About Thai Massage
In the 21st century, a number of ancient healing methods are being rediscovered and validated with modern experience. Thai massage is just such a phenomenon. Found to reduce stress and pain, increase ﬂexibility and deepen the connection between mind and body, this healing art from Thailand has quickly gained a loyal following in the West.
What is Thai Massage?
Thai massage is a whole-body technique that can increase the ﬂow of energy through the body by releasing tension and energy blockages. It originated from Eastern healing traditions intended to connect the mind, body, and spirit. Sometimes known as Thai yoga massage, or traditional Thai massage, the technique combines gentle stretches, breathing practices, acupressure and soothing rocking. With a slow, ﬂowing and meditative approach, the practitioner assists a fully-clothed recipient into a series of yoga-inspired postures, creating a delightfully harmonious and therapeutic “dance.”
Thai massage is a well-respected and proven healing art that's quickly gaining popularity in the west because of its meditative approach and its application of yoga's well-established benefits.
-Kam Thye Chow, author of Thai Yoga Massage
Thai massage works with the muscles, bones, and joints, improving circulation and increasing ﬂexibility and range of motion. It reduces the effects of tension by lowering the heart rate, relieving muscle tightness, slowing the breath and initiating the relaxation response which calms both body and mind.
Thai massage is said to open up energy channels called sen, similar to those in acupuncture. When sen is blocked, you may experience fatigue, pain, or even disease.
Thai massage helps increase awareness of your body, often resulting in easier movement, improved posture, and even injury prevention.
Because it can release muscles deep in the body, it is often effective in reducing neck and shoulder pain, headaches, and low back pain. It is used to support athletes preparing for and recovering from sporting events and help patients recover faster from surgery. Recipients have reported reduced discomfort from arthritis, menstrual cramps, insomnia, digestive difficulties, chronic fatigue syndrome, and ﬁbromyalgia. Beneﬁts tend to multiply with regular treatments.
What is a session like?
For Thai massage, you will be gently moved or rocked into various positions, so wear ﬂexible, comfortable clothing. Thai massage is generally performed on a ﬂoormat, although you may receive it on a table. Bolsters or blankets may be used to support you in areas of less ﬂexibility. Though Thai massage does not require the use of oils or lotions, it may be combined with other types of massage where oil is used.
The practitioner will begin with a slow, rhythmic and gentle touch, and depending on what feels best to you, will adjust the pressure to be more or less ﬁ rm and vigorous. She or he will apply pressure with the thumb, ﬁngers, palm, elbow, foot, or knee to speciﬁc lines of energy. You might be asked to breathe deeply to help you ease into the stretches.
Many recipients enjoy an alert state that feels meditative and peaceful. Some feel deeply relaxed, even drifting towards sleep. During the ﬁrst session, you may be amazed at how wonderful the gentle stretches feel. It is possible you will be able to move in ways that are difﬁcult to attain on your own. You may learn things about your body, such as becoming aware of problem areas you have “tuned out” or ﬁnding your ﬂexibility varies considerably from one area to another.
After a session, recipients sometimes feel drowsy and wish to rest. Others feel invigorated, balanced, ﬂexible or even taller.
For your comfort
Your practitioner may begin your session by working with you to find your present level of flexibility and restrictions in movement. Inform your practitioner of your state of health so that she or he can adjust your massage for any special limitations or conditions. For certain conditions, or if you are receiving medical care, your practitioner may advise you to check with your physician before receiving Thai massage. It is important to give your practitioner feedback regarding your comfort, including the amount of pressure used so that your session can be adapted to meet your needs.
Support for body, mind, and spirit
Thai massage is a deeply enjoyable experience that promotes relaxation and rejuvenation. It can help you reduce the effects of stress, increase ease of movement, and maintain your health and vitality. In today’s world, more and more people are becoming aware of how profound Eastern healing arts can be. Like meditation, acupuncture, and yoga, Thai massage is a time-honored tradition that offers a powerful way to experience the unity of mind, body, and spirit.