Among Thailand’s many luxuries are cheap massages. A Thai massage generally costs 300 baht ($9.14 USD) for an hour. The place I go to charges 250 baht ($7.62) an hour.
I feel compelled to explain exactly what a Thai massage is because I just figured it out. I’ve had plenty of Thai massages but it never struck me, until last night, that they aren’t massages.
A Thai massage is actually more like yoga. You get bent and twisted until every crackable bone is cracked. The woman will pull you and twist you and stand on you. A Thai massage is somewhere between an expert level yoga class and a full on visit to the chiropractor.
Honestly, there are a few moments when I think I might die. One moment is when she is standing on me, walking along both sides of my spine and I realize that she has no overhead pole… her entire weight is on my back. You’re picturing a tiny Asian woman but my regular woman is named Ten and is about 60 years old and easily over 150 pounds.
Another moment where I fear death is during the neck cracking exercise. This is when she grabs my chin and the back of my head and turns it like we’re right out of an action movie stunt. She turns my chin so far to the side that I, honest to god, for a brief moment always contemplate whether I’m being murdered. It’s a crazy thought but you’d think it too. After she lets me go my murder conspiracy thought is always then replaced by “wow, the neck twists really far. It’d be really hard to kill someone that way.”
Let me be clear, for another 50 baht I could get an oil massage that is far less intense, but I like my traditional Thai massage. My body gets stretched and rejuvenated and I leave feeling more like I got a work out and less like an indulgent westerner.
I looked up a bunch of images on Google to attempt to share the experience that is a Thai massage. I only included positions I’ve been put in. I have to say I couldn’t find images for probably half the positions but here’s what I did find: