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sPas                                          The most famous massage school is based in
                                                        Bangkok at Wat Pho, also known as the Temple
                                                        of Reclining Buddha. Not only can you learn
                                                        some of the secrets behind this ancient art,
                                                        but you can also indulge in a truly authentic
          From street side parlours to five-star massage   Thai massage courtesy of its adept therapists.
          lounges, Thailand is well known for its spa
          culture, with a range of traditional treatments   Thai massages incorporate the use of herbs
          such as Thai massage, Thai herbal steam       as well, especially for Thai herbal massage,
          compress and indigenous herbal treatments,    which features a muslin ball that is steamed
          along with other types of spa therapies from   and then is slowly pressed against your muscles
          around the world.                             to ease aches. Some of the fragrant herbs
                                                        it contains are lemongrass, ginger and kaffir
          A Thai massage has its origin in Siamese      leaves. Additionally, lemongrass is used as a
          healing and health traditions, founded more   scenting ingredient in spas to welcome visitors.
          than 2,500 years ago. A Thai massage is       Its full-bodied aroma is invigorating and helps
          different from other                          guests relax before undergoing their treat-
          massage therapies                                          ments. It is also used in steam
          because it uses no oils,                                   baths and aroma-
          and is performed using         “Massage therapists         therapy massages.
          deep compressing and          in Thailand are known
          rhythmic moves.                                            Another famed treatment is
                                          for their warmth           the foot massage. Practitioners
          Originally taught and prac-      and hospitality.”         believe that each part of the
          ticed only in temples, it is                               foot is linked to a certain area
          based on the principle of                                  of the body, so a properly
          correcting energy balance                                  administered foot massage can
          throughout the body. The treatment uses       stimulate the functions of internal organs and
          pressure, tension and vibration movements     render whole body effects, like lower blood
          to get the blood flowing around the body.     pressure and improved circulation, leading to
          Its health benefits include muscle pain relief,   decreased feelings of anxiety and better sleep.
          improved joint motion and increased           Although Chinese in origin, this healing art
          muscle flexibility.                           form has been performed in Thailand for
                                                        thousands of years.

          34                                                               MICE GUIDE TO THAILAND
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