Chair Massage as currently known in the West has its beginning in the 1980s. Since then, massage sessions done on a special massage chair (often a portable chair) have become a sought-after massage treatment modality used within companies and offices, but also in spas, health salons, shopping malls or at the airports, for instance, to get some quick stress-relief or to fill in slack time.
A Chair Massage session is carried out without oils and it usually doesn’t take too much time, say, about fifteen minutes to half an hour. It’s seen as an excellent way to reduce stress and improve well-being. Moreover, it can be easily integrated in the working day and at the office, on-site, or anywhere where people wait or pass-by.
In past years, Thai Chair Massage (Chair Thai or Chair Thai Massage), like Table Thai Massage, has seen an increasing popularity in Western countries. Chair Thai Massage is an adaption of Thai Massage techniques for the chair. Typically the back of the receiver is massaged, but also the shoulders, neck, head, arms and hands.
Thai Massage done on a chair is not entirely new though. Thai Foot Massages, for instance, are commonly given with the client sitting on a chair and the sessions are extended to the legs, neck, head and shoulders. The chairs used in Thailand however are more like sofa-like chairs and not the typical portable massage chairs used in the West.
Then, of course, we have the popular seated Thai Head, Neck and Shoulder Massage, which are given virtually everywhere in Thailand, notably on the streets, at the markets and in the malls.
Furthermore, seated Thai Massage is not uncommon at all; it’s part of a normal Thai Massage floor-mat routine where the client receives the session in a variety of positions, such as lying on the back (supine position), on the stomach (prone position), lying on the sides, and while sitting.
Nevertheless, in Thailand, Chair Massage (in the form as given in the West on a portable massage chair) is a rare treatment modality. Trainings are even more seldom. It’s not so strange though, because Thai Massage is a Full Body Massage and traditionally done on a mat on the floor.
Today, there are some Thai Massage schools in Thailand that offer Thai Chair Massage courses and workshops. In the West however, training offerings of Thai Chair Massage are much more common.