Traditional Thai massage is done with both the giver and the receiver of the massage fully clothed. The massage therapist does not use any tools – only her fingers, hands, knees, legs and feet. She also uses body weight to apply force and pressure to the receiver’s body. The treatment is done with the receiver lying down on her back on a padded massage mat instead of a table. A typical Thai massage is 60 minutes to two hours long.
To a casual observer, Thai massage appears to be painful and strenuous. If properly done, however, the receiver of a Thai massage treatment would not feel any pain afterwards. In fact, the treatment should leave him or her calm, relaxed, more centered and more alert.
Just like in most eastern healing practices, Thai massage makes use of pressure points, which are called sen in Thailand. Practitioners of Thai massage claim that there are 72,000 sen in the body, of which ten are on the highest priority when it comes to doing the massage. Applying pressure to these sen points unblocks the flow of energy and restores balance to the body. In the terms of conventional western medicine, Thai massage is supposed to increase the circulation of blood within the body and completely eliminate the toxins that cause pain and illness to the body.