Thai Yam Khang, Thai Fire Therapy or Thai Fire Barefoot Massage is an ancient Northern Lanna style Thai healing modality that uses heat, oils, and solely the feet to massage the body of the patient.
The goal of the treatment is to help relieve the patient from muscle, tendon, joint and bone pain, as well as numbness and paralysis, while working the Energy Lines or Thai Sen .
The therapist generally uses two oils – sesame and so-called plai oil mixed with herbs – dipping the foot in them and heating the foot on a metal/iron blade cover of a charcoal-fired metal bucket.
With his hot foot the therapist treats the patient, meanwhile using a wooden stick to keep his or her balance. When the foot gets cold, the process of dipping and heating is repeated.
Sometimes the heat of the iron plate can be so hot that when the masseur slides the foot over it, the soaked foot explodes in a loud hissing sound accompanied with a fireball.
The patient lies down on a mat with most parts of the body uncovered and a session can easily take up to an hour.