Khmer Massage: Fine Art of 3Rs: Revitalized, Relaxation, and Relief

Sra Thnam is the venue where you can experience the best massage Siem Reap has to offer (at least, in the field of authentic Khmer traditional massage…).

But what is it about exactly?

This massage is a traditional bodywork of Cambodia using the prepared therapeutic herbs of a Krou Khmer (Healers and herbalists of Cambodian traditional medicine are designed as “Krou”). Classic linen is used and soaked from the prepare concoction pot. This first step helps in relieving stress and increase your energy flow. It also improves blood circulation, relaxes tensed muscles and calms every nerve in your body.

The Khmer therapist gives massage on the body by first helping you to perform stretching activities. The activity is less vigorous while providing guaranteed relief. Khmer massage may be also performed even you are fully clothed.  You may also not worry about the strong scents applied to your body or the griminess feeling of oils during the massage.  This massage doesn’t use any oils, balms or powder. However, traditional massage relies on the body’s natural moisture. With the use of thumbs, hands, arms, feet, and knees, expert therapists are able to stimulate and ease the pressure points of your body. Other therapists use hot cups and coins during their practice like that of ventosa massage leaving your skin with unusual marks.


khmer massage siem reap


The slow and delicate deliberate movement, synchronizing with the pressure is used to address chronic problems (like back pain and stiff muscles). Therapists used to work along the meridian lines gently with rolling movements similar to acupressure. Rest assured you feel invigorated like what most of the tourists who tried Khmer massage say after every massage and stretches.


People compare often Thai and Khmer massage. To differentiate the experience of the two, we have come up to these distinctions:


Thai Massage


A good Thai massage includes a lot of stretching, some pulling and twisting and generally putting your body into different positions. Thai massage focuses a lot on pressure points and is quite painful. Its focus of the pressure points is lying thumbs of iron digging into your skin and could possibly be the very opposite of relaxing. However, you may say to your therapist “softer please” to pull a little bit of the pressure. All in all, Thai massage is quite rough and vigorous leaving you feeling a little bit beaten and worn down.


Khmer Massage


Khmer massage involves a little of stretching not as vigorous as of that of the Thai massage. There are also some minor stretches at the end taking no more than a minute to complete. Khmer massage is most of the time laying on your back – maybe 60% of the total experience ad 40% lying in your stomach. You are to lay on your back getting arms, legs, head, and feet massaged.


The primary style of Khmer massage is a type of kneading, working deep into the muscles. It leaves you feeling 101% relaxed afterward. Guaranteed no twisting and awkward positions to perform during the massage.


Now, you may consider the reasonably helpful benefits of this massage technic (aside from being an integral part of the Cambodian culture of healing practice):


  1. Regulates blood pressure
  2. Eases pain and increase body functions
  3. Relieves muscle and joint pains
  4. Increase alertness
  5. Lowers stress hormones
  6. Healthier blood flow resulting in revitalizing and glowing skin
  7. Reduces insomnia


Overall, Cambodian massage is one of the most comfortable and soothing massage style ever. It secures each one with the experience to help your body feel the 3Rs (Revitalized, Relaxed and Recovered).  There are few travelers who have tried and attested the superb experience.


So, when do you want to try and experience a complete 3R experience?

You can enjoy the benefits of an authentic Khmer massage in Siem Reap visiting Sra Thnam House!



The experience of having Thai and Khmer massage comes from personal experience and of few people interviewed. Other experiences may differ.