Starting a Thai Massage Session | Body Parts and Client Position

Edited by: Marce Ferreira | Published: Jul 24, 2013 | Updated: Mar 11, 2022

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How to Do a Thai Massage Treatment Session?

When I was still teaching Thai Massage, students often asked me “How to start with 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 were asked about what (client) position to start with: prone, supine, side, or sitting?

When it comes to (ancient) Southern Thai style, one would start with working on the abdomen (and thus supine/face up) because all energy lines (the Sen) have their beginnings around the navel. It would mean starting a session in the traditional way, one would start with opening the lines.

In the North of Thailand one would usually start with the feet and legs. This had historical motives; the Thai people would work in the mountainous areas of the North, walking and climbing a lot, and got tired feet and legs.

But over time things have changed. Nowadays one can start with the head, back or legs or feet, in sitting or supine position, or whatever a specific Thai Massage school teaches. And this applies to both Northern and Southern style Thai Massage.

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There are many other options though. Still. Or again. Or despite of. For instance, some therapists would always start with the client in prone position (face down) and work on the back first, others start in the side position, and so on. Generally, there are no strict rules really nowadays. Only opinions. Ideas. Certain principles applied.

There are a variety of reasons for starting with some specific body part or in a 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. Today, it all depends.

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. Adaption and intuition… whatever exactly that may be.


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