Thai massage is popular among local and foreign visitors alike. While Thai massage in general is a full body massage, you can easily find foot massage parlours in Thailand even along street. Previously we have covered Thai massage in another article and its comparison with Swedish massage. Now, learn more about Thai foot massage and whether you want to give it a try in this article.
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What is Thai foot massage?
Thai foot massage, just like Thai massage, focuses a lot on the acupuncture points. You can just sit down on a comfortable chair or sofa at the massage parlor. Then they will clean your foot with exfoliating soap and scrub, which also can help to relax the muscle. Having said that, we recommend you wear shorts when you are going for a foot massage. Otherwise, you will need to change to loose pants provided by the parlor.
After applying massage oil to the foot and pressing the acupuncture points on the foot, the therapist might continue massaging the calf and also lower thigh area as well. Acupuncture points on the foot have connections with other body parts. Therefore, when these points are pressed, other body parts can benefit from this. After the therapist finishes with the foot/leg, they often continue massaging your hands/arms and also shoulder and head.
Benefits of this massage
Other types of Thai massage often involve full body treatment, or even usage of oil/aroma therapy. These will require you to sit/lay down or even change your cloth. Because of this reason, it may not be very convenient. Thai foot massage, however, only requires you to sit down – you can read a book, play with your phone or fall asleep it’s totally up to you!
The price for this massage may vary from as cheap as THB200 on the street side to THB500+ in established resorts & spas.
Thai foot massage typically only requires 30 to 60 minutes/session. If this is too short for you, you can combine foot massage with other types of massage like head & shoulder or palm. Both massage types are convenient as they will not require you to change clothes.
There are plenty of health benefits from this massage which we will discuss in the next section.
Thai foot massage health benefits
Thai foot massage has a lot of health benefits.
First, Thai foot massage helps to enhance the function of muscles, tendons, and joints. The foot is a heavily used body part and it supports the full weight of the body. Hence, relaxing this part of the body can enhance body movement.
Secondly, it relieves stress and helps to relax mentally. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the soles of the feet have nerve connections to the brain. Some people have improved their migraine through foot massages. Since it relaxes the mind, this massage can also help you to sleep better at night.
Thirdly, it helps to restore balance in the body system and also enhances blood circulation. Massage in general helps stimulate blood and lymph flow to the muscles in the feet. As the nerve center is located on the feet, this results in better function of the internal organs.
Fourth, your experienced Thai foot massage masseuse would be able to tell which body organ of yours is not functioning properly from pressing points on the soles of your feet. From there, if you need further examination with your doctor, you can take the necessary action.
Lastly, foot massage can complement other treatments that you undergo. For example, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, and musculoskeletal diseases patients are often encouraged to do Thai foot massages. This is because Thai foot massage enhances circulation in the body and also muscle relaxation. This might enhance the benefit of conventional medical treatment and quicken the recovery of the patients with these diseases.
Where can you go for this massage?
There are many places where you can do Thai foot massage.
First option is street side. Many popular walking streets like Khaosan road often have street side vendors that provide foot massage. These are perfect for your tired foot after a long walk. If you go to a touristy sides of Bangkok it might be a bit more expensive compared to when you go to more local-oriented places.
The second option is dedicated spa and wellness centers. There are many standalone spas and wellness centers in Thailand. For example in Bangkok, the most famous ones are Thann Sanctuary Spa and Oasis Spa.
The third option (if you are a tourist) is your hotel. Many resorts and hotels have their own spa centers and they must have professional masseuses who can do Thai foot massages for you. For example, when we stayed in Hansar Hotel or Emporium Suites, both have their own dedicated spas. Some hotels like Vala Hua Hin also have massage services, but they provide it in-room. You can read up more about our experience with massage in Vala Hua Hin.
Should you do Thai foot massage?
Yes! Not only that it is relaxing, it is also healthy and convenient. You can just go to a nearby massage parlor and sit down on a sofa and they can start with the massage straight away. We easily fall asleep on our sofa while doing the massage as it is very relaxing.
If you have an existing medical condition, you can always check with your doctor if it is safe for you. But in general, it is not as intense as Thai massage so we do not worry too much about it.
If you are visiting Thailand as a tourist, there are usually plenty of Thai foot massage places near the hotel area. Ask your receptionist about reputable ones near you.
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