Thai massage is an ancient form of bodywork with deep roots in Ayurveda and yoga. Also known as Thai yoga massage and lazy man's yoga, Thai massage addresses the whole person through therapeutic techniques for muscles and connective tissues, stretching, energy work, acupressure, reflexology, and other methods, resulting in deep relaxation and healing.
Like western forms of massage, Thai massage aids relaxation, decreases stress, increases circulation, and releases tight muscles. Sessions can be therapeutic, targeting specific areas of pain or discomfort, or sessions can focus on overall relaxation. Also as in western massage, the depth of work can vary as desired, with techniques for deep tissue massage and myofascial release, as well as for gentler pressure.
Thai massage differs from western massage in several significant ways:
The receiver remains fully clothed; comfortable exercise-type clothes work best.
Since the work is done over clothing, oils and lotions are not used except possibly on the neck.
The massage is done on a futon-like mat on the floor instead of on a table. The mat, along with clothing, permit better access to certain muscles and allow for passive stretching in a variety of positions.
Of great importance, Thai massage is designed to work with "sen" lines, which represent the Thai understanding of the flows of energy in the body, much like meridians in Chinese medicine and nadis in Ayurveda.
Thai herbal compress therapy, called “Luk Pra Kob,” can be used throughout a session. The hot compresses contain herbs believed to be anti-inflammatory and analgesic, calming and relaxing the muscles and the nervous system. As a result, deeper pressure can be applied.
Finally, a hallmark of Thai massage is passive stretching. The massage therapist places the receiver in various positions that recall yoga poses. These positions help open the body. From those positions, the therapist can facilitate stretching or apply massage techniques such as compression. The receiver need not be flexible or have any yoga experience. Indeed, those who lack flexibility can benefit greatly from Thai massage precisely because of its unique use of stretching combined with other techniques.
Susan recommends scheduling a 90-minute session. This length of time allows for both full body work that addresses the entire being as well as extra attention to specific areas of pain, tightness, or discomfort. A two-hour session can be even more effective. A 60-minute session or a 60-minute Thai foot reflexology massage, focusing solely on the feet and lower legs, also also are options.
For your session, please wear comfortable exercise-type clothing and avoid eating immediately (or preferably two or more hours) before the session.
Call or email for more information or to schedule an appointment, or make an appointment online at Schedule an Appointment.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
"Susan is very knowledgeable and resourceful. She is skilled in Thai massage, Tibetan Cranial, Ayurveda and much more. She has helped me countless times with pain, especially neck pain and tightness. Her methods of practice are precise and purposeful, whether she is dealing with a soft tissue or gut health, she always explains to you what the plan of action is and why. I'm grateful for Susan as she has been a vital resource in my health and well-being."
Photo: Zoo Lights, by Jon Bernhardt