The Snap, Crackle and Pop of the Thai Massage

She had me where she wanted me. My hands were held above my head, and there was no way of escaping the firm hold that she had on them. I didn’t want to tell her to stop as i didn’t want to offend her in any way. After all, she was only doing her job and technically she was doing exactly as i had paid her to do.

thai massage

What a Thai Massage really looks like…d

Take your mind out of the gutter…i’m talking about a Thai massage! 🙂

A massage is meant to be relaxing…right? WRONG…in my experience, Thai massages are far from it! The description above details my experience of getting a Thai massage. The end result is probably worth the pain but the experience itself is one of extreme stretching, cracking bones and ligament pulling!!

Some people may like this technique and enjoy the feeling of discomfort, but for me it’s all a little too painful.

Why? Because I’ve a disc problem in my lower back.

Yes, I probably shouldn’t be even thinking of getting a €5 massage by some of these so called “experts” if I’ve a bad back.

Thai Massages don't appeal to bad backs

Thai Massages don’t appeal to bad backs

Massage parlours are everywhere in Thailand, some offering a one hour massage for as little as five euros…yes FIVE euros!! Prices can vary widely depending on a number of factors, but most places are very cheap, especially in comparison to spas and beauticians back home.

Seen as massages are so cheap, we have been to the massage parlour quite a few times over the past three months. I have been the recipient of both good and bad massages here in Thailand – Thai massages being the bad and oil massages being the good! My personal preference is the oil massage as it is a relaxing and soothing experience. Having said this, i do think that a Thai massage is something that you must experience while visiting Thailand as it is a local tradition and speciality.

Want to know what to expect from a Thai massage?? Read on to find out!

Here is my recollection of the first time i got a Thai massage:

I had read up about the famous Thai massage before landing in Thailand. I had heard that they were very cheap and consisted of a series of specialised stretches that are specifically designed to lower stress levels and relieve tension and stiffness in muscles and joints.

thai massage

Neck Breaker

I immediately thought that a Thai massage was something i had to experience, having previously suffered with a slipped disk in my back.

So, as i entered the massage parlour, i was expecting the hour to consist of various stretches but overall, i had visions that the experience would be relaxing and pleasant – i couldn’t have been more wrong!!

I wore loose clothing as this is what was recommended as a traditional Thai massage does not involve the application of any oils to the body. Looking back on it, I’m truly glad i did wear a loose top and shorts as some of the positions i was put into may have got a little uncomfortable if i had went with the ‘jocks only’ option!!

So there I was….laying face down on the table when the little Thai masseuse walks in and says a polite hello, before ninja jumping up on the table! I didn’t know what to expect, but all I remember was that I didn’t want any sudden sharp movements of my spine happening.


As i was just getting used to her being up on the table with me and doing some standard massage rubs, she began to move upwards and started digging her knees into my bum. “What next i thought?!”

At one stage she had me in a full nelson hold, which would have done a WWE wrestler proud.

Full Nelson from the Warlord

Full Nelson from the Warlord

I didn’t know whether to tap out or if a referee was going to come along and lift my arm up for the obligatory 3 count.

The hour consisted of the masseuse putting me into a range of different positions and stretches.

My massage lady was a tiny little thing and i don’t know how she managed to carry out some of the stretches that she did! I didn’t relax once during the hour as i felt nervous anticipating what kind of abnormal stretch she was going to make me do next.

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, there were times when i felt like telling her to stop but i didn’t want to offend her as she was only doing her job and was doing nothing out of the ordinary in her eyes. And so i battled through and came out the other side with no injuries!!

thai massage

Standing Ovation

Personally, I wouldn’t say a Thai massage is at all relaxing. I would however say that it is very acrobatic, and some of the stretches can be a little painful at times. I did feel all the better for it though, and i discovered muscles in my shoulders and neck that i never knew i had!

All in all, it was an experience i will never forget – but one i don’t intend on repeating again anytime soon.

Now, I’m off for an oil massage!!! 🙂


If you’ve experienced a real Thai massage before, then what are your experiences of them? Did you find them relaxing or taxing? I’d love to hear your thoughts.