Thai massage is a traditional form of massage that developed in Thailand and has its own characteristics. Here are some of them:
- Purpose and Philosophy: Thai massage aims to restore the balance of energy in the body. It is based on the assumption that there are energy lines, called senshi, that run through the body. The main goal of Thai massage is to restore the free flow of energy to achieve harmony and health.
- Combined action: Thai massage combines elements of accupressure (pressure on specific points of the body), stretching, manual therapy and yoga. The masseur uses not only his hands, but also his elbows, knees and even his feet to apply pressure and stretching techniques.
- Clothing: In Thai massage, the patient remains clothed. It is usually suggested to wear light and loose clothing to facilitate the movements of the massage therapist. It is important to choose comfortable clothing to maximise the benefits of the massage.
- Working along energy lines: The massage therapist works carefully along the energy lines, applying pressure and stretches along them. This helps to remove energy blockages, improve circulation, relieve tension and improve overall health.
- Stretching and mobility: Thai massage involves various techniques of stretching and mobilising the joints. The massage therapist gently stretches and rotates the patient’s body to help increase flexibility, improve mobility and relieve tension in muscles and joints.
- Floor treatment: Traditionally, Thai massage is performed on the floor on a special mattress or mat. This allows the massage therapist to use their body for better control and application of techniques. Modern massage parlours may provide comfortable couches or tables.
Thai massage has its own uniqueness and is an unusual experience for those who are used to classic forms of massage. It offers a holistic approach to health and well-being, affecting the physical and energetic state of the body.
Thai massage techniques
Thai massage involves various techniques that are performed by a massage therapist. Here are some of the basic techniques of Thai massage:
- Accupressure: The masseur uses his fingers, palms, elbows and even feet to apply pressure on certain points on the body. He applies deep and pinpoint pressure to these points to release tension and stimulate energy lines (senshi).
- Stretching: One of the key features of Thai massage is stretching. The massage therapist gently stretches various parts of the patient’s body including the limbs, back and neck. Stretches are performed using the masseur’s hand, elbow, knee or foot. This helps to increase flexibility, improve joint mobility and relieve muscle tension.
- Compression: The massage therapist may apply compression, which consists of applying constant pressure to certain areas of the body. This could be compressing muscles or applying hot or cold compresses to relieve inflammation and improve circulation.
- Traction and rotation: The massage therapist may use traction and rotation to develop and relax muscles. He or she may pull the patient’s limbs and body, rotate joints and perform other manoeuvres to relieve tension and improve mobility.
- Compression and release: This technique involves compressing and releasing muscles and tissues. The massage therapist may use their palms, fingers, or other body parts to compress and loosen muscles to improve circulation and relieve tension.
- Rhythmic movements: Thai massage is performed using rhythmic and flowing movements. The massage therapist strives to create a harmonious flow of movements that help to relax the patient and improve energy flow.
It is important to note that each massage therapist may apply some of their own characteristics and variations of techniques to suit the needs of the individual patient. Thai massage techniques are combined into a holistic approach that helps to improve the physical and energetic state of the body.