I cannot even remember how often I received a Thai Massage in Thailand, and the therapist told me to lie in a certain position, like prone (face down) or on my side without any regard to my comfort.
The Thai Massage therapists here assume that you can lie face down for an extended period of time with your head turned to the side at a 90-degree angle.
Unless you have a very flexible neck, this can feel quite uncomfortable. There are several positions in Thai Massage where you really have to support your client’s bodies properly in order to ensure that they can relax. These are the prone, side, and sitting positions.
In this episode of the Thai Massage ‘Tips and Tricks’ series, you will see how you can simulate a face cradle while working on a floor mat with the client lying face down.
In Thailand, and in Asia in general, people are often more flexible, and they are more accustomed to sitting on a floor mat or lying on one.
However, people from western countries rarely sit on the floor or lie on a firm floor mat. They do not necessarily find these positions as comfortable or normal as Asians do.
However, with the help of some pillow support we can easily turn a potentially uncomfortable Thai Massage position into a very comfortable one.
It takes just a small adjustment, but this will make a big difference in the comfort of your clients.
If you want to see how to make such a pillow support adjustment for the side position in Thai Massage, you will find a video here.
If you would like to watch more videos in the ‘Thai Massage Tips And Tricks’ series, you can find them all HERE.
Visit Thai Healing Massage Academy’s online training library with 20 Thai Massage courses for all your training needs and all levels of skills.
The author, Shama Kern, has been practicing and teaching Thai Massage for over two decades. He is the founder of Thai Healing Massage Academy and the creator of 20 Thai Massage online training courses.
23 thoughts on “Tips And Tricks For Learning Thai Massage Part 1”
Greatly appreciate your tips and tricks !!!! Where should I get these pillows? They need to have good support stuffings. Especially for the forehead,what do you call this head pillow.
Yolanda I bought these pillows here in Thailand. What I used for ankle support is a typical Thai style pillow. The small head pillow is sold here in shops where they do vinyl covering for massage mats and pillows. Depending on where in the world you are located, you might have to be a little creative to find something similar. For example you could replace the head pillow with a folded blanket or find a piece of firm foam which you can cover with a small towel.
Very good, especially for clients with stiff ankle joints! Thank you!
I often turn the belly pillow parallel with my body when recieviing Thai Massage because I like to place my arms along side my body as I often change my arms while prone. I like the split pillows for the feet so the therapist can get thier body in. Always a pleasure to watch Shama’s videos, because he truly is a Master practitioner & master teacher as well!
Thanks Brenda, I appreciate your kind comment.
Yes, turning the pillow parallel can work very well, especially when working on the upper body.
Thank you, I have been doing Thai for a few years and its always nice to see little things that you can add to your work to help the client and the movement of the massage.
Thanks Heather, I am glad you got something out of my video!
Hi Shama, working on module 6, leg warmups and found these tips via an email received this morning. Thank you so much for this, setting a comfortable position for working is so important, loving this learning. thanks again
Thanks Lynne, I appreciate your comment. I am glad you are in my Thai Massage training program!
Thanks for sharing this tip, Shama. Those support pillows look really comfortable. What a great way to help our clients feel more comfortable and enjoy their sessions even more. This information takes it to a higher level of comfort.
Little things like that can make a real difference in a Thai Massage session.
Thank You!! I order a Thai mat and set from Massage Warehouse and it came with a bunch of pillows, bolster, and I was wondering what to do with them. I am a massage student and am taking my last hands on class which is Thai. I really thought I would not like Thai, I thought how the heck am I going to be able to crawl around on a mat and stretch clients out?? BOY was I wrong!! I LOVE Thai, I cannot believe how much I really enjoy it. I would have to say it is my favorite!! I actually found your site when I was doing research for my paper. Thank you so much!!
Hi Sarah, that’s great that you came to love Thai Massage. For me it is the massage system with the most flexibility and variety of techniques I have ever seen. And it has very effective energetic components which make it quite different from western massage.
Did you see that there are more uses for pillows in this video: https://thaihealingmassage.com/thai-massage-tips-and-tricks-part-2/
I hope you will enjoy the many resources on this site.
This is so wonderful!
So brilliant, we use this method to teach Swan in Pilates and urdhva mukha ( Up Dog) for people with back, neck or shoulder problems. I am so excited about learning from you Shama
Since Thai Massage comes out of the yoga system, you will find many similarities while you are going through the course. It is a perfect fit with yoga.
Every tourist have to try a thai massage! ne of the best thigs to do in Thailand.
relax and enjoy
this is very valuable information and very much appreciated.
Have an awesome day
Thanks Irmela, I appreciate your input!
Thank you Shama!! After my graduation in thai yoga massage, I am finding your tricks really useful and interesting!
Hi Luca, I am happy to hear that this video is helpful for you! 🙂
I’m studying your Rocking Thai Massage techniques now and virtually ALL my clients enjoy the movements whether they are on the mat or table, having deep tissue or even Swedish; I have even incorporated them into reflexology sessions. I appreciate your offering these postural tips for us to try as the lament most often heard on my mat or table after my request for a client to roll over is, “Ah…..do I have to????” Ha! Perhaps now it won’t seem like such a big interruption. Thanks for your generous spirit.
Thanks Ann, I am so glad to hear that! 🙂