Thai Massage is often thought of as a combination of the best of yoga and acupressure.
Thai Massage is an ancient Thai bodywork system designed to unblock trapped energy and improve vitality by applying pressure along the body's energy pathways. It uses slow rhythmic pressing with fingers, thumbs, hands, forearms, elbows and feet, and stretches with gentle rocking motions. Pressure and compression is applied to stimulate the movement of energy through conduits called sen. There are 72,000 sen and emphasis is placed on following the lines not on pressure points. The practitioner also manipulates the client's body by positioning and stretching the body in gentle, yoga-like poses. The pressure and manipulation clear energy pathways, relax tense muscles, improve blood and lymph circulation, calm the nervous system, and stimulate internal organs. The stretching rocks the client and allows the joints to open more deeply. Thai massage is also effective in relieving fatigue and pain, treating swollen limbs and painful joints and headaches.
The client lies fully clothed on a mat on the floor. Loose fitting, exercise type clothing allows for free movement of the body during the session. This permits the practitioner maximum leverage, balance and weight in manipulating the body. The session can last from one to two hours, depending on client needs.
Thai massage is different from traditional massage in that Thai techniques balance energy levels and enable the practitioner to press the muscles on both sides of the body. This affects flexibility. The difference between the length of a muscle when it is fully contracted and when it is relaxed determines the amount of movement the muscle can produce at the joint. Tense muscles shorten, even when you are not contracting them consciously. This results in restricted range of motion, stiffness, aches and pains and aging. Tense muscles create uneven force on the spine and spinal cord, which affects the back, neck and results in headaches. Thai work enables you to stretch the muscles systematically to achieve wonderful results not always possible with other forms of bodywork.
In Thai Massage, there is also a powerful interplay of intrinsic energies between the giver and receiver in the dance of mutually balancing energies, life force, and harmony. Receiving Thai bodywork regularly helps you experience a deep sense of relaxation, well-being, flexibility, happiness, and youthfulness.
Persons who have the following health conditions should not receive Thai Massage:
- Skin conditions such as eczema, shingles or psoriasis (massage would not be performed on the affected areas).
- Serious varicose veins.
- Artificial joint i.e. knee, hip replacement.
- Serious heart condition or high blood pressure.