Thai massage is a unique, potent and integrative approach to massage which combines a diverse variety of techniques and methods woven toghether according to individual need including:
- A variety of warming, stimulating and calming massage techniques.
- Deep tissue massage techniques either through light clothes or directly on the skin with balms.
- Joint mobilisations and stretches.
- Heated herbal compresses.
- Heating or cooling balms.
- I also integrate some ideas from Sports/remedial massage when helpful such as MET ( muscle energy techniques) and other deep tissue techniques. The combination of Eastern and Western ideas can be a winning combination. See Sport/Remedial Massage for more info.
It could be quite dynamic utilising a variety of movement and stretches, or very quiet with a focus on one or two main areas of need using more long hold compression and acupressure techniques. It's carried out on a futon mattress with pillow supports and usually through light loose clothes that can be lifted at times to rub and massage balms into the skin. As well as being beneficial for many aches and pains and misalignments, the deep relaxation induced by Thai massage can be deeply relieving, restful, and healing. All of this is informed by a concious and attentive touch.
Thai Massage Treatment Times
Due to the slow unhurried and thorough nature of Thai massage, treatments are longer than some massage forms. I believe in the old unhurried way as being the most therapeutically effective as far as is possible, so I try to practice in that spirit offering treatments from 75 minutes up to 3 hours ( See opposite for costs and options ). Dependent on need or priority, treatments can be more focussed and specific to a body area, or more whole body focussed.
Where and When
I practice Thai massage in Totnes and am generally available from 8 am to 7 pm most days and some Saturday mornings. Home visits are possible for an extra charge for time and petrol.
My Working Hours.
Most weeks I am available :
Monday 9.30am - 5.15 pm
Tuesday 9am - 7 pm
Wednesday 10.30am - 5.15 pm
Thursday 11 am - 7 pm
Friday 11.30am - 7 pm
Saturday 9am - 1 pm
Booking Your First Session and What will Happen
To book your session or if you would like to discuss your needs in advance please text or phone 07915 650106 or e mail . At your first session we will discuss your relevant medical history and your reasons for coming for Thai massage - there is no charge for this discussion - just allow an extra 10 - 15 minutes for the first session. I will lend you clothes for the massage. Please note, once a session has been booked I need 24 hours notice of cancellation or the session will have to be paid for.
Further General Information and FAQ’S
THAI MASSAGE AND BODY PAIN CONDITIONS
Some body pain can be resolved in one or two sessions of Thai massage, however some pain issues that have been building up for a longer time due to physical imbalance or chronic tension will take longer to resolve. In these cases three to six treatments fairly close together can make a significant difference. Some problems can be resolved, and some managed, depending on the severity of their nature and how long they have been present.
How long a treatment should I have?
The minimum treatment time I offer is 75 minutes as I find it difficult to do anything useful in less time. When I first studied Thai massage I was told the minimum time for proper therapy was two hours, which at first I didn't understand, but now I really do . It sounds obvious to say - but the body/mind comes as a whole and not in parts. And while it is certainly possible to do useful work on a 'problem' area in a shorter time, it is so much more effective if a more whole body approach can be taken. For that reason 2, 2 1/2 or 3 hour massages are great . I even make them cheaper the longer they are per hour.
THAI MASSAGE FOR HEALTH MAINTAINENCE and Energy Levels
For a general boost of health and vitality, three to six treatments fairly close together can be very beneficial. As a preventive for physical problems and to mitigate the cumulative effects of stress, a Thai massage every two, four or six weeks is beneficial; but any regularity of massage, even if it is every two or three months, really helps. You can of course have a one off treatment to relax and rejuvenate anytime or just to try it out.
USE OF HERBAL COMPRESSES and heating or cooling BALMS IN THAI MASSAGE
The use of heated herbal compresses and medicated balms and oils in Thai massage hugely enhances the effect of the massage and I use them a lot. They are partly helpful to support deep tissue work by softening tissues . They also support blood flow and nerve health. Some of them also have an anti inflammatory effect and are effective for pain relief on many levels. The heat and the smell of the herbs from the heated herbal compresses is also very calming. I can also use a neutral balm if you prefer. I have a blog article on the ingredients and use of herbal compress here .
DO I NEED TO BE FLEXIBLE TO HAVE THAI MASSAGE?
No , although Thai massage is sometimes presented as being about stretches and applied yoga positions, it often isn't like that at all and may well just consist of massage and acupressure as appropriate. Some of the applied stretch photos above are just for illustration and are only relevant for some people. But if you like the idea of losts of movement and stretching that is also possible.
IS THAI MASSAGE PAINFUL ?
Not in a unpleasant way. Acupressure and deep tissue massage on blocked or tight areas can feel like a good, relieving 'pain' , but it should always have a relaxing element to it. Sometimes in Asia uncomfortable deep pressure massage is a cultural expectation, so if you have had massage in Thailand it may have been with a strong pressure; I tend not to work as strongly as some do in Thailand unless requested. I would always ask permission before any deeper work. It's always a balance , but for many people deeper pressure massage is ultimately more relaxing and effective than something that is too light.
ARE THERE ANY HIGH VELOCITY TYPE MANIPULATIONS IN THAI MASSAGE ?
Generally no, unless someone has specific training for that (I don't ) . Some people in Thailand do and may include chiropractic type techiques in their massage.
ARE CLOTHES ON OR OFF FOR THAI MASSAGE ?
Mostly on. Pressure and massage techniques are mainly applied through loose clothes. I have plenty available to borrow. When balms and oil are used they are applied and massaged into skin with some massage by first lifting baggy clothes; work then generally continues with clothes back over. In some cases a bit of oil/balm based tissue work can be helpful. When heated herbal compresses are used they are applied both on top of clothes and sometimes on skin.
THAI MASSAGE, NATURAL HEALTH AND MODERN MEDICINE
Thai massage is holistic in approach and aims to support and enhance the natural healing and self-rejuvenating capacities of body and mind. Much illness, disease and body pain is caused by the effects of stress and/or postural, lifestyle and occupational issues on our minds and bodies. Thai massage is an excellent way to relieve these tensions and strains. If you have an illness, disease or problem being treated by a doctor, on the whole there should be no containdication to receive Thai massage at the same time - the two should be mutually supportive. In general though if you are being treated by a doctor, it's a good idea to get their advice/permission regarding the suitability of massage for your condition.
THAI MASSAGE MEDICAL THEORY AND THAI CULTURAL INFLUENCE ON THE MASSAGE
Many aspects of the Thai description of anatomy and physiology are in essence not so different from Western anatomy and physiology . There is a theory of working through the layers of the body sequentially ; skin, tissue (muscle and fascia), sen (translating as pathways of movement in the body), bone/joint movement and organs ( in terms of the effect of massage on them) . In this way it is very comprehensive . The careful working through layers is partly why Thai massage can be longer, as it's not possible to go quickly though layers. Thai culture, influenced by Buddhism, views the physical, mental and emotional aspects of a person as an interellating whole. The dynamics of health and illness are also understood through Thai element theory which views an individual's physical and mental constitution in relationship to their social and natural environment. Although it is part of a very old form of traditional medicine it is very much in sync with modern ideas of massage and holistic health care.
THAI MASSAGE/REFLEXOLOGY COMBINATIONS
I am a trained reflexologist and whilst I don't practice it on its own any more, I still use it in Thai massage sometimes either as part of the treatment or nore specifically. Having for example 45 minutes Thai massage followed by 45 minutes reflexology or more or less of either can be a great combination. Prices would be according to length of time - please ask.
WHEN IS IT TIME TO GO TO THE DOCTOR OR ANOTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONAL?
If you are in acute or unusual pain, Thai massage may not the place to start and a visit to your doctor maybe more appropriate to get a more in depth diagnosis. That said I have helped people in acute body pain and massage can be helpful to calm down muscle spasm and associated tension. I have also appreciated the benefits of Chiropractic , Osteopathy and Acupuncture at times. If in doubt feel free to call 07915 650106 or e mail.
If you have any further questions or to book please e mail or call 07915 650106
Thai massage can be beneficial for:
- Back pain and sciatica.
- Neck pain.
- Shoulder pain.
- Arm, elbow, wrist and hand pain.
- Hip, knee, ankle and leg pain.
- General feelings of aching, stiffness and/or and physical unease.
- Negative postural patterns.
- Recovery from injury.
- To prevent injury threatening conditions building up by addressing imbalanced, overworked or heavily used areas of the body.
- To help promote recovery after periods of activity.
- Enhancing circulation.
- Stress and fatigue.
- Anxiety, depression and chronic tension.
- Sleep problems.
- General malaise and lack of energy.
- Migraine and headaches.
- Soothing degenerative conditons of the nervous system.
- Some digestive issues.
- As general maintainence to keep us functioning at the best level possible.
Also people have Thai massage:
- To support detox.
- To feel better,relax, reset and reorientate.
- As a tonic.
- As a support for yoga , martial arts, dance and sport.
Thai massage treatments and prices:
1 1/4 hours - £45
1 1/2 hours - £50
2 hours - £60
2 1/2 hours £70
3 hours £80
Block Booking Savings
If you book and pay for three or more sessions in advance I can offer packages. For example three 1 1/4 hour massages booked and used within a six week period would be £105 instead of £120 .
You can pay by cash, card, bank transfer or Pay Pal above - let me know what's best for you.
Gift vouchers are available if you would like to get a massage as a present for family or friends. Please e mail or call 07915 650106 and I can either send you a card one in the post or e mail one for you to print out.
Experience and Qualifications
I've practiced massage since 1997 and have taken numerous courses of study including:
Core Practice Courses.
Several courses of study and practice at Sunshine Massage School in Chiang Mai and their accredited teachers including - Kira Balaskas (UK) , Asokananda ( RIP ) ( Thailand) , Ralf Marzen (UK) and Suriyan Punyafoo (Thailand).
Thai Medical Massage Practice Courses:
Thai Acupressure with Noam Tyroler - Thai Acupressure
Thai Massage Theory and Practice with Felicity Joy , Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Thai Massage Medical Therory and Practice with Nephyr Jacobsen at the Naga Centre in Portland USA . Naga Centre
Thai Massage Therapy with Suryan Punyafoo, Chiang Mai, Thailand . Therapeutic Thai
Western Massage Training
I've also studied Soft Tissue Therapy at the London School of Sports Massage . As a BTEC level 5 it's the highest level massage qualification available in the UK at present . I found much useful knowledge as well as techniques and ideas that I use to enhance Thai massage.