Koh Samui Massage
Thailand has a long-established tradition of massage, and Koh Samui is no exception. You'll find massage on offer right through from Five-Star hotels down to a blanket on the beach, and many of the masseuses are trained and experienced. However, this is a comparative thing, as training and qualifications here often have little connection with ability. In this sense it is advisable to find recommendations by word of mouth, or to head for one of Koh Samui's many top spas, where ability and experience are guaranteed.
Note: Wat Po trained. Thailand's top school for massage goes by the name of Wat Po. You will see many massage shops advertising that their staff are Wat Po trained, but take this with a pinch of salt. The minimum attendance necessary to get a Wat Po Certification is 12 hours!
The prices on Koh Samui vary alot. But comparing the two extremes, a very competent oil massage on the beach will cost you between 250 and 350 baht. But the same massage at a top spa comes in at around 1,500 - 2,000 baht. Beach masseuses will be able to offer little more than this or a foot rub, but Koh Samui's better spas will have a full range of associated treatments to go with this, including proper reflexology.
Note: It has become commonly accepted that a foot massage is the same thing as 'reflexology', and, in all but the biggest spas, that's exactly what you'll get! So if you are after re-energising you chakras via the soles of your feet, ask a few penetrating questions before you take your shoes off!
There are no real recommendations to be made here, it's very much a question of ask around and see what sounds good - unless you are at a top spa. See Koh Samui Spa's for more detailed information about this.
Basic Massage Types
is the most vigorous and uses hand pressure, as well as the masseuse's own body to apply force, working pressure points and re-aligning energy lines in the body. This process takes two hours for a full workout, and can be quite painful at times, but it leaves you feeling very relaxed and refreshed. You can usually opt for one or two hours and request a harder or softer pressure.
is gentler than Thai massage, and uses therapeutic oils for deep muscle tissue treatment. It won't solve backaches or damage, but is good as an 'after treatment'. Generally oil massage is slightly more expensive, but an hour is usually quite long enough.
manipulates pressure points on the soles of your feet. This is a skill that has been passed down through the ages and, done properly, it can be quite effective in producing a mild detox effect on the body.
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