When researching Thai massage, I found that some of its basic principles were very similar to tantric massage. Both are forms of alternative therapy, pseudo-medicine if you will, that place an emphasis on energy. The two massage therapies work on the principle that the body is a vessel of valuable life energy, and when the flow of energy is blocked in any way, you are more susceptible to illness. They then work towards unclogging and releasing the trapped energy to improve the flow.
If you’re feeling particularly stressed, blocked and uninspired, Thai massage and tantric massage are two of the most effective therapies to reverse that. Generally, they are most suited to artistic individuals — the focus on energy flow will help with the creative blocks you might be suffering from.
Thai massage uses a combination of acupressure, yoga and muscle pressure while tantric focuses more on sexual arousal. Apart from this one obvious difference, the two massage styles initially sound very similar, so it’s understandable if you’re unsure of which massage to go for.
To help you out, I’ve put together a little side-by-side comparison of the two massages. From looking at their histories and the development of the practices to analysing their benefits and the way they’re performed, this piece should help you decide which massage therapy to go for — hopefully!
The history of Thai Massage
Thai massage is a wonderfully revitalising and energising type of alternative treatment. It’s a form of Asian massage that combines yoga, acupressure and Ayurveda. It was invented over 2,500 years ago by Shivago Komarpaj, who was a doctor and friend of the Buddha. Buddhist monks practised it as a way of preventing illness and preserving a good state of health.
Thai massage works based on the energy (also known as meridian) lines that are thought to exist within the body. Energy is supposed to flow freely through these lines and keep the body in good health, but when there is blockage or inefficient energy flow, you become more likely to contract illness. Thai massage helps to maintain a consistently complete flow of energy through the body, which keeps the body balanced and connects a person’s physical self with their mind and spirituality.
Traditionally, Thai massage therapists are required to complete 800 hours of training. As a result, they are extremely intuitive when it comes to the body, and know exactly where to apply pressure and for how long in order to ease muscle tension and relieve aches.
Unlike most types of massage therapy, Thai massage does not require oil or lotion, so you can be fully clothed. Loose, comfortable clothing is advised. This makes this style of massage much more of an attractive option to the modest, body-conscious and shy people. The therapist will help you get into a series of yoga-like stretches and positions, so it may feel a lot like yoga. For this reason, Thai massage is always performed on a futon or padded mat on the floor as opposed to a massage table.
The therapist will incorporate various body weights and pressures to focus on specific areas of the body and release deep-rooted stress from the muscles. They will combine balance and their own body weight to ensure the right amount of pressure is always applied. Typically, the session will begin by isolating the meridian points. The therapist will apply thumb and palm pressure along these points to stimulate blood flow and prepare the muscles for deep pressure and stretches.
Then, the therapist will use their hands, legs, knees, feet and body weight to gently move, ease and stretch you into a series of yoga-like positions. They will focus on specific pressure points, the areas that are known to carry the most amounts of tension and work to mobilise your joints, stretching them to their full extent. Initially, you may feel discomfort and perhaps even a bit of pain because you won’t be used to your joints moving to this extent, but this shouldn’t be prolonged. If you experience prolonged or unbearable pain, let your therapist know so they can adjust the techniques and adapt it for your level of flexibility. You should leave feeling looser, more flexible, free from muscle knots and totally stretched out.
Thai massage sessions typically last 60–90 minutes and you should experience the following benefits:
Increased stamina and energy levels
Improved range of motion, joint mobility and general flexibility
Reduced muscle tension and stiffness
Helps with some types of back pain and muscle spasticity
Improved blood circulation, immune and respiratory systems
Overall feeling of tranquillity and relaxed wellbeing
The history of Tantric Massage
Tantric massage evolved from tantra, one of the lesser known and disused branches of Ancient Indian spiritual rituals. Dating back to 5AD, tantra came about as a type of meditation meant to slowly calm the mind and bring overall harmony to the body. Tantric massage takes inspiration from this by providing a manual therapy version — it uses slow touch to bring about a calm focus and prolonged pleasure.
Tantric massage is one of the slowest types of massage therapy. Every movement is deliberately slow, prolonged and lingering. Unlike most other types of massage therapy, it focuses on the sexual areas as well as the normal areas, so it is literally a whole body massage. We know that there are certain parts of the body that hold onto stress more than other parts, such as the shoulders, neck and back. We also know that stress can be held in places like the groin but despite the fact that orgasms leave us feeling relaxed, we overlook the power of sexual gratification in treating stress. Tantric massage stimulates the sexual areas as well as normal areas like the shoulders, releasing tension from all over the body so you’re left feeling utterly refreshed.
Tantric therapists follow a precise ritual. Like Thai massage, tantric therapy places an emphasis on energy. That’s why the movements are so slow — every stroke is meant to gently arouse the energies and coax them into full, efficient flow. Deep breaths are also important in tantric massage because it helps to relax the body and prolong the arousal. Tantric masseuses will slowly manipulate your sexual areas, gradually bring you to the edge of orgasm and keep you along this edge for a prolonged period of time. Delaying orgasm builds up tension and not only allows for a more powerful and pleasurable orgasm, but it also means a greater release of stress at the end.
Relief from muscle aches, strains and tensions
Helps with back pain and muscle spasticity
Improved blood circulation, respiratory and immune system
Better and longer-lasting orgasms
Improved sex drive
Reduced sexual impotence and premature ejaculation
Increased sexual stamina and control
Overall feeling of calm and relaxed mental wellbeing
Thai or Tantric Massage: the conclusion
As you can see, Thai and tantric massage are similar in a lot of ways. They are both based on energy and focus on rebalancing the levels in order to bring harmony to the body and mind. In order to do this, they both use slow movements in order to fully balance the entire body. However, Thai massage is more about stretching out the stresses while tantric massage is more erotic, and stimulates the sexual areas because it believes sexual gratification is the ultimate cure for stress.
Which will you try? Either way you should make sure you pick an oriental masseuse to perform this naughty treat, why not check out our website to get the best oriental massage in london.