Thai Massage originated in Buddhist temples and was used as a way to assist the monks
in being able to sit for long hours of meditation. Thai massage is influenced by the
traditional medicine systems of India, China, and Southeast Asia, as well as by yoga.
There is considerable variation from region to region, and no single routine or theoretical
framework that is universally accepted among healers.
The focus is to balance the energy of the recipient. The massage recipient wears loose,
comfortable clothes and lies on a mat on the floor or on a massage table. The receiver
may be positioned in a variety of yoga-like positions during the course of the massage,
but deep static and rhythmic pressures form the core of the massage. The massage
generally follows designated lines (Sen) in the body. Legs and feet of the giver 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, and manipulating the
recipientís 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.
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