Traditional Thai Massage

“It (Thai massage) is so different from what we typically mean by “massage” that it is often instead described as having someone “do yoga to you”.  In fact, in Thailand, Thai massage has sometimes been called “yoga for lazy people.” -C. Pierce Salguero

** Traditional Thai Massage **

I specialize in traditional Thai massage.  I like this modality because it directly affects the connective tissue of the entire body, like Structural Integration and Rossister System therapies do, but it is much more gentle.  My typical traditional Thai massage is about 1.5 hours (no more than 85 minutes), focusing on the entire body.

Traditional Thai massage is also know as Thai yoga massage or Thai yoga massage therapy.  This unique, powerful, healing massage modality has been practiced in Thailand for centuries.  Thai massage combines acupressure, energy meridian work, and yoga-like stretching during each session.

There are primarily two different styles of Thai massage:
1) Northern Thai which is slow and calming.
2) Southern Thai which is fast and energetic.
I specialize in the Northern Thai style, because the typical American lifestyle is so fast-paced and stressful on our nervous system.  Depending on the client and his/her requests.  I can “speed-up” the pacing of the session.

What makes Thai massage different from a typical massage session (i.e. circulatory/Swedish massage) is that there is no oil used, the client and the practitioner are working from the floor on a foam mat, and the client remains completely clothed throughout the entire session.

As with most all massage modalities, Thai massage is a perfect complement to all exercise programs and is suitable for people of all ages and abilities.  Sessions are modified to physical  needs and requests of the client.  The most prominent benefits I have seen in clients receiving Thai yoga therapy is energy balancing, calming of the nervous system, the ability to find natural alignment more easily, increased range of motion and muscular strength, and the lessening of pain felt after the session was completed.

Thai massage sessions must be, at least, an hour or longer in duration so that you can feel the benefits of this modality.  My sessions are generally up to 1.5 hours (less than 85 minutes) in duration.  Ideally, it is not recommended to use music, because it interferes with the natural rhythm of the breath and movement that develops in silence.  Occasionally I do use music though – mostly using sounds of nature combined with flute melodies and other instruments.  Also, it is ideal not to talk throughout the session, which also interrupts the natural healing process.  However, clients must express to the practitioner when techniques and postures are uncomfortable!

References
Practitioners of Thai massage use their hands, elbows, knees, legs, and feet to move cleints into yoga-like stretches, make contact with acupressure points, and address energy meridians (called sen lines).

This article and related picture gallery provides an excellent overview of what to know and what to expect prior to your traditional Thai massage session:

  • What is Thai massage?
  • Thai massage picture gallery.  These postures are fairly intense.  Depending on the flexibility of the client, I can do these postures, but mostly I do a modified form of the postures shown here.  Pictures 2, 6, and 11 are typical beginner poses for people who have not received Thai massages, have not participated in yoga classes, and/or do not have full range of movement and flexibility.