It is not just a marketing hype to declare that Thai spas are considered the finest in the world. It is often enough just to mention a Thai style spa to get visitors wide-eyed with fascination. The question is what makes a spa especially Thai ?

Thai spas provide an amazing array of wellness, beauty and therapy treatments. It is not only the range, however, but the authenticity of the traditional Thai treatments such as Thai massage. Thai herbal steam compress and indigenous herbal treatments, are what constitute the genuine Thai-ness in the whole experience. Crucially, all these have their origins in ancient Siamese healing and health traditions.

Thai massage is the most popular and renowned spa therapy, which was originally taught and practiced only in temples. Still today, the most prestigious massage school is based at Bangkok’s famous Wat Pho, which is the temple of the Reclining Buddha. The focus of Thai massage is on 10 key energy lines in the body. It uses a range of pressure techniques to release energy which is blocked along those lines. In addition, a crucial element is ‘metta’ or loving kindness. This is transmitted from the person giving the massage to the receiver of the treatment.

Healers in ancient times were aware that specific roots, herbs and flowers had particular abilities to nourish the skin and rejuvenate the body. So the various treatments can have positive effects both internally and externally.

Lemongrass for example, which has strong connections with Thai cuisine is also used to give a wonderfully fragrant welcome to many visitors when they enter a Thai spa. It is used in steam baths, aromatherapy massages and herbal compresses.

A popular ingredient in Thai curries is tumeric.It is also well-known for its ability in healing skin conditions. This is why it is frequently used in skin lotions and soaps. Prai is another ingredient found in soups and curries. It has historically been used in hot compresses to ease and relieve muscular aches and pains. In addition, juice from the aromatic kaffir lime has been applied as a natural scalp and hair treatment for hundreds of years.

Thai spa and steam baths are used to open the skin’s pores as it is from the experience of ancient practitioners, that heat applied to the body can help to relax the muscles. The softening of the skin permits the easier absorption of the therapeutic herbal properties.

It is important to note that the range of spas is almost as diverse as the multitude of the treatments. From the smaller venues on the streets of cities to the large palace like centres in the five star hotels. Geographically too, the spas extend around the whole country and not only in Bangkok. There are wellness sanctuaries and spas in many locations including Phuket, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai and Hua Hin. The diversity is also reflected in the character of the respective spas as there will be something different in each one.

Although the Thai spa industry has numerous enduring strengths and advantages, arguably the core aspect is the genuine warmth and hospitality of those who work in this sector. Thai culture lives literally from the heart and even has ‘heart’ words in its vocabulary. The teams of staff have a real pride in how they care for their guests and the attention to detail is paramount in giving total customer service.