Thai massage is a massage system of manipulation developed in Thailand, and influenced by the traditional medicine systems of India, China, and Southeast Asia, as well as by yoga.
The person receiving the massage lies on a floor mat dressed in loose clothes. It can be done solo or in a group of a dozen or so patients in the same large room. One may be positioned in a variety of yoga-like positions the massage with strong static and rhythmic pressures being used throughout the session.
The masseuse leans on the recipient’s body using hands and usually straight forearms nearly locked at the elbow to apply firm rhythmic pressure. The massage generally follows designated lines (Sen) in the body. Legs and feet of the masseuse can be used to fixate the body or limbs of the recipient. In other positions, hands fixate the body, while the feet do the massaging action.
A full Thai massage session typically lasts two hours or more, and includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body; this may include pulling fingers, toes, ears, cracking the knuckles, walking on the recipient’s back, and manipulating the recipients body into many different positions. There is a standard procedure and rhythm to the massage, which the practitioner will adjust to fit each individual client.