To understand the WHAI or the WHY, of a Thai Massage, you need to know the WHAT.
Thai Massage is similar yet different from other massage therapies. Thai Massage is about the balance and harmony of your body and your spirit.
What you wear during a Thai Massage is totally different from anything you have previously experienced. Thai Massage is about increasing flexibility and range-of-motion and therefore nothing should restrict your ability to move in any direction.
Since there is no cover-towel in Thai Massage, you will feel more comfortable wearing garments that cover most of your body. The classic Thai attire is a traditional loose-fitting oriental-style top with billowing bottoms. What if you do not have appropriate Thai attire? At Acqualina Spa by ESPA you may ask the spa receptionist for a set of unique Thai Attire, at no charge, for your personal use during your Thai Massage.
These feather-light, sustainable bamboo-fabric garments are made especially for Acqualina Spa by ESPA by women weavers working in small factories in their native Thai village. This work provides an additional source of income for their family while providing a comfortable covering that you can barely feel on your body. These Thai Attire sets are laundered in-house after each use.
Now that you are dressed for the occasion, what can you expect? The special Thai Massage Room is more spacious than a typical massage therapy room. It is dimly lit with soft, calming music in the background that can be adjusted to your personal taste. There is a comfortable lounge chair for your pre-service consultation and on the floor, in the center of the room, is a traditional large tufted Thai mat.
Once you are comfortably positioned on the traditional Thai mat the therapist will briefly meditate and say a quiet prayer to be in the proper mental frame of mind in order to help you achieve a higher state of balance and harmony.
In Thai Massage you are passive the entire time. There is no kneading or longitudinal squeezing or twisting of your muscles. There are no essential oils, lotions or balms placed on your skin. It is just you and the therapist. Think of Thai Massage as assisted yoga. The therapist guides you to those yoga poses that you cannot reach un-assisted. When it is over you will feel like a Yoga Master.
First, your muscles must be prepared for stretching. This is done with compression of the muscle groups and the pressure points along your body’s Zen energy lines. These are similar to the meridians in acupuncture, but unlike acupuncture, in Thai Massage there are no needles or penetration of the skin. Thai Massage is totally noninvasive.
The therapist then guides your body through different controlled stretches to increase your flexibility and range-of-motion. To achieve and maintain balance and harmony each series of stretches is performed to the right then the left, upward then downward, outward then inward, frontward then backward. To move your body into the different stretches the therapist uses his or her own body in opposition to your body to increase their leverage, power and control striving for balance and harmony. Tea will be offered at the end of your Thai Massage. A calming end to an invigorating session.
When you finish your Thai Massage, not only will you feel a few inches taller, you will feel like you are walking on air.
By Miles E. Kuttler