Thai massage actually originated in India but was introduced to ancient Thailand or Siam when Buddhism was brought to the region thousands of years ago. This type of massage was once performed by monks in healing rituals and is part of traditional Thai medicine which also combines meditation, nutritional counseling and herbs which are both taken internally and applied on the body with oils are heated liquids.
This type of massage has many healthy benefits and a typical session in Thailand can last two hours! While sometimes offered in the seedier sections of Thailand, many four-star hotels are now offering the service for their visitors. While the basis of this massage rests on energy meridians as most Asian techniques do, there is no questioning that it has many healthfull benefits.
Thai massage incorporates manipulation techniques to help relieve tension, increase flexibility and adjust the skeleton. Some of these techniques are stretching exercises that incorporate some of the same elements as yoga.
Unlike a Swedish massage where you will be naked on a table, clients that get this type of massage wear loose fitting pajama style clothes. They go through a series of gentle stretches which prepares the body for the rest of the massage. The therapist will then work their way over the entire body by applying pressure with their feet and hands.
This type of massage is actually quite good for the elderly because there are no sharp jerks or hard pressure applied. It uses a smooth flow of relaxing movements that are gradually applied.
You might find yourself lying on a mat as opposed to a table with your knees elevated. This will give a gentle stretch to your back and the backs of your thighs. Once your legs are lowered than the Thai masseuse will apply gentle pressure with their toes and feet to certain areas of your lower body. This will help stimulate circulation and give you a wonderful relaxed feeling.
Thai massage doesn’t use any oil and employs rhythmic movements which transgress along the Sen energy lines that are similar to Chinese meridians. The entire body is covered and many times therapists will walk on the clients back and gently arch the spine as well as manipulate the toes and fingers. Sometimes hot herbal compresses are applied along with the relaxing movements.