“Hello, my name’s Rebecca Herrick. I’m here to show you how to give a Thai massage.
Thai massage is done on the floor, usually on a mat with a comfortable table, and I mean, comfortable blanket and pillows propping up, and supporting of the various body parts. The client is wearing loose comfortable clothing. There’s a lot of joint manipulation in Thai massage. A lot of stretching, a lot of supported, passive movement of the client’s body. It works to balance the different meridians in the body, so there’s a lot of two handed connectedness going on.
The practitioner and the client move together. The client will always be kind of moving around in this lunging, squatted position, to address the different areas of the body, that they’re focusing on.
One of the techniques that they use, is working with the feet to manipulate the different muscles, with added pressure of the feet. So, an example of that would be stepping on the client’s feet, and just distributing your weight evenly, slowly, shifting back and forth. And, creating a nice, slow, rhythmic movement. And a strong flow, it’s almost like a dance.
They use a lot of Yoga techniques in their treatment, as well. And that would be how to give a Thai massage.”
Here a short video by Melisa Brown where she demonstrates how to do a certain part of a Thai hand massage – the part that many people are not comfortable with, when the massage therapists “pops” your fingers – it’s when a massage therapists does that pulling movement on your finger that can often create this “cracking” sound.
Some people are worried whether this is healthy or not. It really is just the sound of small air bubbles in the synovial fluid of your finger joints. Synovial fluid is the liquid substance that lubricates your joints. This fluid is filled with gases like oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. What happens when a massage therapist – or you yourself – pull on your finger or toe joints in that certain way, is that your joint capsule gets stretched, and thus gas is rapidly released, and it thus creates bubbles. That’s what makes the sound.
If you want to crack your joints again, it will take some time until the gases returned to the synovial fluid.
Melisa here demonstrates how the finger joints are rotated and then quickly pulled. You might want to try this out yourself, but many people do not really like the feeling.