Just What Is Khmer Massage?
I would like to start with the obvious question, “What does Khmer mean?”. Khmer, quite simply, is the Cambodian word for… Cambodian! Yup, simple as that. If you speak ‘Khmer’, you speak Cambodian. If you are ‘Khmer’, you are Cambodian. So, if you are having a ‘Khmer’ massage… you guessed it, you are having a traditional, Cambodian style massage. So what does this involve? Below we’ll look at how we at Lemongrass Garden perform this ancient massage technique.
Khmer Massage without Oil
The massage is 40% laying on your stomach and having a soothing back, shoulder and legs massage, and 60% laying on your back having your arms, legs, head and feet massaged. The main technique of a non-oil Khmer massage is a type of ‘kneading’, working deep into the muscles and leaving you feeling relaxed and sleepy afterwards. Pressure points are stimulated throughout your body, and it is not uncommon to drift away into a deep sleep. Some minor stretches at the end take no more than a minute to complete and are no way near as vigorous as Thai massage. That said, though it’s not painful, it might feel a bit intense for some who are a little sensitive or bruise easily. For a deeper relaxation, we recommend oil.
Khmer Massage with Oil
Khmer massage with oil is a real treat for tired, stressed or sore bodies. This technique differs to non-oil massage as the oil lubricates the skin, allowing for a much smoother gliding technique. Effleurage is greatly used, and is the practice of warming up the muscles whilst draining them of the toxins that have built up inside. It is a long gliding type of motion that pushes the blood towards your heart, stimulating circulation and preparing tissue for a deeper massage. Other techniques are mostly performed using the distal phalanx of the thumb (the area where your thumbs’ print is), where therapists follow meridian lines that ultimately stimulate various organs in your body.
Is Khmer Massage the same as Thai Massage?
This is undoubtedly the most common question that we hear, and the short answer is no, they’re no the same. Traditionally, a good Thai massage involves a lot of stretching, pulling, twisting and generally placing your body into various positions you never would have dreamed of getting yourself into. Thai massage also focuses a lot harder on pressure points in a less than comfortable way. Often described as quite rough and vigorous, it may leave you feeling a little beaten and worn down. This is not to say that it isn’t good, far from it in fact, but it’s certainly not for the faint of heart.
Khmer massage has been around for centuries. Originally a massage developed for soothing the tired bodies of monks after long bouts of meditation, the massage was designed to improve blood circulation and stimulate internal organs. Since these times, the Kings of ancient Angkor have enjoyed the practices of massage as a luxury treatment to sooth their aches and ease them off to a peaceful meditative sleep. The calming practice has been combined with natural medicines, and in some parts is still believed to heal the body of unwanted conditions. Whether this is truth or not, there is no denying that after you have experienced a Khmer massage, you leave feeling different. In your mind, a feeling of inner peace and calm. Your body feels invigorated with a sense of energy being restored. Muscles that have remained mostly unused receive a breath of life as your blood courses to them and relieves them of harmful toxins. As cliche as it may be, your body truly is a temple that requires upkeep to maintain it’s best functioning performance, and Khmer massage is evidently one of the very best ways to achieve this.
A Bit About Our Style
At Lemongrass Garden, our Khmer massages have been strategically developed by massage trainer and owner, Borey. With 10+ years of massage experience, she has worked in many of the top-range spas and resorts. The style she has adapted and evolved comes from all of the best massage techniques that she has learnt over the years, and worked into one or more hours of massage bliss.