Thai Massage became famous mostly because of the many yoga-like stretches that are part of the system. These are indeed quite unique, effective and helpful. What is less known, but equally important is that Thai Massage can be done without stretching as well.
There are many elements in this system, and stretches are just one of them. There are different ‘modes’:
- The yoga-like stretch mode
- The therapeutic mode
- The relaxation mode
Of course, there is no strict separation between these modes, and they can be blended in one session. For example you could end a rather intense session with gentle relaxation work, or you can alternate between strong techniques and relaxing techniques. But one of these modes can be emphasized in a session if the situation calls for it:
- If your client is a yogi who enjoys intense stretching – that can be done
- If your client is someone who has a shoulder problem, you can focus mostly on therapeutic shoulder work
- If your client likes gentle work and loves drifting off into a deeply relaxed state, this can be done with Thai Massage as well
Thai Massage is a very flexible system with many applications. It is possible to do most of a session in stretch-mode, and it is also possible to do an entire session without any stretches at all. When would you do that?
Let’s imagine you are working on an elderly client who had a fairly recent operation or who has osteoporosis and cannot handle much pressure. This would call for a very gentle session, for example.
The question is how you can do that and what techniques you would use for such a session. The following video will give you some ideas about non-stretch techniques.
There are hundreds of techniques in Thai Massage. To learn more about them, check out our convenient and effective online training programs:
The author, Shama Kern, is the founder and director of Thai Healing Massage Academy. He has been practicing and teaching Thai Massage for 18 years, and he is the creator of 20 Thai Massage online training courses.