Bangkok Day Spa

(619) 693-5388

The ultimate spa escape for massages, reflexology, body scrubs, and waxing in the heart of downtown San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. 

What’s The Difference Between A Thai Massage And Regular Massage?

hot stones on mans back for a thai massage

Thai Massage Techniques 

Those who are experiencing a Thai massage for the first time may be in for some pleasant surprises. There are a few key differences between Thai massage techniques, and those "regular" methods traditionally practiced by western massage therapists. A lot of these distinctions will be noticeable immediately, and a couple may be shocking. But as you ease into the massage you'll discover they exist for very good reasons.

Thai Massage Vs. Classic Western Styles

The first difference you'll notice between a Thai massage and the classic western styles it the lack of equipment. Whereas Swedish and deep tissue massages take place atop a massage table, Thai massages take place upon a floor mat. This allows the client a more complete range of motion — which comes in handy. Because unlike western massage styles, you won't just be lying on your back or stomach when you receive a Thai massage.
Neither will your masseuse, who receives an even greater advantage by being on the floor rather than hunched over a table. During a Thai massage, the masseuse moves all around and above the client to access a wider range of angles over each part of the body, even in cases when the client is much larger than the masseuse.
Rather than just using hands, fists, forearms and elbows — the standard tools of the Swedish masseuse — the at large Thai masseuse may use legs and feet during the massage. Oftentimes, they will use a combination of both to gain leverage as they initiate deep stretches of the client's arms, legs, hips, and shoulders.

Lazy Man's Yoga

There's enough stretching involved during a typical Thai massage that the discipline gets jokingly called Lazy Man's Yoga. A similar relaxation and elongation of muscles may be experienced after a Thai massage session, yet without the exertion of an hour long yoga class. The client simply relaxes and breathes while the masseuse turns and folds legs, hips and arms into stretching poses, coaxing the muscles into release.

Swedish & Deep Tissue Massage

Some of the therapeutic principles used in the Thai tradition are similar to those of Swedish or deep tissue massage, though they may utilize other methods to achieve them. For example, in some cases a Thai masseuse will stand on top of the clients back, using the pliant feet instead of stiff forearms to knead back muscles.
Conversely, Thai masseuses might use their knees to stabilize the client's hips while pulling the arms to stretch the upper body — a move that would be dangerous if not impossible for a masseuse working on a classical massage table.

Relax Into A Thai Massage

Since no oil is required in a Thai massage, the client may remain fully clothed. However, comfortable, relaxed, fitting clothes are recommended so the clothes don't become constricting during the session. The more you relax into a Thai massage, the more you'll feel at ease and knot-free afterward. Call us today at  (619) 693-5388 today schedule a massage. 

bangkok day spa located in downtown san diego

Contact Bangkok Day Spa Today

  • Address: 711 Fourth Ave #201, San Diego, CA 92101
  • Phone: (619) 693-5388
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday 9:30AM–10PM

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Infographic on Key Differences Between Common Massage Techniques


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Bangkok Day Spa
Address: 711 Fourth Ave #201, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 693-5388
Hours: Monday – Sunday 9:30AM–10PM