Here’s what to expect from massage in Vietnam, and what makes it unique compared to anywhere else in the world.
The Vietnamese style of massage is rooted in Chinese traditions. Focused on working out knots in muscles through kneading techniques, the prime focus is de-stressing the body. Many people are more familiar with Thai massages, which use stretching techniques much more frequently during the treatment. Massage in Vietnam involves less movement – although some pulling and pushing is involved – but the focus is more about targeting knots via quite a firm massage, although you can ask a therapist to alter the pressure.
Massage in Vietnam can be compared to a deep tissue massage that many visitors might be more familiar with elsewhere in the world. Focused on muscles and tendons, pressure points are targeted based on the ancient Chinese philosophies the technique is based on. In particular, one purpose is to rebalance the spine’s chi – improving a person’s vital force. Therapists use a combination of their thumbs and knuckles to achieve just the right pressure and to target exactly the right spots.
Many full body massage therapies around the world start at the feet and slowly work their way up the body. Massage in Vietnam begins on the back – usually the tensest part of the body that benefits from massage and pressure point therapy immediately. The massage then proceeds to the other parts of the body before finishing at the head and the multiple pressure points there. Even if you don’t opt for a full body massage, massages targeting certain parts of the body will also target other body parts. This is based on the belief that different parts of the body influence other areas, so Vietnamese massage takes on a holistic approach.
The end result of a massage in Vietnam is to reduce tension and induce relaxation. People also report feeling a sense of rejuvenation after a massage in Vietnam. In terms of health, massage in Vietnam is said to help with improving blood circulation and reduce the risk of blood clotting.
Many massage parlours offer a range of massages, from foot massages incorporating reflexology, to hot stone and full body massages. To ensure you’re going to a legitimate massage parlour, get recommendations from authoritative sources such as large hotels. In cities, massage parlours can be found in abundance, while in coastal areas it’s popular to find massage options directly on the beach. It’s even possible to get a foot massage without even having to move from your sun lounger.
Our local guides can make plenty of recommendations on how to get a good massage in Vietnam when you travel with us at Mr Linh’s Adventures