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Thai Foot Massage

Thai foot massage originated in China over 5000 years ago. Over the millennia many disciplines have been developed in Japan, India, Korea and other eastern countries. These various disciplines have been incorporated into what is now widely practised in Thailand as a foot massage and a traditional massage.

As Buddhism progressed through India and into other countries, the monks and doctors took with them those practises that had proved successful. In this way, Ayurveda was integrated into many cultures. Finding its way into Southeast Asia, the monks developed the treatments as indigenous medicine.

While most western massage practises focus on tissue manipulation and working of the muscles and joints, Thai massage barely touches on these, being more a manipulation of pressure points, energy lines and basic body forces. Together these produce a highly therapeutic effect.

Thailand is situated along the great trade route between India and China. Its history and culture, along with its medicine, is affected by its location. While Thai massage appears to have its roots in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, there has been some research which suggests the terminology used is more akin to Ayurveda, possibly indicating more of an alliance with India.

This, therefore, explains why it is closely linked to the Buddhist philosophy, and sits easily with all Ayurvedic principles and lifestyle.
Benefits of the massage
  • Improved Circulation and Toxin Release
  • Accelerated Physical Healing
  • Stimulation of Lymphatic Drainage
  • Boost of Immune System

  • Improvement of Flexibility
  • Reduction of Stiffness
  • Relief from Stress
  • Improved Sleep Patterns

There is some evidence to suggest that those suffering from dysfunction of the Nervous System - Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and Cerebral Palsy - may benefit from this massage as it is lighter than traditional massage, with the same results.

How does it work?
It involves massage of the lower legs as well as the feet, and this is carried out using both the hands and a “Thai Stick”. The stick is used to stimulate specific points, and is shaped to have a small point at one end and a large curve at the other.

The therapist first carries out a traditional massage of the feet and legs to open up Sen lines (energies). The stick is used to specifically target and stimulate reflex points leading to the organs of the body. In Ayurveda these are known as “Marma” points. This form of stimulation promotes general health and well-being.
Sen lines
Pressure points are thought to be areas along “energy lines” which route through all parts of the body. In Thailand energy lines are called Sen lines, which correspond to the Meridians of Chinese Medicine and the Nadi of Indian yogic tradition.

It is believed that there are 72,000 Sen lines, while ten are considered to be principal ones. By focussing on these ten Sen lines we work on Reflex/Pressure points on the feet which lead to various internal organs, through which life energy (pran, Chi or Qi) flows. It is believed that blockages within the flow will result in pain, illness and dis-ease. By working along these lines with pressure, and by stretching, blocked energy can be released and functions balanced.

As in Reflexology, the entire body can be covered through the various meridians in the feet, allowing the client to experience the benefits of a body massage while being fully dressed apart from the lower legs.
Contra Indications
  • Fever, high temperature, acute infection
  • Fungal infections, high/low blood pressure
  • Thrombosis, varicose veins
  • Cancer, compromised immune system
  • Recent scar tissue
  • Inflammation, oedema

Note: Diabetics can be treated but clients should have their blood glucose meter with them and insulin if used, as there is a possibility of lowering their levels with the treatment.

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