Thai massage techniques have been traced back to 500 BCE in India where they were developed by a doctor and contemporary of Buddha. The practice was passed down orally by monks and is still traditionally performed in Buddhist temples to this day.
Massage is an important component of contemporary medicine in most Eastern cultures. The theory behind this type of massage is that there are more than 72,000 pathways through the body that energy moves along. Practitioners normally focus on 10 major pathways called “Sen” or “meridians.” These pathways originate in the abdomen and travel in a sunburst pattern along the extremities.
You can envision a Thai massage as being much like an assisted Yoga routine. I will lead you through a serious of body positions and stretches designed to provide access to the important Sen lines for massage and acupressure holds.
What You Can Expect from a Thai Massage
Clients should wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing that will not restrict movement. Yoga or sweat pants are ideal as jeans are frequently too tight or inflexible to get the most out of a session.
Thai massage can be performed on a mat on the floor or on a low table.
Thai massage is interactive. I will ask you to assist in properly positioning your body and moving through the various “poses” safely.
Thai massage is also quite slow and meditative. Traditionally, the massage is performed in conjunction with a ritual prayer for healing.
A full session typically lasts two hours or more, and includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body; this may include pulling fingers, toes, ears, cracking the knuckles, walking on the recipient’s back, and arching the recipient into bhujangasana (or cobra position). There is a standard procedure and rhythm to the massage, which I will adjust to fit each individual client.
Benefits of a Thai Massage
- Decrease in muscle tension
- Increased body awareness
- Increased flexibility and range of motion
- Energy balance and protection from disease
- This modality can be physically demanding on both the therapist and client.
- This style is generally contraindicated for clients with serious heart conditions or high blood pressure.
- Osteoporosis should be treated cautiously and should only receive light pressure.
- Clients with artificial joints should not receive a Thai session.
- Pregnant clients can receive Thai massage with caution, avoiding any direct abdominal manipulation.