Thai Massage vs. Tui Na

There are various types and methods of massage that help you relax both your body and mind.

Two of the traditional kinds of massage therapy include Thai massage and Tui Na.

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What’s the Difference?

Thai massage or ‘nuat phen boran’ means ‘traditional massage’. It a combination of Chinese medicine, including reflexology and acupressure, and Indian medicine like Ayurveda and yoga. Tui Na techniques are also based on traditional Chinese medicinal philosophies and the massage focusses on the stretching, kneading and pushing of the muscles in the body.

While the Thai massage is performed for relaxation and involves a lot of stretching, Tui Na is used more to help with people with medical problems, especially patients who have musculoskeletal related problems. However, the main difference between Thai massage and Tui Na is that both massages are performed in different postures: the Thai massage requires you to wear loose clothing and lie on the floor as the practitioner stretches and moves your body into various yoga postures; Tui Na focuses on acupressure points and you are required to be seated on a chair as the massage therapist tries to stimulate various acu-points that should help relieve any pain or stress that you are suffering from.

Additionally, a full Thai massage session can last up to two hours, whereas a Tui Na session will last approximately an hour and a half. That said; both massage methods aim to help balance and strengthen the body and mind and correct the flow of energy or life force in the body.

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