Originating in the temples of Thailand over 2,500 years ago, Thai massage is deeply associated with ancient healing traditions from India. The founder of the technique was both a doctor and a practitioner of Yoga. Jivaka Kumarbhaccha had the honor of treating Buddha with his healing arts and those same traditions have been passed down to what we call Thai Massage today.
The Thai people have a myriad of culture influences throughout the course of their history that all contributed to creating this massage therapy technique, including Ayurveda, Hatha Yoga, Chinese Meridians, Theravada Buddhism, and indigenous practices of the Thai people.
Essentially, Thai massage is a combination of yoga postures and massage. The therapist does not use massage oil (as is traditional with other styles) but does use their palms and thumbs to apply pressure along the body’s energy lines (meridians) and pressure points.
Instead of using a table, Thai massage is done on a mat on the floor. This is a great technique for anyone uncomfortable with being undressed in front of others as you will remain fully clothed, preferably in garments that allow for flexibility and a wide range of movement.
This technique is considered a full body treatment and is said to assist with circulation, the immune system, and provides relief of tension in the muscles. The process also balances the body’s energy allowing for an optimal physical response. For those feeling unbalanced, these yoga-like stretches will help a person re-center and gain footing. The process is also great for those seeking stress relief as it eliminates tension and promotes a high level of relaxation.
This massage mixes point pressures and stretching and is extremely helpful for individuals with issues such as solid, sore, or tired muscles caused by work, sports, or aging. By empowering lymphatic capacity, this therapy style can likewise detoxify the body, promote flexibility, and build up the immune system – all great ways to prevent both potential disease and injury.
Thai massage requires training and experience in the traditional techniques to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
There are a variety of different massage variations available today. If you are familiar with the different massage therapy techniques, you might be tempted to just stick with the traditional massage you’ve always gotten. We would encourage you, however, to learn about the other styles and try them out. You never know when you might come across an experience that you love and makes you feel great!