About Myanmar Massage
A massage in Myanmar usually begins with soft acupressure on your upper body and ends with legs. Burmese massage techniques stretch and relax the muscles.
However, once you experience such a massage, you will not fail to notice that it is greatly influenced by techniques of India, China and specially Thailand.
Myanmar Massage styles
You will notice that each state and city in Myanmar has its own massage techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. For example, a massage in Kengtung is based on Chinese techniques, concentrating on energy sources and lines; a massage in Chin State is based on Indian techniques by highlighting stretching and yoga movements in order to relive tension; a massage in Inle Lake given by Intha tribesmen focuses more on feet, legs and arms and less on the back and the shoulders.
Techniques used in Burmese Massage
- Spiral Rub, Burmese masseurs base their techniques on the anatomical drawings of their ancestors that clearly illustrate body muscles shaped like circular spirals. This base has led them to acquire what we know as “the Burmese rub”- an orbicular palming method up and down the body.
- The use of the fingers, elbows and feet, Burmese Masseurs commonly use their fingers, elbows and feet to pressurize the energy points and the reflex points of the body which is a bit similar to a shiatsu massage. This is done in order to stimulate the energy forces and to regulate blood flow while dissolving toxins built up inside the body.
- Thanaka treatment (a paste made of ground bark of thanaka tree). Though a typical Burmese massage doesn't involve creams and liquid, they occasionally use products made of 'Thanaka' as a facial treatment as well as a massage accompaniment. Thanaka looks like any typical cream of light yellow with a sweet smell similar to sandalwood. It acts as a sun screen and a soothing body cream containing anti-aging, anti-oxidant and anti-fungal properties. It is an excellent organic substitute for expensive branded facial creams.
The other side of the story of massages in Myanmar
The fishy and off putting side to the growing demand for Myanmar massages is the fast growing massage centers and spas offering customers, a so called “massage with a happy ending”.
Birma.com doesn’t advertize illegal or unprofessional massage services.