If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, there was probably a moment you thought “oh, sure, I can get my leg / arm / hip / head there … if somebody lifts it for me!” Believe it or not, there is a form of bodywork that will do exactly that!
Thai Massage, sometimes called Thai Yoga Massage, uses acupressure, Ayurvedic principles, and assisted yoga postures to open you up and bring you back together. The practitioner moves your body while you remain passive.
An ancient practice and part of traditional Thai medicine, Thai Massage is an excellent way to get your body moving. If you’re feeling stagnant, cramped, or sluggish a Thai Massage session will bring movement, breath, circulation, and vitality back to your body. It’s an excellent way to learn where you may be restricted in ways you didn’t realize, and to support your body’s ability to heal.
The work is all done on a thick mat on the floor. Unlike traditional massage, the practitioner uses no oil or lotion and there is virtually no rubbing though the practitioner’s feet may knead parts of your body. You remain clothed during the session so it’s best to wear loose clothing.
Practitioners use their hands and feet to move your body through a range of postures and positions. They may stretch, press, roll, bend, rock, or fold you. The practitioner might even walk on you, though usually while supported in some way so his/her entire body weight is not on you.
The goals are similar to the goals of yoga and massage. Relaxation. Improved range of motion. Quieting the mind. Pain relief. Reducing restrictions in tissue and joints. It’s a combination in many ways of the best of massage and the best of yoga.
A session often lasts more than an hour and may last up to two hours. While practitioners have their own preferred process for moving through your body, they adapt each session to your specific needs and your body’s abilities. As with a good massage therapist or a good yoga instructor, the Thai massage practitioner is attuned to your body every step of the way and adapting the work to your reality.
If you loved to be stretched, or you’re feeling the need for a bodywork session that is more active than a traditional massage or that really moves your body, schedule a Thai Massage for yourself.
If you’re a massage therapist and have often had the urge to really move a client’s body in ways you can’t easily do on a massage table, Thai Massage gives you a way to do that.