“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.
Here is a video from a Francisco Aliwalas who got a Thai massage in some high-end spa in Bangkok.
This definitely is not a traditional Thai massage, but rather a modern mix of Thai massage with other kinds of massage styles. It nonetheless looks very pleasing and comfortable, and maybe adjusted to Western people’s taste.
You can see how the massage therapist uses oil and long relaxing strokes, as well as some acupressure and stretching and joint manipulation methods. Also a short segment of Thai herbal compresses – leaves, lemongrass, tumeric, tanaka and so on.
The woman – whom I suppose to be the owner of the spa – is explaining something about their massage treatment, and there is a funny segment towards the end where they talk about the myth that Thai massage is painful – which the woman quickly confirms.
She also talks about some benefits, like how the muscles will be loosened up, lympf drainage, the relaxation, blood circulation and so on.
Unfortunately, the name and address of the place are not revealed in the video, so I am kind of wondering what exactly the point is, other than being entertaining.
Here is a video that teaches about traditional Thai massage. The video is quite long – almost a quarter of an hour, and it goes through different positions and techniques of the ancient art of nuad phaen boran.
There are leg and back stretches and so much more. Of course, not every person that you massage will be as flexible as the woman in the video, so some techniques should be practiced with caution and you should make sure that the person feels comfortable and is safe.
There are many different kinds of Thai massage, and this one is most similar to the Northern style Thai massage.
There is a speaker commenting on the techniques demonstrated in English, and it makes it easier to follow along and understand how to practice the techniques correctly and what to pay particular attention too.