thai massage

Table of Contents

What is Thai Massage?

Thai Massage or Thai Yoga Massage is a full body massage that is a fusion of yoga, acupressure, and energy therapy. It finds its roots in Thailand and draws from Chinese and Indian medical practices as well as traditional Buddhism.

Thai Massage uses passive stretching, assisted yoga, and application of pressure along energy channels. The primary purpose of Thai Massage is to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.

What Should I Expect From Thai Massage?

A Thai Massage is usually 60 minutes to two hours long. Compared to more relaxing massages, a Thai yoga massage is more intense, and may not be for everyone. The treatment involves the therapist using their entire body to guide you into various positions and stretches. This is quite different from other massages in which therapists only use their hands and elbows to work on your muscles. This type of “assisted yoga” is sometimes deemed “lazy man’s yoga” and is usually completed on a padded mat on the floor.

How is Thai Massage Performed?

Unlike with other massages that rub and knead muscles, Thai massage techniques will mostly include pulling, stretching, pushing, compressing, and rocking the body. Your therapist will move you into a series of yoga-like positions, while increasing the intensity of specific stretches. One of the most well-known techniques involves the therapist kneeling on the back of your legs and pulling your arms back to open your chest and arch your back.

There are many distinct styles or variations of Thai yoga massage. The “southern style” is characterized as being intense and vigorous, while the “northern style” is more gentle and slow. Additionally, in Thailand, there are treatment variations such as the “royal” massage and the “commoner” massage. The royal-style is meant to show respect to the bodies of Thai royalty. This means that feet are not used, and the physical contact between the bodies of the therapist and the client is lessened. In contrast, the commoner-style is not as strict about contact and more positions and techniques can be performed.

There is no single sequence or set of techniques used for Thai massages. Each massage will vary depending on the client and the therapist. A sample routine, though, might start with warming up certain areas of the body through acupressure, then move on to working on joints, and end with stretching the body in yoga-like positions. Therapists will often begin working on the feet and continue their way up the body.


You will remain fully clothed and may have to change into a looser outfit provided to make it easier for the various stretches and positions. This is great for those who are not comfortable with nudity when getting massages. 


Applying pressure to joint and muscle adhesions or muscles “knots” may cause some discomfort, however, this is perfectly normal.

If the pain becomes too sharp and unbearable, this may be the result of excessive or inept stretching or application of pressure. It’s important to talk to your therapist about your level of tolerance for pain so that they can adjust accordingly.

What are the Benefits of Thai Massage?

Being rooted in Asian spiritual traditions, the main benefit of Thai massage therapy is to promote spiritual healing and bring balance to the flow of energy throughout the body.

It also has physical benefits, which include:

  • Relieving headaches and nausea
  • Alleviating nasal problems like sinusitis
  • Helping with respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis
  • Soothing muscle and joint stiffness and pain
  • Enhancing flexibility and mobility
  • Improving balance
  • Easing back pain
  • Improving posture and body alignment
  • Alleviating bladder problems
  • Improving circulation

Some overall wellness benefits include:

  • Reducing stress levels
  • Improving the quality of sleep 
  • Boosting mental relaxation
  • Promoting mindfulness
derek owens bNFbF6lfP7k unsplash

When Should I Avoid Thai Massage?

If you have existing health conditions, check with your doctor first to ensure there are no potential complications from this type of therapy. 

The following individuals should avoid receiving a Thai massage:

  • Recently had or still recovering from surgery
  • Recently had or currently undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments
  • Have fresh or open wounds, inflamed or bruised skin, or skin rashes
  • Have disk herniation or osteoporosis
  • Have recent fractures
  • Have heart diseases
  • Have abdominal hernia
  • Are prone to blood clots
  • Are pregnant

How Do I Book a Thai Massage Near Me?

Feeling adventurous and think you’re up for a Thai yoga massage? Search through our list of great massage therapists in your area for immediate results.