Thai Massage Techniques & Benefits

Published on: 12/31/23 | Category: 
thai massage techniques benefits

Thai massage is a unique and specialized form of healing massage, rooted in medicinal and healing modalities that are thousands of years old. While most Bay Area clients are familiar with Western-style Swedish and deep-tissue massage methods, more and more people are turning to Thai massages as a more holistic alternative.

If you’re interested in experiencing a Thai Massage, always seek out a highly qualified and experienced masseuse. Verify they hold active certifications from recognized Thai massage institutions, such as Certified Thai Therapist (CTT) or Thai Healing Alliance International (THAI) practitioner. This supports the integrity of their training and expertise. 

Fundamental Thai Massage Techniques

Once you find a qualified Thai masseuse, it’s good to be prepared for how the massage differs from traditional Western massage styles. Thai massage incorporates ancient medicinal and healing wisdom from China and India. As a result, our licensed massages attune to the energetic pathways and pressure points throughout our clients’ bodies. 

What are known as meridians in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are called “sen” or “sen lines.” So, in addition to massaging the muscles and working out musculoskeletal tension or sore places in our clients’ bodies, we pay close attention to how energy flows along their sen lines. Then, depending on what we notice, we use special techniques to free blocked pathways, encourage healthy energy and blood flow, and - of course - to address any specific physical ailments clients may have.

Some fundamental Thai massage techniques include:

Having clients wear comfortable clothing (like what you’d wear for Yoga)

While not precisely a Thai massage technique, one thing that is very different about Thai massage is that clients are massaged fully clothed rather than naked or in undergarments. This allows us to manipulate their limbs without invading their privacy. 

As you’ll learn by reading the techniques below, this type of massage is very interactive and requires a significant amount of passive physical activity (meaning the masseuse does most of the physical action, and clients are manipulated while keeping their muscles and joints relaxed and fluid). Having clothes on is more comfortable for all. 

Massaging clients on a mat on the ground (rather than a massage table)

Another thing that separates Thai massage techniques is that they’re all administered on a mat on the ground, rather than a massage table. There are several benefits to this. 


The human body fares best when it is literally grounded - meaning in contact with the earth. Multiple studies cite the benefits of connecting physically with the ground, many of which are the same benefits associated with Thai massage (pain relief, reduced stress, improved sleep, etc.). Clients who lie on mats directly in contact with the floor reap double the healing benefits.


The combination of gravity and the ground’s solidity provides better stability and resistance during the massage process. We utilize this resistance to deepen pressure or stabilize stretches and postures.


Again, the interactive nature of Thai massages, which include pushing, pulling, stretching, rolling, and changes in position, require a stable environment. Being on the ground - rather than a table - ensures you feel safe and secure throughout the massage, while the practitioner has plenty of stability from which to maneuver.

Familiar elements of massage

There are plenty of similarities between Thai and Swedish or deep tissue massage techniques. We also use:

  • Pressure - using palms, thumbs, knuckles, fists, and even our elbows, forearms or feet.
  • Circular and linear massage movements.
  • Both moving and static pressure - the latter most often used for knots or to release stuck pressure points.

In this way, Thai massages use the same types of techniques as Western massage. However, because we manipulate the whole body, we’re able to access and influence a broader range of muscle groups and joints.

Stretching and posture changes

You’ll experience your massage lying face down (prone), lying face-up (supine), and sitting or lying on your side. From these various positions, we’ll manipulate relaxed limbs into a Yoga posture (part of the ancient Indian healing arts we mentioned before). 

This includes:

  • Torso and shoulder stretches.
  • Folded leg knee press.
  • Assisted backbends.
  • Anterior leg elbow presses. 
  • Posterior leg foot press.
  • Torso twists, applying gentle pressure to loosen a tight spine and the hips.

These stretches are all done very gently and with respect to a client’s limitations and comfort.

By manipulating your limbs, you can free up more energy and unwind/work out tense muscles and stiff joints in deeper and more three-dimensional ways than if you simply lay down flat in the same position. You’ll be more relaxed and flexible than when you arrived.


Part of the stretching techniques we use also include pulling. By pulling the joints and releasing them again, a pumping action takes place. This increases the flow of blood and lymphatic fluids, energizing the sen lines - and the body as a whole.


We often rock clients' extremities or their bodies back and forth in different positions. Gentle and rhythmic rocking soothes an overactive nervous system, increasing relaxation. It also encourages more movement in circulation, energy, and muscle/connective tissue fibers.

Benefits Of Thai Massage

Thai massage provides the same benefits provided by Swedish and deep tissue massage, as well as those promoted by acupressure or acupuncture sessions. Some of the most common benefits, proven via scientific study, include:

  • Relief from joint pressure and muscular pain.
  • Reduced headaches.
  • Stress relief.
  • Improved immune system function.
  • Reduced back, neck, and shoulder pain.
  • Boosted energy.
  • Energy rejuvenation.

However, Thai massage also has the added benefit of increased flexibility, especially when clients make sessions a regular part of their self-care routine.

Unlock Your Body’s Optimal Self By Scheduling A Chetawan Thai Massage

Are you ready to bid farewell to joint stiffness and muscle discomfort? Would you like to reduce stress, sleep better, and make relaxation your set point? This and much more are possible by scheduling a Thai massage session with Chetawan. We look forward to being part of your personal path to wellness.