Not En-Thai-erly Different: The Differences Between Northern And Southern Style Thai Massage

Thai Massage
Beautiful Thailand


We now have two lovely gentle (but strong) Thai Massage Therapists offering Thai Massage at our Southampton Massage Studio. Both Melissa and Lynn were trained in Thailand and have been passionate about this wonderful eastern massage technique for years since! It’s true that there are several places offering Thai Massage Southampton, yet we offer the diverse experience of both Southern and Northern style Thai Massage, I believe we are the only specialists offering both types of Thai Massage Hampshire!


The Thai people do not recognise a huge difference between the two, yet there are subtle variations between the two styles because of their origins and their story. This article will compare Northern and Southern Thai Massage styles, so you can be fully aware of the treatment you will indulge in when you book your Thai Massage Southampton.

Firstly, the similarities…


  • Both styles of Thai Massage recognise Jivaka Komarabaccha as one of the greatest historical figures in the development and practice of Thai Massage (he was raised by Prince Abhaya, and, as a healer, he travelled widely, and even treated the Buddha!).
  • Both styles are made up from elements of the Royal Style of ancient Thai Massage (called ‘Nuat Rajchasumnak’; requiring great respect and courtesy of the receiver by the practitioner) and the more common style of ancient Thai Massage (called ‘Nuat  Chaloeyseuk’, requiring great manipulation of muscles that have tensed and hardened through labour intensive occupations)
  • Both styles involve a combination of stretches, physical muscle manipulation, and pressure to energy points and the 72,000 Thai Sen lines of the body.


Now, the differences.


  • Northern Style Thai Massage contains a greater Indian influence (mostly to do with the invasion of Thailand [then Siam] by Burma in 1776).  This means that a higher focus is placed on the elements taken from Indian Massage techniques found in Ayurveda and Yoga.  This means that stretching and physical manipulation are the focus, in order to relieve tension.
  • In contrast, Southern Style Thai Massage contains a greater Chinese influence (through trade between China and the Thai capital, Bangkok).  This puts greater emphasis on the elements of Thai Massage taken from Chinese Acupressure.  More focus is on the body’s Sen Lines (energy pathways), and opening energy channels.


But don’t think this means that Northern Style Thai Massage is vigorous when compared to Southern Style Thai Massage…


Northern Style Thai Massage also reflects the people and cultures of Northern Thailand, which are gentler and more laid back than those closer to the capital.  Northern Style Thai Massage is typically slow and gentle – a great way to unwind after a long day’s work.

Southern Style Thai Massage is often more invigorating, reflecting the energy and drive of people living closer to Bangkok.  It is often invigorating and refreshing, and a good massage choice to have if you are on your way out for an afternoon adventure or a night out.


One interesting point to make, is that Thai people don’t distinguish between Northern and Southern Thai Massage Styles – the distinction has been introduced for Westerners, particularly those enquiring to learn Thai Massage where the differences seem more apparent.


So, is there really a difference?


Well, our wonderful Thai Massage Therapists have a holistic approach, they are both trained in many types of massage therapy; each will tailor the time for you with focus where it’s needed. So, if they believe you’ll get the most benefit from opening your energy channels; perhaps you’ve been stressed, tired or unwell recently, then our therapists will put more emphasis on Sen line pressure, and only stretching that will benefit you.  Whereas, if what you need is your muscles stretching out and physical manipulation to tissues, if you have tight areas and aches and pains throughout, then they will focus on positioning your body to release your tension, and only manipulate the pressure points that need attention.


So you can be sure whether you book with Melissa or with Lynn, you will get an effective, invigorating, stress and tension relieving treatment that is unique to you. If you do have a particular preference let us know when you book your appointment.


Melissa practices Southern Thai Massage in Southampton, Hampshire on weekends, Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon. Lynn practices Northern Thai Massage Therapy, Southampton on Monday and Wednesday evenings and every other Sunday.


We will soon be introducing Thai Reflexology and Thai Hot Compress Massage Treatments! Watch this space, or send us some feedback, we’d love to hear from you!

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