positions: facing down, facing up, lying on your side, and sitting down.

6. Take time to digest
Make sure that you are neither too hungry nor too full.

7. Degree of discomfort
A certain amount of discomfort may be felt as the Thai masseuse works your body in positions it may not be used to. Varying amounts of pressure are applied toenergy lines or “sen” along the body using the therapist’s elbows, feet, knees, forearms, thumb, and palm. You will feel the gentle rocking of the masseuse as pressure is applied. The aim is to let the energy flow because when these passages for energy are blocked, energy grows stagnant and the body loses its balance, leading to ailments.

8. What to avoid after being massaged
Do not shower or eat for at least two hours after the massage. Thai massage is quite physical for both you and your masseuse but it is also relaxing – something you need before you head back home or move to your next destination.



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  1. Asta