Massage is the practice of applying structured pressure, tension, motion or vibration - manually or with mechanical aids - to the soft tissues of the body, including muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, joints and lymphatic vessels, to achieve a beneficial response.
A form of therapy, massage can be applied to parts of the body or successively to the whole body, to heal injury, relieve psychological stress, manage pain, and improve blood circulation. Relaxation is necessary for maximum therapeutic benefits to be achieved.
The famous Thai massage originated in India over 2,500 years ago. The theoretical basis for this style of bodywork is the existence of the 'energy body' which includes 72,000 'sen' or energy lines through which life force flows. Through compressions, pressure on specific points and stretches to release blockages, a free flow of energy is restored. Traditional Thai massage is performed on a futon over clothing. No oil or lotion is used.
Reflexology is the practice of stimulating points on the feet, hands, or ears, in the belief it will have a beneficial effect on some other parts of the body, or will improve general health. The most common form is foot reflexology. Practitioners believe the foot to be divided into a number of reflex zones corresponding to all parts of the body, and that applying pressure to tight or 'gritty' areas of a person's foot will stimulate the corresponding body part and cause it to begin healing itself.
Massage and reflexology parlours are abundant in Bangkok, you might even find one near your hotel. Most spas provide this treatment as well as a few other alternative therapies.