Quite often, students ask me “How to start a Thai Massage session?”
As in where to start with massaging the body. Is it the abdomen, the feet, legs, head, or the back? And questions arise about what position to start with: prone, supine, side, or sitting?
When it comes to the Bangkok tradition, one would start working the abdomen (and thus supine/face up) because all energy lines (the Sen) have their beginnings around the navel. It would mean opening a session in the traditional way, meaning one would start with— opening the lines.
But over time things have changed. Nowadays one would usually learn to start with the legs or feet (in supine position). And this applies to both Northern and Southern style Thai Massage.
Nevertheless, there are certainly other options. Still. Or again. Or despite of. For instance, some practitioners would always start in prone position (face down) or side position and/or with the feet, or with the back, and so on.
Generally seen, there are no strict rules really nowadays. Only opinions. Ideas. Certain principles applied.
There are many different reasons possible for starting with some specific body part and/or in some specific position: cultural reasons, environmental reasons, practical reasons, medical, biological, spiritual, and traditional reasons and yes— even commercial ones.
Well—I suppose it’s all fine and justifiable. There are reasons/motives and most often they’re more or less valid, of course all of them depending on circumstances.
As for me—it depends on my mood, on my client, on all the above and on—I don’t always really know. I just choose an opening and give a session. A specific, adapted one. Just as I feel to do. Just what I think the receiver needs at that particular moment.
That’s it. No rules, no reasons. Just sense. And intuition (whatever that may be).