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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Thai Massage

At Art of Thai Massage & Spa, our goal is to educate the public about the many benefits of Thai massage. That is why we have gathered some of the most frequently asked questions about Thai massage and our other spa services. Can’t find the answer to your question? Get in touch with our team today! We would love to chat with you about our services.

What is a Thai massage?

Thai massage is often described as seeing your massage therapist, your acupuncturist, your chiropractor, with a yoga session included. A whole body Thai massage will incorporate all of these therapies to one degree or another. Where Swedish massage employs long, steady strokes, it is usually to encourage relaxation of the muscles. Thai massage uses the ‘sen’ or energy lines that run throughout the body. By application of thumb, palm, and forearm or elbow pressure, these lines are stimulated promoting balance within the body. The same reflexology points that are used in acupuncture are stimulated by massaging the feet. Passive stretching is a fundamental practice incorporated into Thai massage. These are often yoga-type stretches that increase joint mobility, increase circulation, and provide stretch to muscles that are tense and constricted.

Will it hurt?

No, it shouldn’t hurt. It’s important that you communicate with your therapist and indicate if the pressure is too soft or too hard. Some of the stretches may be unfamiliar to your body, relax and allow the stretch to be performed, it usually only lasts about 5 seconds.

What is hot stone therapy?

The stones that are used are not just rocks out of the garden; these are usually basalt, volcanic stones that will be smooth and retain heat. They are kept in the towel warming oven. They will need to be cooled before use, usually with running water, then there is usually something between your skin and the stones, until they cool sufficiently to be placed directly on the skin. You will be able to feel the warmth penetrate deep into the tissues. Several stones may be placed in one area of the body, while the therapist works on another area. This helps a great deal to relax the muscles and increase blood flow. The stones may also be stroked on the body, along the sen lines, promoting energy flow. Again, it’s always important to communicate if you feel the stones are too warm.

Are you registered massage therapists?

No, most of the therapists have been trained in Thailand and the level of training is not usually recognized by insurance companies; however, more and more frequently, Thai massage is being recognized as a specialty within the massage profession, so you should check with your insurance company.

What do you wear (or not wear) during a massage?

First, let’s look at the types of massages.

The Traditional Thai Massage is usually performed on a mat or mattress on the floor. We conduct this massage on a massage table and it is called Table Thai. With this style of massage, the customer changes into very loose-fitting pajama-style clothes that we provide for you. Obviously, because of the clothing, no oils or hot stones are used. The therapist will follow the sen lines and apply pressure with thumbs, palms, and elbows. This style of massage incorporates a great deal of stretching.

The Original Thai Massage, oil massage, aromatic oil massage, and body scrub usually are done with no clothing on. Ladies may remove all clothing except their panties, and men may remove everything, or keep their underpants on if they wish, whatever you are comfortable with. We want you to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible. Your body will be draped, and usually only the area that is being worked on is uncovered. The therapists are very adept at using the drape to ensure that breasts and genitals are covered.

A couple of sources for potential anxiety are:

Afraid that you will pass some gas. These are professional therapists and realize that these things can happen—not a big deal. Please don’t worry about it.

The other, gentlemen, is getting embarrassed if you demonstrate some ‘arousal’ to areas that you may not have been touched before. Again, this is just a normal body reaction and, if you don’t make a big deal out of it, neither will your therapist. That being said, your arousal does not give you permission to disrespect the training and experience that your therapist has accomplished.  Please do not ask for anything ‘special’, ‘extra’, or a ‘happy ending’. Your therapist will be within her rights to cancel the session and leave if she feels it’s necessary.

You are encouraged to use the washroom before your session starts, since some pressure may be applied low on your abdomen.

What is deep tissue massage, and why does it cost more?

As the name implies, this type of massage focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. In order to do this effectively, the therapist must first relax the outer layers of muscles. The ‘glutes’, or gluteus maximus muscles in the buttock, are part of a very complex engineering marvel. For us to walk upright, huge muscles attached to the hip and pelvis must work together. Often low back pain originates from these deeper layers of muscle attached to the pelvis. It costs a little bit more because it is hard work! Thai massage at the best of times is hard work, but deep tissue massage requires even more energy. This is where elbows, knees, or feet are used to exert pressure on the affected areas.