Thai Massages

Thai Massage guide including the history, what to expect when you get this treatment, spa that offer this treatment and spa reviews.                                        What are Thai Massages?

 Find Spas with Thai Massages

What to expect: Thai massage, long considered a medical treatment in Thailand, the  therapist puts you through a series of stretches that cover the entire body.  (That’s why it’s often called lazy man’s yoga.) You lie on a floor mat or on a  table wide enough to accommodate the therapist, and you wear loose-fitting  clothing (often supplied by the spa), because there’s no way a sheet can stay  put during these moves—the therapist might kneel on the back of your legs and  pull your arms to arch your back and open your chest, or place her shoulder  under your heel to lift your leg and stretch your hamstring. Thai massage also  includes deep-pressure point work to stimulate the sen, or the body’s energy  pathways.
How Therapists are trained: Thai massage therapy requires extensive training, and the  preeminent place for it is Wat Po in Bangkok. The school offers three  certification levels, with the third one alone requiring 800 hours. (Graduates  are issued a certificate from the Thailand Ministry of Public Health.) There are  numerous programs around the world with solid training as well, but many  die-hard therapists make the pilgrimage to Thailand to acquire at least some  authentic knowledge base.
Good to know: At first a little intense (especially if  you’re used to Swedish massage and don’t normally do  much stretching) and then relaxing and invigorating. Thai massage reminds you  that massage isn’t just pressure applied to you by someone else, but a balancing  of the body by limbering joints and loosening muscles through movement and  strategic pressure.
Unlike Swedish massage,  there’s a lot of interaction here between you and your therapist. To move you  around the mat efficiently, the Thai massage therapist uses her body to leverage  you into the elongating stretches. She’ll also use your body as a tool for  deepening them, by sitting on your feet and legs, or pushing or pulling you into  twists.
Editor’s Review: An Indian physician named Shivago Kumar Bhucca,  a contemporary of the Buddha, is often credited with developing Thai massage.  The impetus was to give monks and nuns the flexibility to sit for long hours in  meditation. Whatever its genesis, massage was considered such a crucial aspect  of medical treatment in Thailand that until the early 20th century, the Thai  Department of Health included an official massage division. Thai massage is  based on releasing blockages along ten lines of energy called sen, which are  similar to the meridians of traditional Chinese medicine. The technique  incorporates stroking and kneading of muscles, manipulation of joints, and  pressure applied to specific points in order to balance the body’s four  elements—earth, water, fire, and air. But there’s also rocking, breathing, and  lots of stretching—Thai massage is often referred to as “lazy yoga.”

A photo  gallery labeled “What does a Thai massage look like?” on the International Thai  Therapists Association website is good preparation for my  experience at Great Jones Spa in New York City.

I’m on a padded floor mat  wearing loose pants and a T-shirt (standard Thai-massage garb) while Pailin  Winotaka uses her fingers, palms, elbows, knees, feet, indeed her whole body as  ballast, slowly getting me into such familiar yoga positions as “bridge” (a  backward arch) and “bow” (on my stomach, reaching back to grab her wrists rather  than my own ankles for a deeper stretch). I actually feel taller when she’s  done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>