The Thai people are a fascinating mix of the traditional and the contemporary, a people living within modern cities while drawing inspiration from the peaceful ambiance of ancient temples and Buddhist shrines. With such a strong connection to the spiritual nature of existence it’s not surprising that Thai healing arts are rooted in both the past and present. Thai massage, for instance, utilizes the Thai gift for blending aspects of different cultures and times. The discipline engages techniques found in both yoga and Chinese healing arts to create a system where energy is channeled and key groups of muscles are manipulated.
What to Expect During the Massage
A typical massage appointment is spent partially undressed while laying passively on a specialized table. Thai massage distinguishes itself as being quite different from this concept right from the beginning. To an outside observer the entire process might look like the individual undergoing treatment is being laboriously placed into uncomfortable poses and stretched by the 타이마사지 therapist like a mannequin.
The truth is the masseur is employing stretching and posture techniques familiar to disciples of yoga. The body is being guided into these poses, energetically stretched and manipulated by the hands, feet, knees, and elbows of the therapist into positions that align the body, elongate the spine, and increase joint mobility.
In the Beginning
Being tossed and turned like a rag doll may be the initial thought upon seeing Thai massage, but the reality of the procedure is something quite different, and the benefits almost sublime in their effect on the body.
An expert in the discipline greets a client when he or she arrives for the massage, checking for any underlying physical conditions that would make the appointment unsafe. Before beginning the massage, there might be an understandable temptation to remove clothes and become comfortable in a bathrobe prior to climbing on a table, but this technique is typically done fully clothed, and the massage is likely too rigorous and energetic to ever necessitate the use of a table.
It’s far more likely the massage will begin on the floor, surrounded by relaxing decor, perhaps with light Eastern music playing in the background. No massage oil is used since there’s no direct contact with skin. What does occur next is a laying on of hands, a pressing of key areas of the body that relate to energy meridians found in Chinese healing arts such as acupuncture or acupressure. Here, in Thai massage, the term used is Sen energy. Transposed and translated from China and India, this 1000 year old technique of manipulation and massage employs areas of Sen that are roughly equivalent to the flow of Qi found in acupuncture. The purely mechanical process of pressing the Sen areas releases blockages, balances the life force of the entire body, preparing the client for the next stage of the massage.