The Awesome Effects Of Thai Yoga Massage

Are the stresses and strains of modern life weighing you down? Does your body feel tense and painful? Perhaps you want to get a massage, but don’t want to just lie on a table and let a therapist do all the work? Thai yoga massage could be the right treatment for you.

What is Thai yoga massage?

Thai yoga massage is an energetic form of bodywork that combines pressure, stretching, and repositioning to improve physical and emotional wellbeing. Practitioners believe that by stimulating the body’s natural energy pathways, they can relieve tension and pain.

In this video, you can see a Thai massage in action:


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Along with physical manipulation, some practitioners incorporate more subtle energy work. For example, some intentionally direct positive energy towards the client using their breath. Others may begin a therapy session with a few minutes of meditation.

What are the origins of Thai massage?

According to legend, Thai massage was first practiced by Shivago Komarpaj, the Buddha’s personal doctor. However, modern massage techniques are likely to represent a fusion of treatment styles that originated from multiple Asian countries.

Today, therapists can train in schools around the world. However, the Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School, which opened in 1955, is the most famous training center. Therapists do not follow a set procedure. Practitioners work with the same principles, but no two massages will be the same.

What are the different types of Thai massage?


A Royal Thai massage is based on classic Thai massage techniques that incorporate elements of Ayurvedic medicine and yogic practices. According to legend, this style was popular with Thai royalty thousands of years ago.

Practitioners use the body’s Sen lines as guidance. Using a range of strokes, pressure, and yoga positions, they aim to restore healthy energy flow. This approach is also known as Nuad Boran. A traditional Thai massage does not use oils or herbs.

Aromatherapy or “oil massage”

This is a softer form of Thai massage that provides a more relaxing treatment. The therapist applies essential oils to the client’s skin and applies pressure to the body’s energy lines using their fingers and palms. It requires the client to undress, with towels provided to protect their modesty.


Some practitioners apply warm packs of herbs, known as Pindas, during treatment. They help to warm the muscles in preparation for pressure and manipulation and improve circulation. Therapists also use Pindas to stimulate acupressure points.

What should you expect from a Thai massage session?

After taking your medical history, the therapist will ask you to put on a set of loose-fitting clothes. To begin, you will usually be asked to lie on your back. Your therapist will then stretch and massage your legs. This loosens your muscles and joints so that they are ready for the next stage. Treatment is traditionally carried out on a floor mattress, but some therapists use tables.

Once your body has been adequately warmed up, the therapist will then start moving your body into various yoga-style positions. Thai massage entails close contact with the therapist’s body as they use their weight to shift you around the floor or table. The therapist may literally climb on top of you, using both their hands and feet to apply pressure.

If you are receiving an oil massage, you will be asked to undress. The therapist will only expose your skin when they need to work on that particular area. If your treatment involves warm medicinal herb parcels, you should expect them to be placed directly onto your skin.

How much should you expect to pay?

A typical treatment lasts between one and two hours. You should expect to pay around $80-$100 per hour.

Find a Thai Yoga Massage near you (US)

What are the benefits of Thai massage?

1.Back pain relief

Thai massage is an effective remedy for both physical and emotional tension. A study published in Bodywork and Movement Therapies found it immediately reduces symptoms in people with back pain. Other research indicates that it significantly reduces pain and promotes mobility in older adults with osteoarthritis. It increases flexibility, helping people stay active into old age.

2. Stress relief and anxiety

Massage therapies in general are known to relieve stress, and Thai massage is no exception. Research shows that massage lowers feelings of depression and anxiety. Just one session can be enough to induce feelings of wellbeing. Thai massage calms the nervous system, making it a good choice for people prone to panic attacks and excessive worry.

3. Chronic fatigue and detox

According to Dr. Cathy Wong, Thai massage promotes blood flow and raises energy levels. Therefore, it is beneficial to anyone who suffers from chronic fatigue. It encourages lymphatic drainage, which in turn detoxifies the body and strengthens the immune system.

4. Digestive problems

Massage stimulates the digestive system, thereby improving IBS symptoms. It is particularly good for the relief of constipation. Practitioners believe that correcting energy blockages and imbalances helps the body absorb nutrients and eliminate waste.

Thai massage can even offer benefits to seriously ill people. A 2013 study showed that Thai aromatherapy massage improves immunity function in cancer patients. It works by increasing the number of white blood cells in the body which fight infections. This treatment also reduces the severity of side-effects associated with chemotherapy.

Thai yoga massage poses

Is Thai massage safe?

If your muscles or joints are stiff, Thai massage may feel uncomfortable at first. However, this does not mean it’s unsafe. As long as your therapist is suitably qualified and experienced, they will be able to adjust the treatment to suit your needs. Tell the therapist if you are in pain; although deep stretching might cause discomfort, massage should not hurt.

However, some people should not receive traditional Thai massage. People with osteoporosis, slipped discs, or cardiovascular disease may need to get medical clearance first. Always make sure you let them know of any health conditions or injuries prior to your first session.

If you are in the mood for an unusual, high-energy massage, why not try this relaxing yet dynamic form of bodywork? You will leave your session feeling refreshed, flexible, and ready to take on the world.


Carmen is an entrepreneur and content marketer. In a former life, as a corporate business executive, she relied on yoga, reflexology and other alternative practices to fight stress, anxiety and find balance. She’s on a mission to build healthy habits for a balanced, healthy life, connecting body, mind and spirit.