Did you know that Thai massage has the same pain relieving benefits as those of OTC medication like ibuprofen? It’s a dry massage therapy—dated back thousands of years—that involves tissue manipulation using Indian Ayurvedic methods.
Unlike classical massage modalities that use massage oils with gentle kneading techniques to release cramped muscles, Thai massage involves stretching and compressing actions—similar to the ones used in Yoga—to improve joint mobility and regional blood regulation. What’s more, the massage therapists use more than just their hands; they use elbow, forearms or even feet to enhance flexibility and release targeted tension.
People have been getting Thai massages for years to treat symptoms of stress, muscle stiffness, headaches and fatigue. Let’s take a closer look at the origin of this ancient healing therapy.
History of Thai Medicine and traditional Thai massage
Traditional Thai healing techniques have been in practice since the third century BC. When Buddhist monks and Brahmins travelled to Thailand, they brought with them the concepts of Ayurveda—a holistic approach to healing. Ayurveda focused on using herbal remedies and massages to maintain one’s flow of energy. Since Thai culture was also heavily influenced by the Chinese, traditional Chinese healing techniques like acupressure and acupuncture also became a part of Thai massages.
Thai medicine consists of four branches: orthopedic, medicine, midwifery and massage. As opposed to traditional massages, Thai massages use the body’s energy line system called the Sen lines which are perceived to circulate through the body.
There are said to be 72,000 Sen lines that frame the physical body; although Thais believe that 10 main lines are sufficient to maintain the vitality of the internal organs. Restriction or blockage of this energy flow is perceived to result in sickness or diseases; therefore, therapists combine pressure with muscle strengthening to treat specific Sen lines, based on the client’s condition. These techniques also treat nerve problems, dysfunctional organs, flexibility, aches and postural alignments.
A traditional Thai massage is conducted on a floor mat and the entire body is stretched during the procedure; this includes pulling of fingers, ears and toes to restore healthy blood circulation. The oil-free bodywork is a combination of acupressure, body massage and yoga-like stretches—although it isn’t yoga but the posture may resemble yoga asanas.
Moreover, the massage routine is very respectful and polite—in accordance with the Thai culture and Buddhist belief of “metta”.
Our Massage Therapy and Wellness Studio in Edmonton offers traditional Thai massages that use gentle stretching techniques to provide long-term health benefits. Our therapists restore the energy flow of your body, promoting balanced mental and physical health.