Thai massage, also called Thai yoga massage, combines acupressure and assisted yoga postures. Thai massage is based on the flow of energy through the body and focuses on energy lines called “sen.” It doesn’t use oils or lotions and, instead of rubbing muscles, the massage therapist compresses, pulls, stretches and rocks the recipient’s body to promote the flow of energy through these sen. In this form of massage therapy, practitioners use their hands, knees, legs and feet to apply deep muscle compression and stretch the body. It’s often performed on a mat on the floor instead of on a massage table. Like most forms of massage, Thai massage is used to relieve stress, improve range of motion and enhance flexibility. Some people also use Thai massage to address a range of health issues, including:
- Relieving tension headaches
- Decreasing back pain
- Reducing joint stiffness and pain
- Stimulating circulation and lymphatic drainage
- Boosting energy
Because a traditional Thai massage session covers all of the muscles in your body, it typically lasts 90 minutes to 120 minutes.
All forms of massage therapy, from Thai massage to Swedish massage to deep tissue massage, are similar to other spa or hospitality services. So it’s appropriate to tip a massage therapist the standard hospitality rate of 15 percent to 20 percent of the cost of the session. For example, the national average cost for a deep tissue massage is $70-$90, so expect to tip $12-$18. Of course, you can always tip more or less depending on your experience, especially if you’ve opted for extra services. For example, expect to tip more for a couple’s hot stone massage session that includes aromatherapy. Also, if you’re paying with a gift certificate or coupon, or purchasing a discounted multi-session package, make sure to calculate your tip based on the full price of the massage.