Thai yoga massage, also simply called Thai massage, is a 2,500-year-old Ayurvedic-based body science developed and popularized by Buddha's doctor, Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha. A trained Thai Yoga massage therapist stretches a person with specific, assisted yoga poses. The philosophy behind Thai yoga massage techniques focuses on energy points called "sen." As the Thai massage therapist stretches the participant, she also presses and massages along the sen lines or points.
Release of Muscular Tension
"Seattle Times" reporter Richard Seven highlights his own experience with Thai massage therapist Hiu-Hung "Grace" Phong. He reports his muscles stay loose days after a session. To achieve this result, the therapist presses knuckles, feet, hands, thumbs and fingers into specific points while holding the participant in a stretch. This combined effort relieves areas of muscular stress and tension. Techniques involve stretching myofascial tissue; acupressure; compression of tissue; and manipulation of soft tissue.
Thai yoga massage works in a similar way to regular yoga poses. As participants hold a pose, blood slows to targeted areas. When the yogi releases the pose, fresh circulation rushes back into the area. Twisting and inverted Thai yoga massage positions, such as plough, shoulder stand and spinal twist, are particularly effective in refreshing circulation. According to "Yoga Journal," inverted poses can help with lymphatic drainage, the return of blood to the heart and digestion.