What is Thai Massage?
Developed more than 2,000 years ago in Thailand, Thai massage remains a popular technique that incorporates aspects of yoga, acupressure, energy balancing, and massage. Thai massage continues to be a mainstay in Thai medicine, while quickly gaining a new audience in the Western world. Also known as yoga massage, assisted yoga, or ancient massage, Thai massage respects the body’s limits, while encouraging clients to reach their edge of flexibility—but never beyond. Thai massage uses acupressure, massage, and passive assisted stretching, where therapists help clients move into their stretch. The work is purposely slow as the therapist guides clients through the movements, being ever mindful of their physical limitations.
How is it administered?
Thai massage is performed on a soft floor mat, with clients fully clothed in loose, comfortable attire. Pillows and bolsters may be used for better client support. Practitioners may use their hands, feet, knees, elbows, and legs during a session.
Benefits of Thai Massage
• Deep relaxation and quieting of the mind.
• Heightened energy levels.
• Improved body-mind connection.
• Improved circulation and lymphatic flow.
• Improved range of motion.
• Increased flexibility.
• Rejuvenated body and mind.
• Relief for pain and muscle tension.
The Yoga Component
Recipients of Thai massage can also capture the well-established benefits of yoga without actually doing yoga. As the practitioner gently moves clients into yoga like poses, tight joints are opened, energy flows freely, and breathing is enhanced. A meditative state becomes part of the process, as both client and practitioner focus on breath and intention. Through the assisted stretches, clients’ muscles become less prone to injury, their joints have a greater range of motion, and their whole body enjoys greater flexibility. Many yoga enthusiasts are finding Thai massage adds a whole new dimension to their practice.
The Energy Component
Thai massage is based on an energetic paradigm of the human body and mind. In this tradition, energy is thought to travel on pathways, called sen lines, throughout the body. Through the movement and massage components, the goal in Thai massage is to ensure energy is flowing freely along these pathways as a means for wellness.
sen lines diagram