Thai massage is a unique and powerful massage therapy that combines elements of acupressure, reflexology, gentle stretching and applied yoga. It is an ancient technique which aims to release blocked energy, restore health and harmony and bring balance to the body.
Thai massage has roots in the Indian system of yoga and Ayurveda and was brought to Thailand 2000 years ago along with Buddhism where it was further developed and handed down through generations.
Thai massage is based on a belief in a life force (called Prana in Sanskrit, Chi in Chinese and Ki in Japanese) that circulates around special pathways in the body. These prana pathways make up an energy system comprised of 72, 000 invisible energy lines. Thai massage concentrates on 10 most significant energy lines, called the Sip Sen and a thorough treatment should cover all 10 lines. By working these lines, it is possible to treat the whole body, including the internal organs.
Practitioners of Thai massage are mainly concerned with balancing the energy systems of the body. Some of the benefits of Thai massage include:
- Greater flexibility in the joints
- Enhanced blood circulation
- Better alignment of the body
- Improved posture
- Stimulation of internal organs
- Relaxation and tranquility
Although the main emphasis in the practice of Thai massage is usually on disease prevention, it can also be of great therapeutic benefit, effective in treating various conditions such as digestive disorders, insomnia, shoulder and neck tension, asthma, headache, knee and back pain and other stress related conditions.
Thai massage is performed on a mattress on the floor and the receiver wears loose and comfortable clothes. Typically a session lasts between 1 ½ to 2 hours. The practitioner uses his or her thumbs, palms, elbows, knees and feet to apply a combination of acupressure, gentle rocking and twisting, joint and spine mobilizations and assisted yoga stretches.