NOTE: Grant will be away training in Thailand until December 20.

What is a Thai massage?

Thai Massage is a 1,000-year-old style of traditional alternative medicine. It uses a combination of passive stretches and gentle pressure along the body’s energy line system to increase flexibility, relieve muscle and joint tension, and provide relaxation.
Women doing traditional Thai massage

Introduction

Thai massage therapy has existed in Thailand for hundreds of years. Unlike Swedish massages, the purpose of Thai massage is to remove blockages that inhibit the body’s energy force (Lom Pran). A Thai massage practitioner works to restore balance to the body using a combination of stretching and acupressure on pressure points and ten energy channels (Sib Sen).

Recipients wear loose-fitting clothing and lie on a massage mat or other cushioned floor mat. A Thai massage is typically a full body massage that can last up to two hours.
Thai massage is found everywhere in Thailand for a low price, both in spas and kiosks on the streets. There are many schools where you can learn this style of massage as well. The most famous school is the Wat Po Thai Traditional Massage School, located in the reclining Buddha temple in Bangkok. Many people also travel to Chiang Mai to study at the International Training Massage School and the Old Medicine Hospital
Modern Thai massage today is the product of a 19th-century synthesis of various healing traditions from all over Thailand. Since Thai massage practitioners have no single Thai massage routine or framework, a Thai massage in one region can differ from a Thai massage in another area.
The popularity of Thai massage is increasing in Canada. Many larger cities have clinics or spas like Sirius Health designed specifically for massage done on the floor. Other clinics offer a modified form of this massage where therapists work on a massage table rather than the floor.
Thai massage acupressue

Acupressure

Acupressure is a pressure that a therapist applies with thumbs, elbows, and knees. Like acupuncture, acupressure treats disease by promoting relaxation and wellness.
Thai massage sen sib

Sib Sen

Sib Sen are the ten life energy channels that radiate from the abdominal cavity to the entire body. Thai massage removes blockages that can obstruct these channels.
Thai massage prana

Lom Pran

Lom Pran means the wind of life and is the life energy in Thai massage. An obstruction in the flow of Lom Pran can cause discomfort or illness to a person.

Thai Massage Treatments

A typical Thai treatment begins at the feet and works up the body. Therapists apply deep pressure called acupressure along energy channels called sen lines using their hands, elbows, arms, knees, and feet. And they stretch the recipient by moving their body into many different yoga-like positions that help increase range of motion. This last reason is why Thai massage is sometimes called lazy man’s yoga or assisted yoga.
Thai massage has apparent benefits for increasing flexibility and range of motion (ROM), but there are other benefits. The stretches help relax your muscles, loosen your body and improve the ROM in all your joints.
The movement in this style of massage helps enhance the circulation of blood in the body, which brings more oxygen to your brain and lowers the chance of blood clotting. And a Thai massage encourages slow and deep breathing that balances your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The result is that your body functions more efficiently and faster.
This style of massage energizes both the therapist and the recipient. A monthly Thai massage is helpful for those who do not get enough physical exercise. But the effects of regular Thai massage are cumulative. If the goal is health maintenance, recipients will feel better and have less stress and tension by having a Thai massage every week or two.
I love Thai massage

Origin of Thai Massage

Thai massage images from Wat Po
Thai massage is a healing system that has existed in Thailand for over two thousand years. Most attribute the origin of this type of massage to Buddhist monks. But this style has influences from Indian, Chinese, and other Southeast Asian traditional medicine systems.
For centuries, Thai families passed down their knowledge of massage techniques from generation to generation. Buddhist monks wrote formal manuscripts about Thai massage in ancient Pali. Many of these manuscripts were destroyed in 1767 by the Burmese invaders. Then, in 1832, King Rama III instructed Thai therapists to use the epigraphs at Wat Pho to reclaim the lost techniques.
Thailand is now a popular tourist destination, and many people travel to Thailand specifically to learn Thai massage. Some therapists specialize in Thai massage, but many more incorporate the techniques into their existing expertise.
The Ministry of Education in Thailand regulates professional Thai massage practitioners. The Thai Healing Alliance International (THAI) is a nonpartisan international network of Thai massage therapists and teachers that promotes basic standards of study and practice of traditional Thai massage worldwide and offers information about Thai healing arts to the general public.
In Canada, the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC) provides national governance.

Types of Thai Massage

In Thai, Nuad Boran means traditional Thai massage, and Nuat Phaen means Thai-style massage. Nuat Phaen Boran means ancient-style massage. And Nuat Boran translates as traditional Thai medical-massage.
English designations include traditional Thai massage, Royal Thai massage, Thai stretching massage, and Thai yoga massage.
The massage styles vary from north to south in Thailand. Massage in southern Thailand is sometimes called Bangkok massage, or southern style. Northern Thai massage is sometimes called Lanna style massage or northern style.
Common Thai Massage

Folk Thai Massage

Folk Thai massage is the most common style of Thai Traditional Massage in Thailand, originating and applied within family households and in the public arena.

Thai Herbal Compress massage

Herbal Compress Massage

Thai Herbal Compress massage uses a steamed pouch containing a selection of herbs such as plai and turmeric.
Thai Tok Sen Massage

Tok Sen Massage

Thai Tok Sen massage uses a wooden mallet and wedge made from the wood of a tamarind tree.
Thai Cupping Massage

Cupping Massage

Thai Cupping massage is a therapy treatment that uses glass, silicone, or bamboo cups to suction the skin.
Royal Thai Massage

Royal Thai Massage

Royal Style massage, intended for royalty, maintains a more significant distance between the therapist and recipient.
Yam Khang treatment

Yam Khang Massage

Yam Khang is a healing practice in which a practitioner uses heat, oils, and the soles of their feet to massage their client.
Traditional Thai Hak treatment

Ched Hak Massage

Ched Hak is an ancient Lanna technique to remove toxins from the body. Ched means to wipe, and Hak means to split or mark.
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