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Thai Massage

A good massage can feel like a long, relaxing stretch. The Thai massage actually combines deep tissue massage with yoga-like stretching.

Is it normal to walk on the back in Thai massage?

Deborah Gilmore (Golden, CO) on Nov 16, 2011
Yes, as long as the therapist weighs less than you.
Krystina Morris (Louisville, GA) on Nov 16, 2011
The massage practitioner leans on the recipient's body using hands and straight forearms locked at the elbow to apply firm rhythmic pressure. The massage generally follows the Sen lines on the body. Sen lines somewhat analogous to meridians or Channel (Chinese medicine) and Indian nadis. Legs and feet of the giver can be used to fixate the body or limbs of the recipient. In other positions, hands fixate the body, while the feet do the massaging action. A full Thai massage session typically lasts two hours or more, and includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body; this may include pulling fingers, toes, ears, cracking the knuckles, walking on the recipient's back, and arching the recipient into bhujangasana (cobra position). There is a standard procedure and rhythm to this massage.
Julie LaFrano (Breckenridge, CO) on Nov 16, 2011
I do not believe Thai massage involves "walking" on the back. No massage technique involves "walking" on the back.
Sandy Rabolli (Coral Springs, FL) on Nov 16, 2011
I did not find that walking on the back a common Thai practice. I lived in Chang Mai and studied Thai massage over there. Only once did anyone walk on my back. and it felt pretty good. If you do not want your therapist to use feet, make this clear in advance just in case.
Jonathan Liem (Monrovia, CA) on Nov 16, 2011
In some instances, yes. The bigger question: what are you looking to get from a Thai massage? An interesting experience? Pain relief? Using the feet in massage has been around for a long time - and since Thai is usually done on a mat on the floor, it is easy to manage weight and pressure. Personally, I haven't found a Thai massage that I liked yet. It is literally like yoga being done TO you. Thai massage is based on the Thai concept of energy lines. It holds that by stretching these energy lines, you can restore balance and health to the body. Thai massage was never really designed for just relaxation, but as an ancient medical treatment. So keep that in mind if you're considering getting one.
Mark Carlson (Costa Mesa, CA) on Nov 16, 2011
No.
Joe Lavin (Kirkland, WA) on Nov 16, 2011
I would say that it would not surprise me to have a Thai Massage practitioner walk on my back, but I do not think that it is the defining characteristic of western or traditional Thai massage. The Ashiatsu modality is best know for walking on the back and using the feet for just about everything else as well.
Joe Lavin (Seattle, WA) on Nov 16, 2011
I would say that it would not surprise me to have a Thai Massage practitioner walk on my back, but I do not think that it is the defining characteristic of western or traditional Thai massage. The Ashiatsu modality is best know for walking on the back and using the feet for just about everything else as well.
Dorothy Adams (Akron, OH) on Nov 16, 2011
Yes.
Russell Fox (Tampa, FL) on Nov 16, 2011
There are the more advanced techniques that have the therapist placing both feet on the client with all of their weight, but in my case I would be hesitant to do that due to my weight and size. The practitioner would also have to take into account the client's tolerance of the weight. As with any other modality, there are areas where the pressure would be contraindicated: above the kidneys, along the spine, pelvic area and obviously, the neck. In my practice I will, at most, put a single foot on the client to provide broad pressure to safe and specific areas.
Keith Dougherty (, ) on Nov 16, 2011
No. Someone is being creative. While the feet are used at various times, they're never both standing on your back.
Amy Middleton (Salt Lake City, UT) on Nov 16, 2011
Yes. In Thai massage, the therapist often uses feet, knees, elbows and forearms, etc. However, if you are uncomfortable or there is an area you don't want worked, be sure to communicate that to your therapist. The treatment is for your benefit, so you should never be uncomfortable.
Bharat Kalra (Wheaton, IL) on Dec 30, 2011
Yes
Peter Proto (Meriden, CT) on Dec 30, 2011
don't know
Brian Wah (Herndon, VA) on Dec 10, 2011
Some do. There is no "normal" there is what's appropriate and the skill level of your practitioner.
Carin Piacente (Putnam Valley, NY) on Nov 28, 2011
Yes it is. That is what makes Thai massage so unique.
Jennie Mison (Philadelphia, PA) on Nov 20, 2011
Yes.