traditional thai massage
Traditional Thai massage applied has the potential to be as gentle and calming as palliative care, even as it has the potential to be more intense and deep than what is often called 'deep tissue' work. This wide range of application is based on balancing the body through the lens of the same element theory described in Theravada Buddhism. Traditional Thai massage uses fingers, hands, forearms, feet, and sometimes even knees to encourage the body and its tendons, ligaments and nerves (sen) back to healthy function. Sometimes there is compression, stretching, the use of oil, mantras or tools. Every session is based on how you are traveling with your body that day, and you are not charged extra for the appropriate technique or tools your body needs. You will discuss your massage therapy goals with your practitioner every time you come in for a session.
Thai bodywork is usually done fully clothed, either on a futon or large massage table. Long sleeved shirts and pants (not shorts) are preferred. Depending on your needs, your practitioner may use herbal compresses, cupping, scraping, liniments, oil, tok sen (Lanna style) or other tools with your consent, so please wear appropriate clothing for your session. Medical gowns and fisherman pants are available if needed.
A quote from Nephyr Jacobsen, "Traditional Thai medicine has much in common with Indian and Tibetan medicine, and even with ancient Greek medicine, and to a lesser degree, Chinese medicine. This said, one cannot simply insert Indian theory on top of Thai techniques and still call it Thai. Thai medicine does not use the chakra system, doshas are not exactly what is used in Thai element theory, and the stretches of Thai massage are not yoga poses; although some will look like it due to the fact that bodies stretch the same all over the world. The confluence of ideas that permeates medical knowledge across the globe is a sharing that I rejoice in, however it does not mean that we can substitute so easily one theory for another. Thai massage is a component part of the physical/orthopedic medicine root of Thai healing arts, and it is supported by a complex and ancient medical system of its own."