Good for:

  • Tension release, e.g back pain, neck pain, etc.
  • Alleviating tightness with stretching
  • Invigoration
  • Relaxation

What Thai Massage Involves

Despite having evolved from ancient Indian teachings, as well as having similarities to Chinese massage, Thai massage (nuad boran) is a rather unique.  It is different from Western forms of massage in that it is done on a mattress on the floor, with the patient in loose trousers and a top, usually without oil – these last points make it similar to tui na.  It is basically a mixture between using acupressure and stretching techniques.  In this respect it is similar to a sports massage treatment – a mixture between firm massage, trigger point work and stretching, and I actually mix the two where appropriate.  Acupressure is the use of pressure applied on specific points or along sen lines (Channels in the body).  


My Traditional Thai Massage Training

I trained in Chiang Mai in Thailand, at ITM, an internationally recognized school that trains students in Traditional northern-style Thai massage, which differs from the Bangkok / southern-style in that it includes more stretches.  The Thais believe the treatment works on clearing blocked energy pathways, and it is good for both improving flexibility, as well as easing tension.  There are various remedial techniques used to tackle issues such as shoulder pain, back pain, knee problems, digestion problems, etc. 

My Traditional Thai Massage Training Image

An Holistic Approach

The treatment can also be more relaxing with a focus on neck, face and head massage.  In the Thai view, it is seen as an almost meditative experience, so clearing the mind and focusing on the breath are important.  But also (as with yoga), it helps you to ground yourself and connect spiritually, if you are that way inclined – as many of us are so much ‘in our heads’ and prone to stress.  Quite a lot of work is done on the feet and legs first, and this really does help you to feel ‘grounded’.

A thorough Thai massage can actually take about two-and-a-half hours, but obviously this is not often practical for many people in this country.  However, a lot can be achieved in ninety minutes or an hour.  The holistic approach is comparable to remedial massage and tui na, when we also work on areas away from the specific area of tension to deal with related or referred tension, imbalance or compensation that are part of the ‘bigger picture’ of the presenting complaint. 

Full-body Thai massage Image